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Friday Bread Basket 1/28/22
Welcome to the Wordloaf Friday Bread Basket, a weekly roundup of links and items relating to bread, baking, and grain. Before we jump into it, I have a couple of personal items to share:
The first is that the classic Douarnenez kouign-amann recipe that I have been working on and teasing for more than a year now is finally out! You can find the recipe and a long blog post about its creation over at King Arthur Flour:
Second, I had the honor of being interviewed by Chloe-Rose Crabtree for Sourced, a wonderful blog and Substack newsletter focused on the origin of the ingredients that go into our foods and drinks. Chloe—a talented baker—and I had a thoughtful conversation about flour, wheat, and recipes. I am a big fan of both Chloe and her Sourced partner Anna Sulan Masing, and was chuffed that they wanted to include me as part of their “Wheat” season:
Friend to Wordloaf and Crust Fund Pizza mastermind John Carruthers recently shared a recipe for haggis tavern-style pizza over on The Takeout. While to the uninitiated haggis—a Scottish mixture of oats, onions, and sheep offal stuffed into a sheep stomach and—might sound disgusting, it is in fact delicious. It’s basically a crumbly, oat-y sausage—not unlike scrapple—which is why it is entirely appropriate as a pizza topping:
One of the last pre-pandemic things I did for this website was host a Burns dinner for unsuspecting friends. That’s when you serve a large haggis feast to honor the poet Robert Burns’s January 25 birthday. Fairly without warning, we found out that haggis is a certifiable hit. It’s just good-good, and it’s one of my life’s minor missions to badger other people into trying it.
In the interim, another obsession reared its head—making the perfect tavern-style thin crust pizza—and our mission this fine Burns Night is to smash them together like two favorite action figures. And what better cuisine to pizzafy than the endless mad science of Scots food?
Haggis is often made for Burns Night, the annual birthday celebration of Scotland’s beloved poet Robert Burns, which is January 25, but this is the sort of thing you could make at any time of year.
No. Cacio e Pepe Scones with chilis and chives did not ease my annual descent into melancholy as the days get increasingly short and dark.
Will This Make Me Happy: Anti-Depressant Confections is my new favorite Instagram account. Created by Tanya Bush, a twenty-something Brooklyn-based graduate student and freelancer, the account is her response to the notion that baking or cooking can serve as self-care:
In the early days of the pandemic there were all these articles about baking as a form of self-care, as an entry point into mindfulness, and I thought: Ridiculous, in what world can bread-making fend off relentless anxiety? I baked bread and I was still upset. But when winter hit, I was feeling especially unmoored and isolated, so I started @will.this.make.me.happy, pairing existential grumblings with florid descriptions of desserts. I was spoofing the idea of baking as panacea (like, no, vanilla bean madeleines with orange zest did not prevent me from offloading my petty grievances onto those nearest and dearest), but it was also an earnest attempt at pulling myself out of a slump.
“No. Lemon cream eclairs with lavender and white chocolate ganache did not help me miraculously discover a form of exercise that doesn’t feel like masochistic torture.”
You can read more about Tanya and her project in the interview she did with Thessaly La Force:
That’s it for this week’s bread basket. Maybe I’ll see you at tomorrow’s Sourdough Lifestyle class. If not, I hope you have a peaceful weekend, and I will see you all next week.