About The Perfect Loaf

Since 2013, The Perfect Loaf has been dedicated to teaching others the art of sourdough bread (and more).

The Perfect Loaf is here to help make you a better baker. We understand that navigating the waters of bread-making—particularly sourdough—can be challenging, but we’re here to help. From creating your first sourdough starter to your first loaf of bread to making complex naturally leavened pastries like Italian bomboloni, the guides, recipes, and tips throughout this site will steer you true.

If you’re new to sourdough and natural fermentation, the New Baker, Start Here page is a great jumping-off point. Or, if you’ve mixed a dough or two and are ready to take it to the next level, head to our recipes and dive in.

The team here, a collective of authors, recipe developers, researchers, and bakers, boasts a wealth of experience spanning decades in home and professional baking. This depth of knowledge and skill is at your disposal, ensuring you receive the proper guidance and instruction along the way.

Our aim for The Perfect Loaf is to be like a trusty friend with you in the kitchen and your go-to spot for baking provocation, instruction, and aid when you need it most.

Happy baking,
Maurizio Leo
Founder and baker

He strives for perfection, for the perfect loaf, secretly hoping never to attain it — for where would he go from there?

Have a Baking Question?

If you have a burning baking question, I usually hang out with many like-minded—and very helpful!—bakers on The Perfect Loaf’s Discord, where you can post questions, comments, and photos. Come join the community and ask a question.

Or, there’s always email, too.

Our Team

Picture of Maurizio Leo, <i>Founder</i>

Maurizio Leo, Founder

I'm Maurizio Leo, a software engineer, James Beard Award-winning author, and baker. I live in Albuquerque, NM, where I've honed this bread-making craft for over a decade.

In 2013, I created The Perfect Loaf to spread the gospel of sourdough, drawing from my Italian heritage, where good food is a central force in everyday life. I grew up amid the floury hands of my family, from my dad's restaurant dishes and pizza to my grandmother's risotto at home, my childhood was steeped in the ethos of slow food.

At The Perfect Loaf, I blend my analytical and culinary sides to help fellow bakers through the nuanced dance of fermentation. This website, like its recipes, guides, and videos, evolves as I do, always fermenting new ideas. Here, I share my journey toward the elusive perfect loaf, because when I'm not trying to bake it, I'm certainly dreaming about it.

Picture of Eric Pallant, <i>Writer</i>

Eric Pallant, Writer

Eric Pallant is the author of Sourdough Culture: The History of Bread Making from Ancient to Modern Bakers. He is a serious amateur baker, a two-time Fulbright Scholar, a double award-winning professor, and the Christine Scott Nelson Endowed Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability at Allegheny College. He's contributed stories to NPR, CNN, Foreign Policy, the Gresham Lecture Series, London, bread symposia, podcasts, and articles for magazines such as Gastronomica, Sierra, and Science.

Picture of Jennifer Latham, <i>Writer</i>

Jennifer Latham, Writer

Jennifer Latham is the author of ‘Baking Bread with Kids’ from Ten Speed Press and co-author of Bread Book with Chad Robertson. She is the former Director of Bread for Tartine Bakery. She studied philosophy and journalism at UC Santa Cruz before following her love of dough into professional kitchens. She lives, climbs, surfs and hikes in Northern California.

Picture of Rebecca Firkser, <i>Editor & Writer</i>

Rebecca Firkser, Editor & Writer

Rebecca Firkser is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, recipe developer, and food stylist. Most of her work consists of translating professional cooking into content that’s digestible—figuratively and literally—to home cooks. You can find her work at Epicurious, Bon Appetit, NYT Cooking, Food52, Serious Eats, Kitchn, and TASTE, among others. She's currently working on her first cookbook, a deep-dive into galettes. Once upon a time, she studied theater design and art history at Smith College, so if you want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl.

Picture of Andrew Janjigian, <i>Writer</i>

Andrew Janjigian, Writer

Andrew Janjigian is a writer, recipe developer, and baking instructor from Cambridge, MA. He writes and creates recipes for places like Serious Eats, Epicurious, King Arthur Baking Company, and his own breaducational newsletter, Wordloaf. He’s currently working on his first cookbook, Breaducation, a practical manual of bread baking, which will be published by Ten Speed Press Fall 2025. Say hello at newsletter.wordloaf.org or @wordloaf on social media.

History and Awards

The Perfect Loaf is the leading independent sourdough baking website and was launched in 2013 by home baker Maurizio Leo.

The Perfect Loaf is a two-time Saveur Magazine Blog Award winner, winning both Editors’ and Readers’ Choice Awards in 2016, and a Readers’ Choice Award in 2018. In 2019, The Perfect Loaf was nominated for a Webby Award.

2019 Webby Award Nominee
2018 Saveur Blog Award Winner
2016 Saveur Blog Award

The Perfect Loaf Cookbook

In 2022, Maurizio’s cookbook, The Perfect Loaf: The Craft and Science of Sourdough Breads, Sweets, and More, made the New York Times’ bestseller list.

The Perfect Loaf cookbook won a 2023 James Beard Foundation Book Award in the Bread category and a 2023 IACP Cookbook Award in the Baking category.

James Beard Awards Winner Seal
IACP 2023 Cookbook Award

Press & Interviews

The Perfect Loaf has been featured by Food & Wine Magazine, Bon Appétit, Bake From Scratch Magazine, Pastry Arts Magazine, The Kitchn, LCBO Food & Drink Magazine, Craftsmanship Quarterly, Hypebae, and The Manual.

Google spent a week baking with Maurizio in his home kitchen for their IMakeApps feature, which highlighted app developers and their passions away from the computer.
the perfect loaf about

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