I love bread. There, I admit it. The stuff is like crack to me. Bread with everything, bread on its own, bread to be chunked and dunked into creamy soups or to sop up the vinegary juices left in the bottom of the salad bowl. Crusty Italian bread to drizzle with green as grass olive oil and darkly glossy aged balsamic. If you really want to push the boat out, roast a bulb of garlic and squish those soft, caramel coloured cloves into the bread first. Then watch your work mates avoid you the next day.
Home made pita used as a scoop for houmous, papery thin lavash to wrap around a pile of grilled meat and salad, a fresh baked, malty seeded loaf, thick cut and sandwiched with ham off the bone, a French stick still warm in the middle, torn into pieces and spread with unsalted butter and apricot preserve, focaccia with its sheen of olive oil and fluffy insides that seem to hug the fillings you put into it. Greek village bread, made bouncy with μαστίχα (mastic - is also used in Turkish ice cream so stop it melting in the fierce summer heat) simply eaten with sharp olives and slices of cheese.
Even the white slice has its place. Usually in a Breville Sandwich Toaster or for that quickfire bacon sarnie when you have little time and even less energy, though I will say now that it's not often that I turn to that kind of loaf.
So many breads, so little time. So many carbohydrates, so bad for me!
The act of baking bread for people makes me feel absurdly competent, and very domestic. It's a Mother Earth thing I suppose. Being able to produce a loaf of quality and with serious heart, so people will fall on it with glee and leave nothing but the crumb and a feeling of contentment.
Talk to me of your bread loves.
Today someone sent me a link to this recipe, and it seems that I may have to try it when I am next in my house - and kitchen - for a weekend. I rather like the writing the accompanies it too.
Here's to my next Staff of Life project. When I get around to it.