Eating at Home: The Bread Renaissance

I spoke to you all earlier about bakeries and bread shops in Barcelona and I want to divulge on this subject as lately it's been given me much pleasure. A few months ago I began a slightly more domestic role at home (I became unemployed) and decided to hone the inner cook/creative inside me to fulfill some basic needs around the house - part bliss, part money-saver. Bread as I mentioned is somewhat more difficult to come by in Madrid (or the other cities I've lived in), better said quality bread, like the kind we all swoon over in Paris' boulangeries. I stumbled upon some English recipes that I wanted to try, one in particular by widely recognized Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. It seemed to be a good starting point, as it required limited kneading, and it's been my go-to base since.

It's been quite a journey and I've had a blast experimenting with new (to me) and unusual organic and local wheat or gluten-free varieties such as; kamut, buckwheat, corn and rice flour, manitoba, spelt, chickpea flour, quinoa - which all lend a different consistency and taste to the final outcome.

It's really quite amazing, and I encourage all of you to try, at least once in your hectic, email, iPhone laden lives, to bake your own bread. The outcome will surprise you, maybe shock you, but will certainly fill you with pride and joy, as you will be able to offer yourself, your family or your dining companions something so crude and raw and "standard," turned into a masterpiece. Science, magic, whatever you want to call it - the transformation of water, flour, yeast and a pinch of salt into bread might just change your life.

In Madrid, you can attend artisan workshops led by Javier Marca of BAK Madrid. For more inspiration watch Peter Reinhart below on TED Talks. Learn the 101 of bread from its humble beginnings to our tables and mouths.

A homemade creation. A little butter or Spanish olive oil and yuuummmm. 


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