Maybe you've tried a pan full of water. Maybe you've tried to find some way to hack up one of those Steam Shark things. Maybe you just open the door and spray. Those days are over, because the best way to get your oven good and steamy
to keep your bread crusts thin and crisp has been discovered, it doesn't require anything you won't almost certainly already have around, and it's dead simple.
Just over a month out from the final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest
, to be held in Denmark, and the line-up of acts contesting semi-finals one
, and getting a bye into the grand final
, is clear. While there's the usual rivalries, and a special focus on how Ukraine and Russia will do in the voting, the entry that is receiving much early attention is from never-winning Poland
... [more inside]
'The ploughman's lunch
is a UK pub meal who's core components are cheese, chutney, and bread. It can also include such items as boiled eggs, ham, and pickled onions, and is accompanied with beer.' [more inside]
"Tool use in animals is rare, and bespeaks a level of intelligence that most of us are unaccustomed to associating with non-humans. That's what makes this video of a Green Heron using bread to lure fish to their doom so remarkable. One would be hard pressed to argue that this bird is not thinking critically about the technique it is employing to catch its prey. Not only is it demonstrating logic and reason in its capacity to understand that a piece of bread can be used as bait, it's also passing up the chance to eat the bread in favor of a better meal, actively weighing cost and benefit, pitting immediate gratification against delayed satisfaction. It's a stunning display of animal intelligence.
Atomic Bread Making At Home
is an in-depth article covering the ingredients, manufacture, and chemistry of; market research into; and social impact of the 1950's-era USDA No.1 white pan loaf.
"Long ago Occidental man acquired a definite preference for raised bread instead of cooked cereals and flat breads. Bread reigned over the ancient world; no food before or after exerted such mastery over man. The Egyptians, who invented it, based their entire administrative system on it; the Jews made bread the starting point of their religious and social laws. The Greeks created profound and solemn legends for their Bread Church of Eleusis. And the Romans converted bread into a political factor. They ruled by it, conquered an entire world by it, and lost the world again through it. At last the day came when Jesus Christ made consummate all the spiritual significance that had become attached to it, saying, 'Eat! I am the bread.'" (Reinhart
, Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy History
). (Google Books)
The Romans ruled through bread and circuses; "bread" (and "dough") are money, and the "bread-winner" is the head of the household. The next big invention is always "the greatest thing since sliced bread" Wheat, Rye, Brioche, Challah, Matzo, Limpa--a look inside the long and fascinating history of bread. [more inside]
60 years ago, the Chorleywood Process
was born. The new, fast-baking, lighter loaf
conquered the market in Britain and across the world, after the hard wholemeal National Loaf
being the only bread available during rationing until it ended in 1953. But despite Chorleywood giving us 'the cheapest bread in the world', thethe old style
is making a comeback
. [more inside]
Cool little video profile of Chad Robertson, co-owner, with his wife, Elisabeth Prueitt, of San Francisco's Tartine bakery. Chad is obsessed with bread
. [more inside]
. It's people. In bread.
Videos about people who love (and know) coffee
... It's Obsessives
, by CHOW
. Useful tips and fascinating personalities. (Some of these were linked previously on the Blue, but they work great together as an ensemble.)
July 6 (or maybe July 7
) marked the 130th
anniversary of the birth of Otto Frederick Rohwedder
, the inventor of sliced bread
. [more inside]
Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet
documents the radical puppet theater's
Domestic Resurrection Circus, held every summer on its Glover, Vermont grounds from 1975 to 1998, and which featured puppeteers from around the world. They no longer hold the yearly festival, as the crowds grew out of control
, but they are still active [ 2009 documentary | part 2 | 3 ]
, and as always, serving free bread and art as panacea
. There's plenty more Bread and Puppet Theater on Youtube. [more inside]
are masculine, upwardly mobile men, aged 25-44, who are passionate about cooking and the rewards that it might bring – pleasure, praise and potential seduction.
for the gastrosexual. [more inside]
The perfect Sunday nosh: A short history of the bagel
. In an age when allegedly edible breadstuffs that my grandmother would have barely recognized
have become ubiquitous
, did you know that even the Pharaohs had a yen for the iconic
Jewish comfort food that is as much a symbol of New York City
as baguettes are to Paris? Bagels turn out to be surprisingly easy to make at home
, too, though they won't be the same without a schmear
and some nice Nova
on Ask.) Extra credit: the history of everything
Here's your chance to bake bread like a master. Cookingbread.com
. The detailed step-by-step instructions include photos to help guide you through each bread recipe, from start to finish. You will find many different kinds of recipes for bread machines, or family classics such as cheese bread
and banana bread
. I just made some cracked wheat
this past weekend. Also includes printable recipe cards
. So get baking. [more inside]
How to Make Love to the Dough
Instructional video on bread and love making. Portions NSFW.
Comedian Mitch Hedberg
died two years ago this Thursday. On March 29, see if a local deli
will severely ruin their reputation
as a tribute to his memory.
"When you squeeze it, its golden brown crust should crackle and even sing. Its aroma should be a little bit sweet, a little bit toasty. There should be a good marriage between its crust and its interior crumb. When the crumb is pressed, it should spring back rapidly. Its color should be off-white and its cavities widely distributed and uneven in size. Its nutty, buttery taste should be both sweet and savory - like a good chardonnay.”
Bread expert and Cornell prof Steven Kaplan talks with Conan
, to pretty hilarious effect, about his latest book
. You may have to snoop around the NBC site - I couldn't find a direct link.
The man is really into baguettes
. He's given a few entertaining radio interviews
, and a New York magazine profile
of him features a list of his six favorite NYC baguettes
If you don't have a great bakery nearby, you can try
Bonus Game: Balance the Baguette! (from a previous post)
recipes for making your own Vagina Danishes
and Ejaculaires! SFW, but may be difficult to explain to prudish or hungry co-workers.
The Secret To Great Bread,
according to Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery
, is time. If you have 20 hours to spare, you can make a spectacular, no-knead loaf
with the simplest of ingredients. Here's his recipe
, and here's another.
Of course, there are those who would decry the Staff of Life
anyway you slice it, but even they can enjoy some hot gluten on yeast bread porn. via the monkies
micropayments: automatically tip the weblogs you favour 1¢ each time you visit. (Via Kottke, perhaps unsurprisingly.)
Balance the baguette
without hitting the croissants. [note: flash]
Since Sliced Bread:
-sponsored contest to find and develop ideas to improve the U.S. economy - the winner will receive $100,000. Entries range from virally-spreading an anti-exploitation shame meme
to increasing US world domination
Other greatest ideas since sliced bread include your own personal jesus toast, corporate logos on toast, and Liberty.
Bread is dangerous
Research on bread indicates that: More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days. (More research inside)
"Salt rising bread
is, when at it's best, as if a delicately reared, unsweetened plain cake had had an affair with a Pont l'Eveque cheese."
There's even a mystery
to go along with your (cheese-flavored) bread.
Due to temporary budget shortfalls, I find myself spending my Saturdays elbow deep in breadmaking. Sourdough
bread is perhaps one of the most primal forms of bread relying an an artificial ecosystem of hundreds of different bacteria and yeasts
to digest grain flours and produce gas. The souring of the dough has complex effects
on the flavor of the resulting bread and is necessary for low-protein flours such as rye. Free starter cultures can be obtained from the friends of Carl
who continue his tradition of mailing his culture to anyone who sent a self-addressed stamped envelope. You can buy cultures from around the world,
but if you want to live dangerously, you can cultivate your own by just using a mixture of flour and water relying on microbial flora growing on the flour. Sourdough in some ways puts the art of hacking back into breadmaking
because it requires a deeper understanding of what is going on beyond just throwing a set of dry and wet ingredients into a bread machine.
Which could explain why I'm still lucky to get something other than a brick. But like beermaking, the DIY satisfaction makes up for many flaws in the final product. (And on final edit, I can't get away with making this post without the obligatory link to the sourdough faqs.
Up to 35 million
Americans are on a low-carb diet. Food manufacturers have responded with more than 600
new low-carb products this year. Restaurants are altering their menus. Online communities
are springing up to share information about the low-carb lifestyle. With this big target market, how hard will corporations push to expand the low-carb movement? Do the health warnings
about the diet foretell an increase in medical problems, or will we see a generation of healthy, slender, pork-rind chomping families?
The BBC Is Looking For The Best Sandwich In The World:
Can you help? Sandwiches are supposedly easy but, come to think of it, perfect
sandwiches are actually quite difficult to invent and produce. Bread gets wet; lettuce wilts; flavours and textures clash. Personally, I like English tea sandwiches
best; though the Mediterranean
versions are a meal in themselves. But if you had to stake your life and reputation on one fulfilling and tastebud-enticing sandwich, which one would it be? To go.
A group of over 300 residents and merchants in California’s Bay Area has established a local currency called BREAD (a rough acronym for Bay Area Regional Exchange and Development), based on hours of work valued at $12 an hour. Through the BREAD network, which now has over $20,000 worth of currency in circulation, members can pay for dinner, carpentry, childcare, tutoring, clerical assistance or organic produce. Tired of traditional activism, founder Miyoko Sakashita wanted to create a positive local economy and “stop our resources from supporting global corporations that are not accountable to people and the environment.” Check it out at Breadhours.org
The Upper Crust Of Bread:
What happens when the greatest bread-maker
, Lionel Poilâne, talks to America's finest baker
, Peter Reinhart, and her most fanatical bread-taster
, Edward Behr? I'll tell you what: a scrumptious, crackling and very knowledgeable conversation about the the wonders of the baguette
, the complexities of simple bread and the deliciousness
["Forgiveness for mistranslations"
] of the staff of life
in general. Last year, for the first time ever, an American baker
beat the French competition to win the "Best Bread in the World" award. Will what recently happened with wine in the New World now happen with bread
? Will the Americans [peanut butter and jelly sandwiches notwithstanding
] begin abandoning industrial, pre-sliced and sweetened white bread, just as Europe increasingly and depressingly succumbs
to it? [Main link requires Real Audio.
Cancer and Carbohydrates (per FT)
may be closely linked according to recent international study - and not just any carbohydrates but those that are our favorites - deep fried potatoes, rice, and bread all may contain high levels of cancer causing acrylamides. What's your average carb eater to do?
Jesus! In The Raisin Bread? What Kinda Holy Communion Is That?!
Better read Helen Hull Hitchcock's
fascinating column on Catholic.net
to find out: "In recent months Catholics from around the country have been reporting with increasing frequency that their parishes are using "real" bread (i.e. table bread) instead of Communion hosts. Many are concerned that the validity of the Mass is affected. "Have I really received Christ?" is a frequent question. Are they right to be concerned? You bet
...So, have progressive Catholics gone too far
? And what does the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani
, known to all as IGMR
, have to say about that
Snow is falling throughout the WRAL-TV viewing area
Southern snow. Better get milk and bread! It will be like going to the Kroger in Moscow, but you must have milk and bread. Wow, I love it when it snows hard in the South, what a magic time. Only once every 5 or 10 years do we see a foot of snow.
Bring back the classic cut!
An online petition to bring back the old "V-shaped canyon" style.