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About The Perfect Loaf

Ciao! Welcome to The Perfect Loaf, a website dedicated to baking sourdough bread at home.​

I'm Maurizio, an author and software engineer-turned-baker who's baked sourdough bread for over ten years in Albuquerque, NM.

I created The Perfect Loaf in 2013 to share my passion and lessons learned when baking sourdough from home. I grew up in an Italian household, and our lives revolved around good food made by hand. Whether it was the pizza and pasta my dad cooked at his restaurant or the gnocchi and risotto my mom and grandmother prepared at home, I was imbued with an appreciation for homemade food that takes time to prepare—slow food. Long trips to visit relatives in Italy were filled with family meals around the wood-fired oven, mornings wandering the cobblestone streets in search of fresh bread, and focaccia topped with ripe tomatoes packed for a long day at the beach.

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

Jeffrey Hamelman

I developed this sense of value in preparing good food that doesn't have to be complicated or exquisite, but I don't think there are any shortcuts. Sourdough bread is that very definition: it tastes exceptional when the baker takes their time to prepare it and lets the yeasts and bacteria work with the flour and water to create something transcendent.

Here at The Perfect Loaf, I marry my analytical side and entrenched value for good food to share my journey in baking bread with my sourdough starter.

I created The Perfect Loaf to help you become a better baker. It's continuously evolving because I'm constantly evolving, as is every baker in the kitchen. As I always say, if I'm not baking sourdough, I'm probably thinking about it—always searching for the perfect loaf.

Where Should I Start?

If you don't have a sourdough starter, begin there! It'll take about a week, but the steps are easy, and at the end, you'll have a bubbling starter ready to make bread.

Then, read through the New Baker, Start Here guide, which takes you through each step of the baking process.

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

The team here at The Perfect Loaf is a collection of bakers, authors, and photographers with decades of experience in sourdough bread, pastry, and more.

Maurizio Leo, <i>Founder and Editor-in-Chief</i>

Maurizio Leo, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Maurizio Leo is the creator of The Perfect Loaf, a home baker, and the New York Times Bestselling author of The Perfect Loaf: The Craft and Science of Sourdough Breads, Sweets, and More. He holds a master's degree in computer science and is a co-creator of the SkyView app. Maurizio has spent the past decade baking sourdough bread in Albuquerque, NM, with his wife, two sons, and German Shepherd Arya.

Eric Pallant, <i>Contributing Writer</i>

Eric Pallant, Contributing 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.

Jennifer Latham, <i>Contributing Writer</i>

Jennifer Latham, Contributing 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.

Rebecca Firkser, <i>Editor & Contributing Writer</i>

Rebecca Firkser, Editor & Contributing 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.

Andrew Janjigian, <i>Contributing Writer</i>

Andrew Janjigian, Contributing 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

Contributions

Maurizio is a regular contributor to the King Arthur Baking blog and was the Resident Bread Baker at Food52. Maurizio has written articles on bread baking for Edible Magazine, the Bread Baker's Guild of America, and Bread Magazine.

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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