At 22, Daniel Leader stopped in his tracks at the smell coming from bread baking in the back room of a Parisian boulangerie, and he has loved and devoted himself to making quality bread ever since. The creator of Bread Alone bakery, he has pushed for a return to artisan bread made by hand, away from the commercial breads that dominate supermarkets today.

His latest cook book " Living Bread" — co-authored with pastry chef Lauren Chattman — is more than just a vessel for recipes, he said. It tells his story and those of his teachers.

"It's kind of a reflection of my life," said Leader on Boston Public Radio Thursday. "I joke that I'm a graduate of the back door school of baking. Meaning I go to the back door of bakeries, I invite myself in, and I make friends with bakers and they share their lives with me. This book is a reflection of that journey, from the tip of Sicily to the north of Finland."