Flour, Water and Yeast

Bread..the staff of life…Perhaps one of my biggest weaknesses is my love of bread! I would have made an excellent French or Italian woman for I think I could live happily ever after with just bread, cheese and fruit.

Lately I have been toying with an idea, stolen from one of my favorite movies Julie & Julia, where two timelines tell a superior story about the joy of cooking.  Julie decides to cook her way, in one year’s time, through Julia Child’s famous cookbook and blog her progress, trials, errors, travails, successes, disappointments. I am thinking I may try to bake my way through the Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown and document my adventure through my blog. Other helpful books I have acquired are Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoe Francois and Bread Alone by Daniel Leader and Judith Blahnik.

I think this endeavor was meant to be for various reasons…this past weekend I made a quick visit to my sister’s home in Burton. While I was there, an old friend of hers dropped by to visit. During our conversation we somehow started talking about bread and her friend mentioned the name of a bread book that was popular in the 70’s and that she had used as a young home cook. And then a friend of my sister’s son who was visiting on his way home to San Diego walked in and gave my sister a loaf of bread…bread that we would later enjoy as part of french dip sandwiches for our evening meal. Or perhaps I am being spurred on due to my recent failure in biscuit making (see previous post).

My sister immediately went to her bookcase and extracted two books on bread baking for me to peruse. We left her home and went to a delightful local bookshop to see if we could find other bread baking books. The quest had begun. With the bookstore stop behind us, we visited another local shop and did find a nice copy of the Great Big Cookie Cookbook. Should my adventure be baking my way through a book of cookie recipes? I knew my fellow workers would love the cookie option, but my heart was set on bread. I think my desire harkened back to when I was a young hippie-like Mother of two beautiful daughters and was following my desire to be a good steward of our planet, feed wholesome food to my children and baking bread was part of my twice weekly routine. The pushing, pulling, punching of the dough was a highly therapeutic and rewarding activity.  And the smell of baking bread titillated my senses as I awaited the hollow thump that verified it was ready. Slathering fresh butter on a slice of homemade bread fresh out of the oven is second to no culinary experience.

So my bread baking adventure is on. I will try to describe my adventures as they progress and document the finished product with my camera even if the end result is disastrous. As Julia would say….Bon Appetit!!!

2 thoughts on “Flour, Water and Yeast

  1. Wonderful blog, Ginny! I vividly remember all the bread loaves I made from that yeast starter you gave me at the time we were both taking care of families. I did that for years and yes, years, thinking how great it was that I didn’t have to buy bread until the time came when circumstances required that I had to give it up. I suffered guilt and felt the pain for quite some time until I could find a source available commercially to my satisfaction.
    Okay, I just thought of another adventure for the future, a visit to Italy, Spain, Greece, to experience the bread making history of other countries. Certainly there is a “bread study/tour” somewhere in this world in 2018! Linda

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