Tuesday, August 21

Local Breads Does Good
And We're Giving Away Two Signed Copies!

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.


  1. Ohhhhh...bread... [slobber]

    Thanks to your site, I'm slowly getting up the courage to try baking my own bread. Thanks, FG! Hope you, Joe, and all the critters are well.

  2. OK - I have to be honest - I prefer your posts about lettuce - I'm working on losing a largish amount of weight and the prospect of warm, homemade real bread - dripping with real butter - awwwwww! I'm torturing myself but it is beautiful pain - moderation is SO overrated! I echo the question - how are critters - 2 and 4 legged? We've had predator issues but at long last hay is getting back to reasonable prices!

  3. Hi Susan,

    Now to get Mom up to baking bread again. She has such fond memories of "Amish Country" in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, her health doesn't always let her do everything she wants...

    Your articles on bread are absolutely fascinating.


  4. So far I have made the Parisian Daily Bread, Black Olive Cheeks, Pane Toscano, and Rosemary Filone. They have all been very good. The two I plan on making again soon (this week) are the Cheeks (the best tomato sandwich bread) and Rosemary Filone (I had the last of a loaf that I toasted into bread "chips" - Wow so good with a white bean dip!

  5. This couldn't come at a better time. I'm gearing up to make bread from local (Maine) grain for the Eat Local Challenge, and I'm not a fabulous bread baker to begin with. Pray for me.

  6. Oh, I wish I would get the nerve to try and bake bread. My daughter-in-law does and it is so delicious.

    Thank you for posting on my blog. I was sooo excited. I was calling my son and saying "FG commented on my blog"!!!! Like a kid at Christmas.

    Tell all the animals Hi....

  7. No, Susan! Don't go and tell everyone about the two copies you guys are giving away at a Year in Bread! Now, all these people run there and enter (and diminish my chances on getting my paws on a copy).
    Good luck on the interview!

  8. I really miss having time to bake bread here at home. I long for the fall to open up the house and get the oven ready to play. My bread doesn't look as pretty as yours, but with butter on it, everything is wonderful!

  9. Your bread pictures made me drool. I love the smell of bread fresh from the oven. It also helps that I got a link from you last year to the New York Time's fabulous No Knead bread, which I LOVE.

    I agree with Shari Thomas that your bread articles are fascinating.

  10. Oh yes! They REALLY look like our french bread! Congrats! :-)

  11. for anyone who hasn't tried it, i baked the parisian daily bread yesterday and it totally rocks! now onto the black olive cheeks........

  12. Your bread looks terrific! It's crust is wonderful looking. I'd love to have a bite in a slice of one of those gorgeous babies!!!

  13. FG, I'm definitely making this bread. I *love* the book; got it from my local library.

    Please give us an update on Cary soon. And, Donkey Dan. And, everyone else...


  14. How divine! The paper couche is brilliant, and the passage on German rye is so evocative that my mouth is watering. I'm ordering the book as we speak, and I can't wait to read more about your baking! What a cool post, Susan!

  15. I luckily stumbled on your blog when looking for a recipe for beer bread. Since then and after hours of reading back entries, I visit quite often. Your passion for food and farm are dear to my heart.
    So... I excitedly made the beer bread and have a word of caution for those hop head beer lovers: all those hops in a delicious IPA makes for very, very bitter bread. UGH. It smelled great, looked great, but tasted yucky. I'm assuming that a porter, stout, or just an ale might have better results. Back to the oven I go. Thanks Farmgirl for sharing your beautiful experience.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!