"Bread is the burps and sweat of Yeast", Peter Reinhart says.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lauriane sent me this lovely video of Peter Reinhart talking about bread. It's rather lovely, so, if you have 15-odd minutes to spare, do watch it. He's an enthusiastic baker who speaks about the motivational properties of bread. My particular favourite moment is when he describes bread as the 'burps and sweat' of yeast, and a little later, as 'solid beer'.

So I've been on a bit of a bread binge - which is why I was sent the video, of course - and it's only getting better. It began with Muriel Barbery's The Gourmet (which I mention here) and I'm now a few loaves on now with todays' baking: Nigella's Maple and Pecan Bread and a really delicious seed loaf. I'm really excited about today's bakery so I apologise in advance for the many photographs I'm going to be posting.

Here's my seed loaf as it came out of the oven. Yum! It is much larger than I thought it would be, and, in fact, I had to give it a good tug so it would come out of the oven because it had just about grown into the grill cover!

Here's a close-up of the crust. This is the kind of loaf that I'd pick up off a bakery shop if I was given half a chance. It's a plain white bread recipe and I simply mixed in a delicious seed mix of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseed.

And, in case you weren't hungry yet, here's a close-up of the top crust. YUM.

The seed loaf sliced beautifully; it's probably the best bread I've ever had - certainly because I baked it so it's partially a delicious recipe and partially the taste of baking triumph. I made Graeme taste it and he assured me that it was 'very nice'. Hm.

Ah, and here's the close-up of Nigella's Maple and Pecan bread. It's a lovely sweet wholemeal bread with nutty bits (I used a mix of walnuts and pecan nuts). It's savoury enough to have with cheese, and sweet enough to have with jam.

I'm not enamoured with wholemeal loaves as a rule, but this one has a nice balance of sweet nuttiness and wholemeal goodness that it's rather pleasant. Mm.

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