Friday Bread Basket 10/29/21
Pizzember Eve edition
Welcome to this week’s Wordloaf Friday Bread Basket, a roundup of links and items relating to bread, baking, and grain. This week’s email is a transitional one, moving from pan de muerto season into our 2nd annual month-long series of pizza-related content, aka Pizzember 2021.
But first, an announcement: The IACP Media + Cookbook Awards ceremony—for which Wordloaf was nominated in the ‘Newsletter’ category—was this past weekend, and, alas, we did not win. But really, just being nominated—after barely a year in operation, and as a one-man-band—was honor enough, and there is always next year.
The winner was Charlotte Druckman and her Essential Cookbooks newsletter, which is part of WaPo’s Voraciously. I’m a big fan of Charlotte and of her newsletter, and am more happy for her than I am sad we did not win.
But best of all? This is what Charlotte wrote on Twitter after the award was announced:
BEST CONSOLATION PRIZE EVAR!
Now onto our regularly-scheduled pizza/pan de muerto content.
A Related Tweet
I know I shared a couple of pan de muerto/Día De Los Muertos explainers last week, but there’s another one you should read as well, via Andrea Aliseda, a writer I love. Her piece, written for Shutterstock, explores the holiday and its history from her own personal vantagepoint as a Mexican-American:
But, my family didn’t have an altar, flowers, or even pictures of our ancestors, for that matter—save for two pencil portraits of my dad’s grandparents.
For the most part, we were far from and out of touch with our extended family in central Mexico. We didn’t know enough about our ancestors or even our distant recently-deceased relatives to really mourn them.
Of course, because nothing and no one in this life is promised, I now have a handful of close family members to grieve.
But, it wasn’t until I started learning about my great-great paternal grandparents, Herminia and Cleto, as part of my recent journey to reconnect with my Mexican heritage, that I found myself yearning to more actively remember and honor my dearly departed.
I love the Atticus pan de muerto recipe I shared last week, but as I said then, it is not the classic anise-scented pan dulce one that most people know. For that style of pdm, you can now go over to King Arthur Baking’s blog, where Rossi Anastopoulo just shared a beautiful-looking recipe from Pati Jinich (of PBS' Pati’s Mexican Table):
[I]n a craft baking industry that skews overwhelmingly white, and in a nation where the iconography of wheat seems etched into the amber waves of the Great Plains, Mr. Guerra is — gently, and with a smile — challenging the culture.
Black, Indigenous and other people of color are often marginalized in the baking community, said Mr. Guerra, but for him, baking is integral to his identity.
“The bread is ultimately who I am,” he said.
I’ve taken workshops with Don, and he’s a wonderful teacher and baker both, so it’s so great to see him get recognized.
Finally, There Is This Tweet
I obviously know less than Eric does about gluten-derived polypeptides, but he’s correct about one thing: Pizza is highly-addictive, which is why we devote a full month to it around here every year. I have a few things in mind already for next month, but if you have thoughts or requests, let me know in the comments below!
Have a peaceful, pizza-ful, and candy-filled Halloween weekend, see you all next week.