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Friday Bread Basket: 1/22/21
New administration, who dis?
This edition of the Friday Bread Basket is one of both loss and hope. We’ve got a new administration in the White House, and with that, a possible light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel we’ve all been living in for the last 10 months. I suspect we’ve got a long way to go still, but it does feel like we’ve turned a corner.
RIP Tom Lehmann, ‘The Dough Doctor’
Tom Lehmann, one of the greats of the pizza world, died in December after a long battle with COVID-19. Lehmann was nicknamed ‘The Dough Doctor’ for the generous and sage advice that he dished out to amateur and professional pizza makers alike for more than 20 years, at places like the Pizzamaking.com forum and in his long-running monthly column for PMQ Magazine, In Lehmann’s Terms. So many people—myself included—have Lehmann to thank for our pizzamaking skills, and many now well-known pizzerias were launched successfully based upon his advice. (I myself spent months hanging around the Pizzamaking forum while working on my original NY-style thin crust recipe, particularly on this thread outlining Lehmann’s own recipes.)
The most amazing thing about Lehmann was that he did it all just for the love of the pie and the fellowship. Here’s a quote from a post he made in the forum awhile back that sums up what Tom was all about:
I've always considered it an honor to be able to participate in sites like this as well as the PMQ Think Tank and to be asked to participate in Pizza Expo (don't know how many years I've done P.E. but it's been most of them).
In the end, my own personal rewards come when someone writes me or approaches me and starts the conversation by saying "You probably don't remember me but your advice helped my get my store off the ground"......what more can one ask for?
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
So long, Tom, you’ll be missed.
-> PMQ Tom Lehmann Tribute
In Seattle, where COVID first gained a foothold here in the U.S., a group of more than 500 home bakers have been baking bread to donate to local food banks not long after the start of the pandemic. The organization, Community Loaves, which began in April of last year with a single donation of 19 breads, has grown into a movement—as of the end of last year, the group had donated a total of 8344 loaves to 5 food pantries between Washington and Oregon. And they expect to bake and donate around 30,000 loaves in 2021.
Community Loaves was founded by Katherine Kehrli, an avid home baker and associate dean at Seattle Central College's Culinary Academy. She and other members of the group have developed a simple formula for a honey oat sandwich bread using local flours (in both sourdough and yeasted versions). Their recipe is scaled to make 4 loaves; bakers are encouraged to donate 3 loaves and keep one for themselves.
They’ve recently expanded from Seattle into Portland; if you live in the area, perhaps you might want to volunteer to bake bread yourself. And even those outside of the Pacific Northwest can get involved, as Community Loaves is providing training and resources for those who want to start a local hub of their own. (I’m signing up for a training in March myself.)
That’s it for this week’s Bread Basket. I’m off to work on the sourdough bagel recipe that Jess Wagoner—aka The Grainiac—and I are cooking up together. Have a peaceful weekend, see you all next week.