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The Perfect Loaf 🍞

Maurizio Leo

Want to make bakery-quality sourdough bread from home? Subscribe for the best sourdough guides and recipes to take your bread from ordinary to incredible.

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🍞 Store your starter for vacation, hamburger buns & more!

Store your starter for vacation, hamburger buns & more! Fellow dough enthusiast— With the summer travel season upon us, I'm here to share my go-to approach for storing—and then reviving—my starter from the fridge when I go on vacation. Unfortunately, due to life being what it is, I can't take vacations longer than three weeks at a time. But the good news is that this method for storing a starter works perfectly for that amount of time (or less)! And it really couldn't be easier. With just a...

1 day ago • 2 min read

100% Whole wheat recipe, Italy trip, and hiking For the past three days, I've been off-grid in the mountains hiking, canoeing, and doing a bit of archery with my son's school class. Gosh, we had fun, I mean, look at this view: My son and his classmate "rowing" while I did the actual rowing. Can't beat that view, though. But while we had a fantastic time, I came home craving freshly baked bread of any kind. It's me, so of course that was the case. Thankfully, I recently refreshed and updated...

8 days ago • 3 min read

Let's welcome Spring with a delightful baking session, shall we? With the transition from cool to warm weather, there's a certain joy that comes with baking in Spring. Don't you feel it too? As many of the recipes in this newsletter prove, this baking doesn't always have to be complicated, but it does have to be fun and delicious. And these have you covered on both fronts: They really are perfect for spring They're a great treat for your mom (or yourself!) for Mother's Day Let's dive in. In...

15 days ago • 2 min read

Sourdough Detroit-style Pizza Open my fridge this week, and you'll be greeted by a towering stack of cheeses, a sight that would make even the most dedicated cheesemonger proud. From fontina to Wisconsin brick to butterkäse (a fav) to all manner of shredded cheddar and mozzarella—all meticulously sourced, tasted, melted, and tasted again. Tough job, isn't it? All that cheese-eating. I'm like the royal food taster, except I'm not at court and succession is not on the line. Yes, my goal is very...

22 days ago • 3 min read

Sourdough during Passover? And cinnamon rolls, focaccia, and more! We didn't grow up celebrating Passover, but for several of my childhood friends, it was a shift from the usual sandwiches and treats to a different set of foods and activities. While I may not have fully grasped the intricacies of Passover, I could always appreciate the pivotal role that food played in my friends' religious observance. It made me realize that food is a universal thread that weaves through our lives, connecting...

29 days ago • 2 min read

Experiments (and a recipe!) with freshly milled flour For the past few weeks, I've had my grain mill on in the kitchen, testing with various grains: Khorasan, hard red wheat (Yecora Rojo), and white wheat. Each grain has its unique charm, and milling them fresh brings out a wide range of flavors and an incredible aroma that genuinely elevates the final loaf. What I also love about freshly milling my flour, though, is the fact that it can be incredibly economical to do so. I buy raw wheat...

about 1 month ago • 3 min read

Good dough + good dough = better dough This week we have an interesting thought experiment: what if you had two bread recipes you loved and wanted to make a new recipe using these two as a base? Sort of like a fifty-fifty recipe that takes the great things about these two recipes and mashes them into a new recipe that's sure to please. The premise is this: "Once you have reliable single-flour formulas, you can calculate the ideal hydration of a novel formula by combining them on paper instead...

about 1 month ago • 2 min read

New tart lemon loaf, holiday dinner rolls + baguettes As a baker who uses long fermentation and dough-strengthening techniques to create crusty yet airy bread, I'm in awe of cakes and breads that demand gentle handling, relying on the ingredients to produce a super soft result. This loaf is precisely that: incredibly tender with a golden hue and studded with poppyseed. It's a lovely lemon-y loaf that delivers the perfectly tart punch. But what's more, this loaf uses a hefty bit of sourdough...

about 2 months ago • 3 min read

How I save sourdough starter discard for weeks There's nothing I hate more than throwing out unused sourdough starter. While I don't really see it as "waste" because it was used for something—keeping your starter alive! But still, that flavorful and aromatic discard can be used in so many good things if only I had the time each day. But what if there was a way to keep starter discard fresh and usable without the pressure to use it daily? Well, the answer as it turns out, is simple: We can...

2 months ago • 3 min read

The secrets to tangzhong and (amazing) bread This email is a love letter to tangzhong, an Asian technique for bringing incredibly softness and shelf life to any bread. I've been using the tangzhong technique in my bread recipe for years. Once I discovered it, it's been my go-to method for imparting serious softness into my bread—and it's such a simple technique. In my refreshed tangzhong guide, I talk about correctly making the tangzhong mixture, the ideal flour-to-liquid ratios, storing it...

2 months ago • 3 min read
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