There’s a story behind every loaf of homemade bread, and this one’s got a 5 star tale.
What happens when you’re planning to bake a rustic whole-wheat loaf, and you realize that you’re out of whole-wheat flour? I’m cooking a family dinner with my friend John MacPherson, chef and co-owner of the Foster Harris House bed and breakfast in Washington, Virginia. We think it might be nice to add one of my specialties - a rustic whole-wheat boule – to the menu. The only problem – there’s no whole-wheat flour in the pantry.
What to do? The town of Washington is roughly about three blocks long with just a handful of residents. The nearest grocery store is probably 20 miles away. The obvious solution? You ring up the neighbors and see if they’ll loan you a cup or two of flour. But, there really aren’t that many neighbors …
John picks up the phone, and within minutes we’re walking up Main Street toward The Inn at Little Washington. You may have heard of the Inn - a world renowned 5 star restaurant of some notoriety.
We stroll up to the back kitchen door and knock. Inside, I spot a squadron of kitchen team members, all wearing the signature Dalmatian-spotted aprons. There is a flurry of activity and someone produces a container of whole-wheat flour. Right neighborly.
We saunter back to the Foster Harris House and I begin the bread baking ritual. The boule rises beautifully. The mahogany-colored crust is crisp and the crumb is exceedingly tender.
We dine on the patio as the sun sets, and slather the warm bread with butter and honey. It is an exceptional loaf. It must be the terroir of the whole-wheat flour.
Gladys Kravitz, eat your heart out!
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