Team behind 'Modernist Cuisine' to pen cookbook about bread

The brains behind a cookbook series that’s been described as the most astonishing and most important of its kind in the 21st century have released details on their next project: a cookery book on the art of breadmaking.

If "Modernist Cuisine" is anything to go by, expect the follow-up book on bread to be written with a startling amount of fastidious detail, scientific rigor, stunning photography and illustrations.

Like the six-volume, 2,438-page encyclopedic magnum opus that is "Modernist Cuisine," The Cooking Lab’s next project is described as an in-depth, multi-volume set that will delve into the history, science and techniques of breadmaking. The series is being pitched for amateur home bakers, restaurants and small-scale bakeries.

Why bread?

“Because it’s so ubiquitous that we now have vast, daunting selections of breads to choose from at most grocery chains,” reads a blog post.

“Many of us have started taking the bread course for granted when dining out. But bread shouldn’t be an afterthought on the table or simply a building block for sandwiches—breaking open a good loaf of bread, fresh from the oven, is an experience that can evoke nostalgia for years to follow.”

While the team also points out that baking bread at home is seen as an intimidating process, it remains to be seen if their next series will help take the mystery out of bread making or inspire home cooks to take up the task.

Though it was vaunted as a landmark cookery series by master chefs and foodie elite when it was released in 2011, "Modernist Cuisine" was also criticized for being impractical and unrealistic for the at-home chef. Recipe instructions call for equipment like homogenizers and centrifuges and obscure ingredients like hydrocolloids and emulsifiers.

Leading the bread project, meanwhile, will be Francisco Migoya, the former executive pastry chef at the French Laundry and professor at the Culinary Institute of America, as well as Peter Reinhart, a teacher, chef and best-selling author of nine cookery books on bread.

The Cooking Lab, meanwhile, is a multi-disciplinary food and research lab that birthed "Modernist Cuisine" and is the brainchild of Nathan Myhrvold, whose resume is a colorful and astonishing CV dotted with stints as a chief technology officer at Microsoft and postdoctoral physics protegé under Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University.

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