For me, bread lives in a sacred place. A provincial, salt of the earth food that carries years of history, religion, and art within its edges and underneath its crisp, golden shell. Like a nest, its fibers octopi inwards and outwards harvesting pull apart morsels of chewy, delectable meat. Like a tree, each loaf has its own story, often told in its crust and later revealed in its tatse. Each time, a surprise. Dusted, savory, and organic, bread is the grandaddy of cooking at home.
Kneading is quintessential in bread making. It is the artist’s tool that cultivates the careful transformation from grain to nourishment. Founder of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC, Jim Lahey, has an awesome recipe cook called “My Bread. The Revolutionary No-Work, No- Knead Method”. This is where I bow my head and shamefully admit that what attracted me to Lahey’s book was the promise of no work and indeed…no knead. Making bread is hard. It pretty much takes all day and kneading is tough work. Sure, I could use my mixer, but the idea of a machine replacing the work of my hands to twist and turn the dough seems….well…sacreligious.
Lahey’s book helped resolve my conflict between staying true to myself while not sacrificing the bread itself. In his book (and on his website), Lahey provides a simple, dutch oven method to making a perfect, all-purpose loaf at home. Minimal work that maintains a rich, traditional-based bread making process…without the kneading. In addition, he includes other bread recipes including apple bread, pancetta bread, and an entire chapter on the art of the sandwich with homemade aioli, pickles, and roast pork and roast beef. Clear instructions, beautiful and helpful color photographs, this book is a must have.
In Jenna and Matt’s world, we have finally moved into a beautiful apartment…making room for our sweet little lady who will be making her debut this summer. In order to celebrate our new home, a party is in order…of course. My plan? To make many goodies from Lahey’s book and offer up a spread inspired by his Italian deli. Thank you Jim Lahey! And as always, than you for reading.