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Modernist Bread Slices Into the Science of the Loaf

Wired—November 7, 2017


Not long after I finished college, I scored my first higher-end cooking job as an expediter and grill guy at a pan-Asian restaurant in San Francisco. It was the first place where I realized I was cooking food that I knew nothing about. Eventually, during my breaks and time off, I’d read books the chef handed to me, to help understand the method and history behind what I was doing.

Later, I came to love The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated, where their scientific-method style, testing recipes over and over to find the “best” one, appealed to me. I wasn’t a science whiz, but if a team of chefs said it was the best way to do it, I’d do it that way until I had the confidence to do otherwise.

Read through some of the recipes, chapters, and volumes of Modernist Bread, the massive new tome from Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya, and you’ll realize that there’s a clear line, stretched across nearly two decades, between Best Recipe’s style and Modernist’s.

Out this week, Modernist Bread is the five-volume follow up to Myhrvold’s five-volume Modernist Cuisine. This new collection lays out in encyclopedic fashion what, in the authors’ minds, is the best way to make everything from white sandwich bread to pretzels to vollkornbrot. It is the deepest of deep dives.

Dive in and read the whole story on WIRED.

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