Rose Wilde's 'Bread and Roses'
An enthusiastic new book recommendation
I am SO excited to share my friend Rose Wilde’s new book Bread and Roses with you all this week. Rose is the dynamo behind LA microbakery Red Bread, which specializes in gorgeous, flower-bedecked breads, pastries, and cakes made using whole grains of all kinds, and Bread and Roses is a blueprint to Rose’s approach to baking. Here’s an excerpt to her introduction:
As I grew up, I continued to travel for school, for work, and for pleasure throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. The bold flavors I encountered in various cuisines would inspire lifelong food safaris everywhere I went. Not only was I singularly obsessed with eating, I sought out kitchens with cooks and bakers in all parts of the world to teach me. In my travels, more than anything else, I was struck by how foundational and versatile breads and their grains were in otherwise radically different food cultures. Diversity of grains is what built civilization and kept the cuisines varied and interesting. But it’s also the thing we have the most in common! Most babies’ first food on this planet is some form of bread or porridge….
Bread and Roses illustrates how cooking and baking can be approached with reverence for all ingredients, a dedication to the pantry, and a celebration of grains around the world. It is a return to food crafted with a sense of love and abundance from farms and fields. It provides the home cook/baker and the professional with a foundational and historical understanding of grains and equips them with the tools of their own senses to be creative, and to nourish themselves and their communities.
My aim is to make you fall in love with grains and curiosity. With this book, I hope to take you on the next step on your journey to understanding whole grains as the basis of all cultural food ways: showing off singular grains and blends paired with other ingredients.
Bread and Roses is a world tour on the whole-grain train. It is organized geographically, with each section of the book covering grains from a particular area: rice, barley, and buckwheat from Asia, quinoa and corn from the Americas, durum and teff from Africa, and so on. Within each section there are inventive, whimsical recipes—both savory and sweet—utilizing these grains, along with extensive advice for incorporating them into one’s own recipes. Rose, true to her name, is as enamored of flowers as she is of flours, and each section includes pairing suggestions for appropriate blossoms, many of which appear in the recipes themselves.
Bread and Roses is filled with beautiful images of Rose’s creations, shot glowingly by Rebecca Stumpf.
One of my favorite details of Bread and Roses are the many marvelous illustrations in it done by Stacey Michelson, including this amazing flour tasting wheel. Every single one of them is the sort of thing I’d love to have on my walls, both as art and as essential reference (lucky for me, Rose sent me this one as a print!)
Rose shared two recipes from the book for you all, her rye black bread and barley miso chocolate chunk cookies:
Bread and Roses is one of my favorite books of 2023, and it deserves a place on the shelves of anyone who loves baking with whole grains, preferably alongside another of my other faves, Roxana Jullapat’s Mother Grains.
You can find more abouton her website eatredbread.com, follow her on Instagram @trosewilde and @RedBread, and at her Substack, Eat More.
GIVEAWAY ALERT! I’ve got a copy of Bread and Roses to give away to one randomly-selected paid Wordloaf subscriber; if you want in on the drawing, leave a comment below with your favorite alternative grain and how you like to use it in baking or cooking.