Modern Living: Taking to Baking

It stands fragrantly like a bride at the altar, awaiting the embrace of fresh butter and an osculation of jam. It is a loaf of bread. Not the cellophaned Kleenex sold at the supermarket but a homemade loaf, crusty, crumbly and a succor for the eater.

As a result of the sorry state of commercial bread in the U.S. more and more Americans are taking to baking. James Beard's elegant book on breadmaking (Beard on Bread, Knopf) has sold a phenomenal 50,000 copies since October —at $7.95 apiece. Fleischmann, the G.M. of leaveners, reports...