Parisian Daily Bread from Local Breads: A Four Hour Baguette
It seems I'm not the only baker willing to crank up the oven in midsummer in the name of fabulous homemade bread. My new favorite bread book, Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers, by Daniel Leader (world renowned baker, owner of Bread Alone Bakery in New York's Catskill Mountains, and author of my previously favorite bread book, Bread Alone), is receiving rave reviews and selling like crazy. A big thanks to Karen at the Union of Concerned Scientists (check out their wonderful new Green Cuisine feature here) for letting me know that Daniel Leader was the guest on last week's edition of "The Food Chain" radio program on Metrofarm. I really enjoyed it. You can listen to a recording of the show (#554) here.
Do you have a bread question for Daniel? I'll be interviewing him in the next week or two and invite you to email me your questions: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.
No Canvas Needed
So far I've made the Parisian Daily Bread, the Italian Black Olive Cheeks, and the Rosemary Filone from Local Breads. All were easy to make and tasted wonderful, though the filone wasn't full of those nice big airholes like in the mouthwatering photo. Advanced bread bakers are going to glom onto this book, but beginning bakers definitely shouldn't shy away from it. The first 60 pages are packed with detailed information on equipment, ingredients, and techniques, all of it clearly written and easy to understand. The book also contains dozens of frequently asked bread baking questions and simple yet invaluable tips, such as how to fashion a couche out of a piece of parchment paper, as shown above (brilliant!).
I can't wait to try out more of the 80 recipes over the next couple of months, including some of the authentic German sourdough ryes. Part travelogue, part bread making class, and part gastronomic history lesson, if the gorgeous photos in Local Breads don't have you running to the store in search of stoneground organic flours, the descriptions--or even simply the names--of these European Old World breads, many of which have never been shared before, most certainly will.
Of the Soulful German Farmhouse Rye, Daniel says:
Rye breads this deep, dark, and sour can be found only in places like Oberseifersdorf, Germany, where Gert Kolbe, a fifth-generation baker, has his shop. Canals still flow through the town, and a waterwheel works the mill where Gert gets his coarse whole rye flour. The grain is grown in the surrounding fields. The rolled rye flakes Gert uses as a topping make his loaves resemble the local thatched-roof houses. This hearty traditional bread in particular is why I made the trip to the bakery; I left not only with the recipe but with a long-keeping loaf that I snacked on with smoked sausages and spicy mustard on the five-hour drive back to Wiesbaden.
I'm hoping some of you will bake along with me as I delve further into Local Breads. I'll let you know in the next couple of weeks which breads I'll be baking, so you can get your sourdough(s) mixed up in plenty of time. For years I've been baking beautiful sourdough breads using two starters I made following the simple instructions in Bread Alone, a French levain and a rye sourdough. After the successes I've had with these, I'm really looking forward to branching out and experimenting with some new sourdoughs.
Meanwhile, over at A Year In Bread, we're giving away two signed copies of Local Breads. You'll find all the details here. Wondering what A Year In Bread is all about? Read more about this joint blog project between myself and two other passionate bread bakers here.
More links for bread lovers:
Parisian Daily Bread from Local Breads
Small Scale Marketing & Italian Black Olive Cheeks from Local Breads
Grape Harvest Focaccia from Local Breads
Rosemary Filone from Local Breads
My Ten Tips For Better Breads
My Oatmeal Toasting Bread
My Italiano No-Knead Bread
The Pita Project & My Best Pita Bread Recipe
My Favorite Straightforward Pizza Dough Recipe
© 2007 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where Farmgirl Susan shares photos & stories of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.