While I would never describe myself as being very organized, I do pride myself on doing a reasonably good job of keeping track of food blog events that I want to participate in.
Well, you know what they say … pride before the fall.
I was very disappointed to realize that I had missed the deadline for World Bread Day hosted by the talented and generous Zorra of Kochtopf. I’ve become very fond of Zorra and her blog and have also come to appreciate an event based on one of the staples of the human diet: bread.
For some reason I’d listed October 21st as the deadline in my calendar, but after seeing all these posts pop up, I thought I’d better double check. Here’s hoping that late is much better than never!
As some of you may have noticed, I’ve chosen Father Giuseppe Orsini’s book, Italian Baking Secrets, as the October 2007 Flavour of the Month. I bought this book about 5 seconds after having laid eyes on it for the first time. The cover of the book, featuring a plate of perfect cannoli, drew me in. And when I saw that it had been written by an Italian priest, how could I not buy it?!
I mean with cannoli and God on your side, you can’t possibly go wrong.
The book was a delightful surprise. I’ve made a few recipes from it already and as soon as I laid my eyes on the recipe for Walnut Bread, I knew that I’d have to make it. World Bread Day became the perfect opportunity.
At around this time last year, I was slowly discovering how much I loved to make bread. I was immersed in my Art of Bread course at George Brown College and was learning the technique of good bread baking. I was learning about yeast, that incredible living thing. I was learning about kneading, that incredible gesture. And I was loving it all.
Since that class, I’m happy to say that I’ve baked bread often. While I haven’t baked as much bread as I would like, the idea of baking bread comes to me often and I am happy for this. Bread is hugely important in our life. Virtually no meal takes place without bread. Growing up, we couldn’t begin dinner until the bread and wine were on the table. And even now to look at the table and not see bread suggests a feeling of incompleteness.
I’m especially happy that I’ve discovered a love of bread baking because there is something so satisfying about producing a loaf of the stuff. My love of baking runs deep. A cake, a pie or a sheet of cookies are all pleasing. But there is something deeply and intensely soothing about baking bread.
It’s a beautiful act.
I took part in the beautiful act with this walnut bread. It was very easy to make, taking about 4 hours from start to finish. I began with a simple dough made of yeast, water, honey, olive oil, flour, salt and finely chopped walnuts.
After an initial rise of 1 hour, I shaped the dough into a ring and crowned it with perfect walnut halves.
Another 1-hour rise and the ring was ready to be baked. After a little over an hour in the oven, I removed a beautifully browned walnut bread that had a crisp exterior and a very nutty interior. The beauty of this bread is that it could be enoyed as a savoury or as a sweet bread.
I’d like to thank Zorra for hosting World Bread Day, 2007!