The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Authentic Bread - You're Doing It Wrong!

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hanseata's picture
hanseata

Authentic Bread - You're Doing It Wrong!

After reading Don Sadowsky's guest post "The Hole Truth" on Barbara's wonderful blog "Bread & Companatico", I knew I had met a kindred spirit.

Beginning with his nouvel interpretation of Munch's famous painting - how lame seemed my 12th grade essay on the same subject in comparison! - he mused on the holeyness of bread, going back to the caveman's gritty gruel and ending his discourse with St. Chad's holey grail at Tartine.

Eager to further this hole discussion I invited Don to share more of his eye-opening insights with a guest post on my humble blog. He graciously accepted, so I'm happy to present to you:

AUTHENTIC BREAD - YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

 I have a huge amount of respect for people like Daniel Leader. He treks all the way from the U.S. to Europe and dodges rolling boulders, booby traps and angry natives to find THE guy who makes the best kringenschmaltzenblinkenbrot in the world.

Daniel Leader's French Walnut Bread - not authentic?

Then he spends a decade cleaning out the stables so that the master will teach him the secrets to put in a cookbook for the likes of you and me. I’ve made some of his breads, and they’re fantastic. Authentic breads, people say.

You know another group I have great respect for? Bakers who take difficult ingredients that have been used since the dawn of time to make bricks, and manage to turn them into gorgeous, airy and perfectly shaped loaves better than anything I could make with the finest wheat flour and Peter Reinhart looking over my shoulder making helpful suggestions.

They’ll use 100% einkorn or barley to create a boule that’s better supported than a suspension bridge (and tastier too!).

100% Einkorn Bread - solution to our crumbling infrastructure?

Well crafted, impressive breads? Certainly. Authentic bread like what folks ate in the old days? Not so much. Do you really think that most people dined upon lovingly baked loaves made with golden wheat from tall fronds waving in a gentle breeze and harvested on a sunny afternoon by a smiling Tuscan ragazza in colorful garb?

To find out what authentic breads were all about, including a downloadable BreadStorm formula, please follow me to my Brot & Bread blog here!

:) :) :)

Comments

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

So many 'real' loaves now lining the flower beds. To think, I could have saved so many for the table had I only thought of using my half-inch, variable speed, reversible crumb enhancement tool.

cheers and danke for a fun article,

gayr

hanseata's picture
hanseata

that you surrounded your flower beds with would-be loaves that only needed a little bit of "enhancement"....

I'm glad you like Don's and my dead serious contribution to the discussion about authentic bread!

Karin

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

object to the notion that Hemp is an unnatural bread additive!  A German born lady name Karin got us both 'Hooked on Hemp'  especially in bread as an addictive additive.  You have to 'Hip to use Hemp' and it is so sought after it is $10.99 a pound just for Hemp seeds so ......Hip is not enough..... you Have to be Rich too!  So you have to be 'Hip and Rich to buy Hemp' for bread!

Happy Baking Hempsterette:-)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

That's all Don's fault - I herewith distance myself from his outlandish claim that hemp doesn't belong in authentic bread. Hopefully Lucy will forgive me - I don't want her to turn her cold butt towards me in case I come visit you one day.

Karin

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

about rope fiber or the stalky bits of the plant, same like sawdust, paper pulp, etc.   Where's the rag content?  Salt might be overdone as it was valuable.  Aged peat for a darker crumb? 

Mini

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I was wondering about that, too, Mini.

Maybe also add a bit of dried mouse droppings... Aged peat is a nice touch. Or, perhaps, just some good old ashes after burning the peat.

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Karin,

Thanks for the insightful and entertaining peek into the past.   Makes me even more grateful for the generations of bakers who have sacrificed so much to bake 'good' bread for us to eat.

Sorry to say but I do think this is one formula you have posted that I will pass on despite the fact that it was so nicely done with %'s and footnotes too!

Take Care and Thanks for the smile *^)

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Janet, you stalwart baker through all of life's ups and downs, desert me in this important quest? To bake the real, authentic bread?

I'm soo disappointed!

Karin

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

So sorry to disappoint.  Perhaps if my children were younger and still interested in baking….When young they 'baked' a lot but their preference was for pies since they required nothing from me hence they could bake on their own whenever they wanted to.

You may want to try their recipe which I have converted to baker's math so folks here who want to try it can fully grasp all that is needed to create a perfect pie.  The beauty of what the kids concocted is that they were so simple; requiring only 2 ingredients.  Sometimes they would embellish if something struck their fancy.

Formula:

Dirt    100%

Water   70 −80% depending upon the consistency of the dirt.

Method:

Gather fresh dirt in a pail. 

Add water and mix until all ingredients are blended and dough holds together.  

Dough will stick together but not be sticky to the touch.  Maybe a bit tacky.  Trick is to add just enough liquid so that dough forms one solid mass that is easy to handle.

Pat dough into 'patties' about 4" in diameter and approx. 1/2" thick.

Set in sun to bake for approx. 24 hours.  Longer if clouds are present.

You will know the pies are done because they will be hard and have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.

My children called their creations 'mud pies' and tried unsuccessfully to sell them to  neighbors.  

When they got older they discovered that mud pies have been around for centuries.  Perhaps a formula that outdates yours???

So I guess a good mud pie is as much a story of triumph as your authentic bread.

 

*^)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Janet, you crack me up!

Big hug, Karin

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

get older than 8 years old, I have to admit that some of us still make these mud pies even in  our  60's with slight variations of course - you know Lucy can't help herself!.  The variations all seem to revolve around beer or Bourbon in my case.  Must be a 'Southern Pie Thing' for me :-)

Loved your comment Janet. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

There are many ways to approach the subject of authenticity. Nostalgia seems to satisfy some human need to feel connected to the past, to have "roots." However, the "good old days" were really not so good in terms of food quality or, for most of humanity, quantity. Or of health status.

Why, it's hard to find a good old case of pellagra or of beri beri anymore. You have to go to Africa to see Kwashiorkor or rickets. These days, people are living to old age with a mouth full of their own teeth!

Ahhh, but this is just a phase we are passing through. Leave it to the fast food industry and the agri-industrialists. The horrible consequences of burdening society with unproductive elders will be relieved by the premature deaths of millions of their morbidly obese children. And the cult of immunization refusers will take care of the rest! Bring back good old, authentic whooping cough, measles, polio ... Do it before they are totally eradicated, like small pox!

Ya gotta see the bright side of progress too!

David, who enjoyed nostalgia a lot more in the good old days.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Those good old viruses are endangered species, and should be protected. Thinking of our glut of unproductive elders another solution comes to mind - what about Soylent Green?

Thanks for your insights, David, you are always an inspiration!

Karin

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

When I feel the symptoms coming on, I remind myself that things ain't like they used to be, and they never were.

g

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

When I feel the symptoms coming on, I remind myself that things ain't like they used to be, and they never were.

g

Damn! text didn't post on first attempt.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Karin

There is something wrong with the system - It does this sometimes with my posts, too - only the subject line posts and the rest vanishes.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Everyone's a critic; even forum applications.