Helvetic.LA

LA's virtual Swiss neighborhood!

LA Foodbitch: I LOVE MY BREAD!

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I am currently in Europe and have been shopping at this bakery (see picture above) in Zurich, Switzerland, an experience that immediately catapulted me into bread nirvana.

Look at those beauties, at the incredible variety! Trying to describe the different breads, I feel that I ultimately will be failing. How will I ever be able to describe breads, that are so different from what we know in L.A.? Unfortunately, American bakeries seem to take their inspiration mostly from the French and Italian baking traditions.

While France and Italy are undisputedly great food nations, they are somewhat limited in their bread making. Sure, who doesn’t love a baguette or a ciabatta, but looking into the German baking traditions that is prevalent in Switzerland, opens up a whole new bread world, that, trust me, goes way beyond the hard-to-love Pumpernickel. It’s a world filled with artisanal breads, each carrying intense flavors that remind me of the fifth taste Umami.

Bread making is not difficult, but it’s an art, where the perfect ratio of water, yeast or sourdough, salt and flour matters, where the kneading method has a crucial impact, where a puritan approach using a simple recipe and the best ingredients (NEVER using industrial flour) is key, and where the baker has to be not only patient, but in tune with the forces of nature surrounding the bread making process.

I wish, hope and pray that L.A. will soon have bakeries sprinkled all over town that celebrate bread as the most elementary and most wonderful culinary pleasure. Breadbar, Le Pain Quotidien and the original La Brea Bakery are a good start, but we could even do better.

A lot better.

Written by lafoodbitch

February 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Posted in LA+Living

Tagged with ,

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