Who gets to name a bread? Who gets to give their stamp of approval to say whether the bread lives up to the name? There's no simple answer to this, though here's one guarantee; trying to answer it is a great way drive yourself crazy.
And if you want to meet the head chefs of migraine makers, here's where they live; Brussels, home to the always-ready-to-bureaucratize anything, the EEU. Among its treats, a multitude of designated legal protections for foods and wines. Known as a "DOP"," these regulations define specific processes that include ingredients, timing, weights and types of cooking hardware (aka ovens!).
So what's this got to do with today's weather or this blog? Well, Pane di Altamura, bread from Italy's Altamura region has such a DOP. Recently in Bread history and practice ,baking writer William Rubel's forum, I was part of a conversation about this bread. A bunch of us were frustrated by the fact that without the Altamura's stamp-of-approval, my homemade version could not be legitimately called "Pane Di Altamura." The consensus? Rename the local version to "Altered-Mura" and, presto, our own DOP. All to say, the core ingredient to success in in this serious business? Don't take it too seriously.