It's been years since visiting Wales to see my friend Mick Hartley, the "no bollocks baker" behind Bethesdabakin. Here's a recent exchange or gift long overdue I wanted to share his story regarding a present about hats!
Lapsed religious obligations can't defeat more primal familial ties. Guilt hits Jew, he bakes matzoh. I used ancient Italian grains (Sicilian Palmento, Parman Miracolo) Einkorn flour from Maine, and then some white whole wheat from Montana. Sadly one last matzoh got carbonized, my offering to the days of old. Chag Semeach!
Banh Mi is the Vietnamese sandwich that captures that nation's delicate flavors combined with remnants of its French colonial past . Below is my home made version. It's a baguette filled with Southeast Asian umami fillings which can include anything from grilled beef to liver pate, along with carrots, pickles and condiments. Recently I found a recipe from Alberto Ferran that used some modernist ingredients, namely flourless tirsol. A powder usually used for frying foods, it is used with Banh Mi to crispen the crust. Adapting it with sourdough, here's my first Banh Mi. Pretty damned tasty!
Pan de Yuca is a gluten-free, levain-free South American bread made with baking powder and lots of cheese. Traditional to Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil, it does make use of tapioca or yuca starch. Here is a batch I made, along with a recipe.
Sicily's "pane cunzatu" delivers that smooth sense of umami. Rooted in tradition, the flavors capture this area's geography of land and sea, from fish to flour. I took some time to make a Pane Nero, then used it as the canvas for the fillings of this traditional panino. Here's the steps in pictures. Bonta!
Chewing the Fat, by author Karima Moyer-Nocci, is the story of Italy's oral food tradition, from fascism to la Dolce Vita. It's a fantastic book. Talking about the book with my friend Karima, specifically the food that came out of Italy's early 20th century colonization of Ethiopia, she suggested a combination loaf from Italian flour along with Ethiopia's super grain known as teff. Using Sicilian semola cuore, I made Lievito Madre with teff and a handful of millet. Here's what I got.
I have been having problems with my rye sourdough. The final product has tended to be super dense, acid, or just dead on arrival. What was wrong? I queried Quentin Berthonneau, whose advice reminded me of previous input from Kamel Saci. Smart minds think alike, I guess. Anyway, their suggestions were about temperature; warm up the water, refresh and boom, no more problems. And now I got some sweet rye to smile about!