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Artisan Breads...

Winter is wrapping up, but there remains a chill in the air, so there is still time to bake fresh bread! As I attempt to up the nutritional status quo of my family,  I have taken to baking bread as often as I can, to replace the store bought stuff. You cannot imagine the amount of great flours that are out there: barley flour, rice flour, whole wheat, spelt flour, sprouted grains, garbanzo bean flour! Each adds something new, each affects the texture and sweetness of the final loaf.  Whole grain flours are an art unto themselves, they take three, sometimes four risings, and while that may seem like an extravagance of time,  it's actually quite easy do since 90% of the time the bread is just sitting in a bowl rising!

I have started to experiment with embellishment on my bread tops. For those of you in the Dolci class you may notice this loaf has a homage to the dreaded weave stitch...

This one sports a floral motif!

I was inspired by the work of a Thai artist whose work is a bit heavy for this blog, but I have since found many delightful examples of work that boggle the mind! 

And the examples go on and on. There is even a tradition using a recipe of salted bread dough to make exquisitely decorative breads that will never ever be eaten! The next bread to conquer will be a true sourdough from scratch -- but as the weather seems to be improving every day, I might have to wait until next winter!

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©Orna Willis
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