The Perfect Loaf
Maurizio Leo | Albuquerque, New Mexico
If there’s one baker you want to virtually break bread with in 2017, it’s Maurizio Leo. Follow along with the “pathological sourdough baker” —as he calls himself— on his journey making the perfect loaf. Maurizio first fell in love with bread as a child working in his father’s Italian restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and now bakes naturally leavened sourdough from his home using a wild yeast starter. He even occasionally produces his own fresh flour with a manual hand-cranked mill.
Maurizio’s loaves are robust with complex flavors and exquisite crusts in earthen hues of gold and brown. The Perfect Loaf offers sourdough recipes for every level of bread baking. Especially helpful are Maurizio’s posts on techniques to mix and shape dough, his “My Baking Tools” section that includes a roundup of his favorite bread baking equipment, and the ultra-informative FAQ section that addresses working with sourdough starters.
The Southern Charmer
Wood and Spoon
Kate Wood | Selma, Alabama
If you like pretty cakes and adorable babies, you’ll love Wood and Spoon. Self-taught baker Kate Wood is a clinical dietician by day and a creator of all things sweet by night. We’re talking pies, cookies, and cakes you’ll want to dive into fork first. Her desserts turn out just as charming as her blog posts, where she tells the tales of her adventures as a new wife and mother of two in the Heart of Dixie.
Kate’s photography is simple with minimal props and bears that mark of subtle sophistication that keeps the emphasis on the food. Cuteness alert: You may see a tiny little hand reaching in for a bite now and then.
Instagram: @katie_clova | Snapchat: katewoodspoon
The Kitchen Adventuress
Hint of Vanilla
Megan Voigt | Vancouver, British Columbia
This Canadian can bake. If you need a touch of happy in your day, visit Megan Voigt’s Hint of Vanilla, a blog brimming with bright photography and an uplifting tone. Megan breaks the mold with elevated recipes that offer a modern twist yet still maintain the timeless appeal of a classic. She’s a master of lattice piecrust and laminated dough, but her breads aren’t too shabby either.
Try the braided basil pesto bread made with fluffy, pain-au-lait dough. If the world of pastry is Megan’s playground, then nature is her escape. She’ll talk kayaking in a crystal clear mountain lake and hiking Mount Rohr in the same post on blackberry and peach pie. Megan’s adventurous spirit will push you to be more daring in the kitchen.