Men and bread

What’s up with the men and the bread-making lately? Not that I’m complaining……in the last week alone, I’ve had conversations with 4 different men about making bread, and all of them gave me a fresh loaf to take home. I’ve tried the New York Times no-knead breads before, and have never really ended up with what I wanted – perhaps due to my loaf pans.  So – after some good tries, I gave up on bread-making (and in hindsight, it was a 5th guy, Alex Hittle – whose crusty and reliably delicious no-knead NYTimes bread got me started back in 2006). My father-in-law Daryl Garber has perfected this no-knead NYTimes bread, and taught me a lot about handling dough. Lately, he’s using kinds of different grains and making fruited, nut breads. Yum. Here’s a recent loaf from Daryl:

But recently, it keeps re-appearing – that old, familiar, luscious, yeasty, crunchy, crusted stuff, with big holes and great tilth. (I know its bread, not soil, but tilth seems the right descriptor.) Below is Mike’s bread – some kind of fantastic whole wheat, I wonder if there’s cornmeal, thick, chewy, soft inside, begging for butter, makes you happy, yeasty-smelling bread. 

Mike uses an outdoor brick oven. Which is cool and hot at the same time. He puts the bread in, bakes it, then has enough heat for the fastest pizzas you’ve ever seen – put the pizza in the oven, block it up and – WHAM – two minutes to pizza-heaven. TWO MINUTES, that’s how hot this brick oven is.

Whoa.

Kirke does the Cook’s Illustrated version of Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread – google it and you can find all kinds of versions of this bread – it’s delicious, has great crumb and texture. Here it is raising, and his recipe, below.

My brother-in-law Mont does a similar version, but made me write down some further instructions, including the words “King Arthur flour”. Of course, Mont has known me for 28 years, so maybe THAT’S why I had to write down the name of the particular flour…..he’s trying to give me every possible advantage. Mont’s bread is right here – YUM –

and his recipe is right here (which he recited from memory) –

And here it is in its shaggy stage – Mont keeps this bread going every DAY. At any given moment, it’s resting and/or just baked. EVERY single day.  And he and his whole family are thin and fit. And eat this stuff every single day. Explain THAT.

So – 4 wonderful men, with their associated delicious bread, all of them feeding fantastic women, which is another great part of this story – each of these 4 has a terrific wife that I am crazy about – one, my awesome mother-in-law, then my sister in law, with whom I’m sharing a 50th birthday…..a third, Linda – so cool that I joined a garden club just to hang out with her, and the fourth – Carrie, so clearly a kindred spirit, I felt at home the second I met her.

I guess the men and bread thing is just one more lucky circumstance. Although he’s often spoken about it, when I showed this to Kevin – “hey – look at all these guys that make this bread………don’tcha wanna……??……”

He just looked at me.

That would be a NO.

~ by kbosin on March 25, 2011.

5 Responses to “Men and bread”

  1. new stuff here
    http://gitmo.smugmug.com/Events/Rodeo/Tucsun-2011/15960624_8U5y5#1225916153_KtGxb

    • Once again – your photos are so beautiful, they knock my socks off. I’ll add a link right now, don’t know why I hadn’t before. Wow, Paul!!!!!

  2. LOVE this post! lucky Marcy and Lila and your friends! What I would do for a man that made me bread – are you listening, Ed???

    I tried the no knead and it was a no go for me. It was flat and dry, it didn’t rise at all. Boo. I want bread!

  3. Hi Kathy, Happy Spring! Love this piece, and the thought of all this luscious bread (and men baking it) makes me drool. A good read: 52 Loaves by William Alexander – an entertaining book about one man’s quest for the perfect loaf of bread.

    Take care and hope to see you over at the Easton farmer’s market sometime soon – your crab-eating friend from CBMM Waterman’s Appreciation Day.

    • Hi Terry! Book sounds great – thank you! I’ll try it. Sounds like a good gift for my bread making friends. I look forward to seeing you again and let’s just make a date for sure to meet at the crab table at Waterman’s Appreciation Day again! That was SO FUN. See you at Easton FM – I’ll be there most Saturdays. Thanks!

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