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Posts Tagged ‘flour’

I recently read the book 52 Loaves by William Alexander. The author, while at a restaurant, ate the best bread that he has ever encountered, which prompted him to bake a loaf of bread everyday for a year in order to achieve that perfect loaf of bread. I loved the story and his experiences (I highly recommend it!). One my favorite lines in the book was “Bread is life.”

I have a bread obsession too. When someone tells me that they gave up bread, I cannot imagine that world. Walking by the bakery section of my grocery store is like candy. Just a woof of the freshly baked bread makes my mouth water. I cannot resist not buying anything. The best day is when the bread is hot or warm… oh my!!

Bread has always been part of my life. Growing up in Romania, bread was served with every meal. My parents used to send me to the bakery and while walking back to our apartment, I could not resist and dig my hand in the soft inside of the bread. I would eat half of a loaf before getting home. My mom would always yell at me. Luckily I always bought two loaves.

A while back I had stomach issues, so my doctor recommended that I get tested for Celiac disease since apparently a lot of folks who are from Eastern Europe suffer from it. I was so grateful that my test was negative. That would have been the worst day of my life (it is bad enough that I am lactose intolerant!!). I wondered why that was though. In his book, William Alexander discusses the history of flour and how the process in the US has changed over the years, including the addition of these enriching ingredients. Can that be the culprit?

Since not much was available in Romania, my mom baked a bunch. Once in the US, she took out her recipe book and started baking the same cakes, cookies, sweet breads that she baked for years. But they never came out the same as they did in Romania. She finally realized that the four was different. Since then, she has found a flour that only the local German or Russian store sells… her baked goods are back to normal. It was very interesting.

A friend of a friend mentioned that her husband owns a bread delivery service and that he delivers via his bicycle. How cool is that!! Two of my favorite things in one! But after a minute I realized how dangerous that would be… I do not think that anyone would appreciate half eaten bread.

Julia likes Mo Willems books, so while at the library, I found Nanette’s Baguette. In the book, Nanetts’s mom sends Nanette to the bakery to buy a baguette. But on her way home, Nanette eats the baguette. Then both Nanette and her mom go to the bakery to buy a baguette and on the way home, Nanette’s mom eats the baguette.

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who finds bread irresistible!

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A few weekends ago we were invited to a potluck dinner. I have been meaning to try the Apple Sharlotka recipe from Smitten Kitchen, so I decided to make it for the dinner. The recipe was a hit! Everyone loved it.

The recipe is super simple. The hardest part (and it’s not even that hard) is to chop the apples. The recipe requires 6 apples, so it takes a bit of time to chop them. Other than that, you simply beat the eggs with some sugar until it fluffs and then you add some vanilla and flour. That’s it!! It is the simplest dessert I have ever tried. And is delicious, which is a big plus.

Since the Sharlotka was for the potluck, I only had a small piece, so I decided to make it again. I happened to have some Bosc pears that I picked up from the market, so I decided to use them instead of apples. I only had 4 pears, so the fruit was bit scarce, but it still came out just as good. The pears definitely gave it a different taste… it was sweeter. I even cut the sugar by a ¼ of a cup. Next time, I will cut it even more if I use pears again.

One thing that I would like to mention is that the Sharlotka gets moister and moister every day. It is nice to try a piece once out of the oven (reminiscent of a just-out-of the oven piece of apple pie), but it is just as good the next day and so on.

If you like apples (or pears), definitely give the Sharlotka a try.

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