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Friday Bread Basket 10/13/23
Ryeday the 13th
Hello from the Wordloaf Friday Bread Basket, a weekly roundup of links and items relating to bread, baking, and grain. As I mentioned on Monday, I’m in ryeland over here working on recipes for the book. Pictured above is the basic, three-stage sourdough rye that will be the base recipe for the others in the book (and which is anything but basic itself). For years I’ve neglected 100%-rye breads as not really my thing, but now they are 100% my thing, and I’m very excited about this part of book development.
For the always-excellent Smart Mouth, Melissa Haun writes about the second-most popular bread in Brazil, after pão de queijo, a simple crusty roll that is a distant cousin to the baguette:
To make matters even more interesting, this simple roll has a seemingly infinite number of names. Depending on the region of Brazil, it might be called pão francês (French bread), pãozinho (little bread), pão de sal (salt bread), cacetinho, carioquinha… the list goes on.
Its most widely recognized name, pão francês, gives us some insight into its origins. In the early 20th century, Brazilians started imitating early versions of the famous French baguette. They added a bit of sugar and fat and shaped it into rolls instead of oblong loaves.
At the time, there was a movement in Brazil to embrace European trends and culture, which was accelerated by an increase in international travel and imports. French culture in particular was seen as highly prestigious (similar to how it’s been fetishized in the U.S. for centuries).
Eater SF documented the horror that is Benicia, CA’s One House Bakery’s recreation of a life-sized “clicker”, from HBO’s zombie-virus drama The Last of Us, made entirely of bread:
Aptly titled “The Last of Crust,” this clicker version of a zombie is made of bread and wiring like the former bread statues made by the Solano County business. The viral creations are all made to be entered in the Downtown Benicia Main Street Scarecrow Contest, this year marking the event’s 16th year. In an email, One House Bakery owner Hannalee Pervan, who makes all the creations alongside her mom and bakery co-owner Catherine Pervan, said the owners fell in love with the show. “And let’s be honest,” Pervan wrote. “We also fell in love with Pedro Pascal.”
Standing as tall as one of the show’s zombies, the entry sports a One House Bakery tee beneath a hoodie while the mushrooms spill out from its chest and head. A wall of cordyceps in all their mutating glory stands behind the bread-y creature. Only time will tell if One House Bakery wins the competition, with judging ending Sunday, October 23, and all entrants on display for the rest of the month in downtown Benicia. Paper voting ballots are available at Benicia Main Street, the 30 participating businesses, and the Benicia Farmers Market.
Down by law
“I had to get creative,” said Carter, 37, who spent a total of 12 years behind bars, beginning with a stint at the New Jersey Training School for Boys, a juvenile detention center, for armed robbery and home invasion. He was 16. In the years that followed, he was in and out of prison for various offenses.
Today, pizza is still Carter’s specialty — but rather than improvising it in prison, he’s crafting it as the executive chef of one of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants, Down North Pizza. The eatery only employs formerly incarcerated people, many of whom struggle to find work once they’re released.
The Detroit-style square pies at Down North Pizza have been showered with accolades, including being listed recently in The Washington Post’s Best Pizza in America and the New York Times 2021 The Restaurant List, The 50 Places in America we’re most excited about right now.
That’s it for this week’s bread basket. Have a peaceful weekend, see you all on Monday.