Salute to Bread
When asked to give a salute for a meal, this is the one I like most:
“Bread, so that this house may never know hunger. Salt, so that life may always have flavor. Wine, so that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”
Baking bread has been a very important part of my life, an anchor of weekly activity that brings pleasure to me and my family. Many years ago I built my outdoor wood-fired bread oven to satisfy a need to better understand how community bakers in Europe achieved such outstanding breads.
We are so fortunate in Asheville to celebrate the Artisan Bread Festival (www.tinyurl.com/yjotslh) each year. This celebration of bread continues to grow and attract top bakers and chefs who share their knowledge and experience with eager novices and homegrown experts. This year’s lineup included Jennifer Lapidus, who is the project coordinator of the N.C. Organic Bread Flour Project (www.tinyurl.com/yc84jn8). Jennifer seeks to bring North Carolina farmers, bakers, and millers together to preserve local native grains, establish a natural milling process, and help people understand the endangerment of the world’s wheat crops through monoculture.
Other artisans included Emily Buehler (author: Hand Kneading for Beginners), Mark Rosenstein (chef & author), Dave Bauer (baker & owner of Farm & Sparrow Bakery), Peter Reinhart (author, baker & teacher from Johnson & Wales) and Lionel Vatinet (baker & owner of Le Farm). These great instructors sacrifice their weekend to expand our awareness of the many different kinds of breads that are available locally and how important bread is to your table! We are so fortunate in WNC to have so many bakeries and it is my hope that one day each community will have a local baker providing fresh, natural, and wholesome breads that can be purchased while they are hot and fresh from the oven!
If you missed this great event, there is always next year or you may want to attend an event sponsored by Slow Food Asheville rosenstein, (www.slowfoodasheville.org/Events.htm). They are hosting “The Best Pizza on Earth!” at Steve Bardwell and Gail Lunsford of Wake Robin Farm Bakery (www.tinyurl.com/nz5pka). Steve’s wood-fired oven has been turning out outstanding bread for many years and here is your opportunity to see it up close and have a great time while contributing to the FEAST (www.slowfoodasheville.org/Committies.htm) fund raiser for Slow Food Asheville.