“Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances.”
― Melissa Hill , Something From Tiffany’s
Often the villain in the culinary story is the bread. It’s delicious and satisfying carbs – and their endearing way of attaching themselves to your midriff and hanging on, with the tenacity of old chewing gum.
The offer of bread is regretfully refused by those of us who know and love it, secretly crying. Bread is virtuously demonized by the health influencers, posing with their tops hoisted over the washboard abs in the bathroom mirror. Bread is the thing the hungry crave the most.
It’s the thing that sneaks on to the table with oil and vinegar or garlic butter, and despite your stoicism, you are beguiled.. bewitched by the siren song, you don’t even care that another 5 euro goes on the bill.
I know all of this, and yet, the first place we check out in any village is the bakery.
Enjoy this carb-free journey, but I can’t promise you won’t run out for some first thing in the morning…
Pita Bread – Kalkan, Turkey
Pita bread is made just about everywhere, and comes to the table inflated just like a football, with sides of yoghurt or hummus and variations of shakshuka, a spicy tomato tip. If you venture into the kitchen (which we did) we had a fabulous demonstration, but I think the tandoor oven is really the hero in this case. Its immense heat, and the bravery of the operator, sticking the dough disc to the wall of the oven, are key to this fantastic bread. Its light and crisp with a bit of chew to it. Irresistible.
Baguette, St Foy Le Grande, France
There is no equivalent for this loaf from France, with its chewy crust and fluffy centre.
A line of people snaked out of the door of La Petrisane Patisserie, in Sainte Foy Le Grande, France, which immediately alerts you to the fact that something good is going on inside. Patrons departed clutching a veritable bunch of baguettes, I think we were the only people to buy one. That poor loaf barely made it back to our digs to be devoured shortly thereafter.
There is something about french bread that just can’t be replicated. Is it the water? Is it the wheat? I would love to know….
Icelandic loaves, Reykjavik, Iceland
The reputation of Braud & Co, Bakery preceded it with good reason. I would love to show you a photo of the still warm loaf we purchased, but it went straight home and was consumed covered in slathers of butter and honey. This was New Year’s Eve and staff were busy pumping out stock in preparation for their day off the following day. There were crowds drifting in and out waiting for the famous cinnamon rolls. Whilst waiting we worked our way through the other available options.
And it was all spectacular. Can’t recommend this place enough.
and back to Turkey again
Lachmucan, Istanbul. Watching the maestro of the oven was a massive treat, the dough was deftly shifted around the oven with an enormous paddle. It was important to stand clear of the paddle handle as it poked in and out of the oven, producing piles of flat bread, dimpled with the imprint of fingers, or coated in toppings to produce the wonderful pide.
Do you love bread too? I’d love to hear your stories of breads you’ve enjoyed….
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