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Rise Up! #78: Daniel Leader talks about his new book and the challenge of building a bakery for the long term

Nels and Dan Leader

Nels and Daniel Leader, Bread Alone Bakery. Photo Credit: [Bread Alone Bakery](

I get to talk with one of my baking heroes this week.

I’ve been following and admiring Daniel Leader since I was working out of a beige cubicle and dreaming my own bakery. His stories of visiting bakeries in Europe and bringing master masons back to New York to build his first ovens seemed like a dream to me.

Along with building up Bread Alone Bakery, slowly and surely, for over 35 years, Daniel has also kept writing (Local Breads was very influential to me.)

He has a new book out called Living Bread: Tradition and Innovation in Artisan Bread Making and it was a great chance to finally meet and have a talk.

We go all over the place, back and forth between the book, Bread Alone and his take on the new wave of small, independent bakers.

And to be sure, Dan’s an outspoken guy and offers up a few challenges to those of us who are trying to stay small for the long term, without burning out. But his ideas are born from deep experience and a love of baking and bakers. He wants to see great bread in the hands of more people, not less, and have healthy bakers too.

I seem to say this a lot, but this talk was a highlight of the series so far. I really hope you give it a listen and have a good think about it too. Enjoy!

You can listen to the show on your favourite podcast app, from the Rise Up! podcast website or using the handy audio app below (here if you’re reading this via email.)