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Slow Rise Reviews

Slow Rise by Robert Penn

Slow Rise: A Bread-Making Adventure

Robert Penn

3.50 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Particular Books
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 25 Feb 2021
ISBN: 9780241352083

A tale of rediscovery and a celebration of the everyday miracle of homemade bread Over the course of a year, Robert Penn learns how to plant, harvest, thresh and mill his own wheat, in order to bake bread for his family

3 stars out of 5

"Slow Rise is never less than entertaining"

Slow Rise is never less than entertaining, but there is something slightly contrived about Penn’s deep dive into the world of heritage baking. Yet reading it is a reminder of how remarkable bread is: familiar though it may be, a loaf of bread is also ‘an everyday miracle’.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
27 Feb 2021

"Slow Rise will be welcomed by the new bread geeks. "

Is it a book to excite the tribe of sourdough bakers that lockdown’s spare time has created? Absolutely. Slow Rise will be welcomed by the new bread geeks. And though the stories aren’t especially useful, they will resonate for the man (in particular) who is looking for complexity while he sets about making a simple loaf of bread.

 
4 stars out of 5
19 Feb 2021

"Robert Penn’s engaging account encompasses every aspect of bread"

Penn, it turns out, is an engaging storyteller and early on, offers a kind of Sapiens-with-wheat, albeit one that doesn’t go back quite so far. Still: bread is life, life is bread. The intimate details of grain types might be a new kind of dull, but as Penn whips through the ways bread has shaped centuries of life, it is broadly fascinating, and while he makes plain the astounding influence bread has had on civilisation as we know it – “[it] is kneaded into economics, politics, human biology and religion… It’s story is the story of humanity” – remains charmingly awed by the rather less impressive: “You can grow wheat on an allotment? This was a thunderbolt.”