I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking of names for this blog – some of the frontrunners include the following:

  • Dough Diaries (Docket)
  • Bread Bible (Blog)
  • Leaven Ledger (Log)
  • Flour Files
  • Love in a Time of Yeast (Cholera)
  • The Bun Also Rises

Everyone loves alliteration, right? Going with the last one, though, due more so to the fact that it happened spontaneously as I was typing the list and gave me chuckle. I don’t even like Hemingway.

Over the past several months I’ve found myself crawling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole that is bread. I once had a friend of a friend allegedly quote Louis C.K. stating that if you find yourself thinking about a topic more than three times within a week, you should write about it. So that’s what I’m doing – writing about bread.

I’d honestly never even enjoyed bread for the better of my life. From what I can remember, bread was just kind of, well…there. 14 years of pb&j and lunch meat sandwiches desensitized me to any novelty I could drum up surrounding the food. In fact, I’d all but written bread off during my low carb phase in college when I insisted on emulating every aspect of Lebron James’ life. Bread was the enemy, and if it was bad for Bron, it was bad for Twan.

But I don’t think that I’m the outlier – breads global ubiquity makes most people take the food for granted. As the old adage goes – ‘bread is bread,’ and that’s that. It wasn’t until recently that bread even proved itself worthy of my attention.

Perhaps no single person (in my eyes) deserves more credit for revitalizing millennial interest in bread than Michael Pollan. Aside from being a rather articulate author on all things food, one of his books, Cooked, managed to land itself a four-part miniseries on Netflix. Highlighting four elements that aid in the transformation of food – fire, water, air, and earth, – it was his episode on air that struck the deepest chord with yours truly.

Watching Pollan pluck a one-kilo bread loaf out of his piping hot oven was, not only salivating, but enough to convince me (and I’m sure a large swath of other Netflix addicted 20-somethings) that bread was a food worth exploring. I’d never seen bread prepared this way – using nothing more than flour, water, salt, and yeast – it resembled nothing like it’s bastardized cousin that lines the aisles in supermarkets across the world.

So, like any post-industrial white collar worker trying to find purpose through a tactile hobby, I began to do some exploring. As is the case with most novice bread-heads just beginning their research, I landed on Jim Lahey’s No-Knead bread recipe in a NY Times article.

And that’s not a knock on the recipe. In fact, thanks to Mr. Lahey, I was able to produce countless loaves over the first few months of my bread journey with relative ease; And not just any loaves – GOOD FUGGIN’ bread loaves. It was likely the recipe’s simplicity that got me interested in pursuing the hobby at all. You can find the link to the recipe here, but all you really need are the following:

  • All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Yeast Packet
  • Casserole Dish (or Dutch Oven; any oven-safe dish with a lid, really)
  • Large Bowl
  • Dish Towel

There are myriad nuances to the above list (many of which will be covered in further posts), but for the time being, following the recipe will lead to a presentable rustic-style loaf that will be leagues tastier than anything most people have tried.

Here’s a play by play of the recipe carried out in my kitchen:

Happy Baking.