Friday Bread Basket 4/21/23
Welcome to the Wordloaf Friday Bread Basket, a weekly roundup of links and items relating to bread, baking, and grain. Today is day one of my 3-day Lune Cookbook walkthrough, and it’s never too late to sign up if you want, since videos will be provided for later viewing. I have to say that the handout alone is probably worth the price of admission. (I do love a good class handout and spend as much time on them as any other aspect of my workshops.)
Noted scofflaw H&H Bagels decided to skirt NYC’s 8% “sandwich tax” by pumping cream cheese into the center of their bagels, jelly-donut style. NPR covered the story for tax day this week. I’m kind of into excessive amounts of cream cheese on my bagels, so I approve of this sort of thing:
The Artist is Wondered
Loved this Top Ten 2023 Food-Art Fair Finds roundup from Andrea Gyorody of Weekly Special, especially item two, on Milena Korlczuk, who makes portraits of famous people out of squished Wonder Bread and then photographs them:
I really get a kick out of artists with incredible skill applying themselves to works that are small and anti-monumental, silly even — or at least not cloyingly self-serious. Polish-born, Oakland-based artist Milena Korolczuk, who runs Raster Gallery in Poznan, has made a series of more than a dozen photographs capturing ephemeral portraits she sculpts from the squished insides of Wonder Bread. The heads are palm-sized but detailed enough to be recognizable as famous figures such as Marina Abramović (above), Andy Warhol, Jay-Z, and Jean-Paul Sartre, and they’re always shown alongside the detritus of the sculpting process, as if the artist had simply found herself a bit bored at breakfast time.
While you are there be sure not to miss the horrifying/hilarious hairy cheese wedge.
All the meat dishes are accompanied by lepinja, a delicious spongy white bread with a crisp exterior—“a cross between pita and English muffin,” as one customer described it—cooked at seven hundred degrees in the shop’s pizza oven for just a few minutes. The baked goods are made in-house by Milan Milijančević, an artisan recruited from Belgrade and formerly the head baker at Hotel Moskva, famous for its cakes.
For the irresistible burek, Milijančević hand-stretches phyllo dough and varnishes it with vegetable shortening (as opposed to traditional Serbian pork fat), yielding light, crunchy edges and chewy interior layers. Djuric said that hand-stretching is uncommon: “It’s a very hard thing to do, so even the best restaurants will use phyllo sheets. But you’re never going to get that burek texture, with the doughiness in between and the flakiness on the edge, if you don’t hand-stretch it.” Milijančević makes ideal krofne, too—great puffball doughnuts, in rich flavors including raspberry, with a magenta dusting of crushed and sugared freeze-dried raspberries, and pistachio, filled with a thick, not too sweet custard.
That’s it for this week’s bread basket. I hope you all have a peaceful weekend, see you on Monday (or in class!)