Bryan Ford (@artisanbryan) inspires me like no other baker. His flavors draw on the southern and Latin cultures I grew up with. His methods and ingredients are within reach of home bakers. When people around the globe try his recipes, he supports his followers and makes them feel like friends.
At present I have made only one of Ford’s recipes: pan de coco. It is a little sweet, perfectly chewy, and incredible when toasted. What’s more, it was a bread and a flavor I had never experienced before yet fell in love with immediately. In a world full of Italian focaccia and French baguettes, Ford is bringing bread from another hemisphere.
I wanted New World Sourdough—Ford’s first cookbook—from the moment I knew it existed, and I gratefully received it soon after publication.
NWS is much thinner than other popular bread books, but I don’t count that as a negative. As any reader of modern recipes knows, writers love to pad pages with anecdotes and repetition. Ford lays out his basic techniques at the top and sends the reader back if they need a refresher. Ingredients, methods, order—what else do you need?
Personally, the recipe listing for NWS incites two strong emotions:
- It is batshit insane to not list page numbers for each recipe.
- I desperately want to bake and eat every single recipe in this book.*
So I decided to do just that: bake and eat every single recipe in this book. I have a list of ingredients to buy from my local bulk food store. I have my 18 month old starter, Bradley, chowing down on fresh flour and water overnight. I have all the time in the world. In the New World.
*Ok not counting the two olive-heavy ones, but I’m willing to venture out of my comfort zone for the sake of culinary science.↩