Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Croutons from the Bread Kitchen
Today seemed like a series of odd episodes. There’s a certain drama that exists in any workplace and a bakery is no different. Things go wrong, chefs complain, people screw up and sometimes voices are raised. But you still have to produce bread. The production schedule supersedes any drama and you must deliver bread.

We delivered two varieties. Broa is a long rectangular loaf of cornbread that hails from the northern part of Portugal. The dough was sunny gold and almost fluffy, yet the finished product is hearty enough to stand up to a Portuguese soup made with cabbage and chorizo.

Krauterquarkbrot has perhaps the longest name of any bread, and while it does contain the dreaded rye sour, it is also nicely flavored with fromage blanc and fresh herbs. In fact, the translation of the German name means “herb bread made with quark cheese.”

Later in the afternoon the pace quieted down a bit. The Maitre Boulanger is preparing for a competition and his mind appears to be on the event. Chef K will be back for our final two classes. News of her return pleased us.

For a brief moment, Chef Jacques Pepin breezed through the kitchen, and I was reminded of all those aspects of food – the history, the legacy, and the time-honored techniques – that keep me in the game.

© 2006 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

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