The Bread of my Childhood

I have been searching for the perfect bread ever since I arrived in the United States 27 years ago. I grew up in Nuernberg, Germany. On Saturday mornings, my mother would give me carefully counted coins and a list of things to fetch from the shops. Cold cuts from the butcher shop, milk and cheese from the milk shop and my favorite… bread from the bakery.
There is nothing quite like cradling a huge loaf of oval or round bread, still slighty warm, with its crackling crust wafting its aromatic wheat scent into my nostrils. Fresh and good German bread is soft and spongy in the middle with a crust hard enough to scrape your knuckles when knocking on it.
I have bought bread made by the homesick German wives of American soldiers for up to $5.00 a pound. I have hunted down tiny German shops in small obscure American towns just to see if they made good German bread. For a tightwad I have spent an unbelievable amount of money in search of this elusive commodity. I have tried to make it myself … unsucessfully. Finally I’ve grudgingly settled for a $7.00 loaf of whole grain miche from the Panera Bread Company. I had almost given up my dream.
But today I am in 7th heaven. Deb has finally gotten around to trying the master recipe in “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. I came home to a small flat loaf of bread, barely 1 pound, sitting on the counter. I asked her it it was any good and she told me it didn’t come out right. With a dismissive shrug she said “It’s spongy on the inside and the crust is barely chewable.” Once again hope rose from my heart, or stomach. It is hard to tell which is which with me. I cut a slice and bit into it. Bells literally started ringing in my head. I found the perfect German bread on my kitchen counter. Thank you Deb for baking it and thank you Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois for the recipe.

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~ by lydia61 on March 25, 2010.

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