I came to the baking world originally to bake bread; my interest in pastries came along only recently. I’m really enjoying my current project of baking my way through the book Kaffeehaus, but man does not live on sweets alone. Occasionally he needs a hearty slice of hearth-baked bread instead. When I need a break from all the sweetness, I bake up a loaf of bread like I remember from my days working at a little artisanal bakery in Portland, Maine.
I recently went to a restaurant here in Boston called Island Creek Oyster Bar to celebrate my wife’s promotion at work. (Yay babe! Well done!) Before the meal came, like in many restaurants, our waiter brought a basket of bread, which happened to be slices of their house-baked semolina-sesame bread. Pale yellow in color, with a dense, moist crumb and a satisfyingly crunchy crust enhanced with the nutty flavor of the sesame seeds, this was the type of bread that I just can’t get enough of and if I hadn’t had and appetizer and entree coming from the kitchen, I would have eaten the whole basket. I had to wipe a tear away when the waiter cleared the table with two uneaten slices remaining in the basket. I decided I had to make a loaf for myself and try to replicate the deliciousness from the restaurant.
I found a great website, WeekendBakery.com, created by a Dutch couple who live to bake artisanal breads on the weekend. My kind of couple! They have a recipe for semolina-sesame bread that I used to satisfy my craving for homemade hearth-baked bread. It was a lot of fun trying to remember the steps that we used at the bakery those some years ago to form perfectly-shaped loaves of bread. My first try in ____ years was satisfactory, but obviously there is room for improvement. Nothing left to do but bake again next weekend!
Hope your week is going well and thanks for reading!