Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘bread’

Make French Bread

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By definition, classic, authentic French bread has only 4 ingredients:
1.) Flour
2.) Salt
3.) Yeast
4.) Water

For some, baking is a mysteriously puzzling process. For others – as with math – it comes easily. Either way, it’s a learned process, can be taught, and the products it produces may be further developed, refined and enjoyed.

At the most basically fundamental level, making bread is the transformation of raw grains into deliciously tasty finished products. An entire language surrounding the baking of bread has arisen, and as our understanding of the art and science of bread-making continues to be developed, new terms may emerge. However, there remain time-tested terms about which many have heard – even if they’re not fully understood – and it is with those most basic terms and processes that French bread is understood, and made.

So in order to understand the how’s and why’s of bread-making, it’s equally important to understand the historical context in which French bread emerged.

Unlike bread in general, French bread’s history is relatively new, per se, and dates to the mid-to-late 1700’s – a revolutionary era in which France and the United States were forming.

Like the American Revolution, the French Revolution gave power to the people who were also subjected to abuse by terror-inducing government actions, including the forced quartering of troops (lodging & feeding) in private residences without either invitation by, or reimbursement to, the owners, and included shortages and rationing of staple food supplies because of many continuous years of harshly inclement climate and weather conditions resulting in crop failures, and other agricultural catastrophes.

Market speculation didn’t help matters, and prices for all foods rose rapidly, precipitously and exponentially, especially and particularly for wheat, and significantly adversely affected the poor and impoverished, who could no longer afford to buy flour. And what flour they were able to afford was of grossly inferior quality and poorly milled, which processing left many bran hulls in the final product.

But the pièce de résistance was mass starvation.

While the few wealthy elites had plenty of money to afford all kinds of food, the majority did not, and were literally starving. Consequentially, crimes of theft, murder, and prostitution were common because people didn’t have enough money to feed their families, and resorted to such activities merely to stay alive.

King Louis XVI and his royal entourage at the royal castle in Versailles were isolated from, oblivious, and indifferent to the escalating crisis of the people’s suffering. And while in response to the appellate courts’ orders to reduce spending, he did so begrudgingly, most of his token attempts to pacify by claiming reform were thwarted by his appointed judges.

During the age of Enlightenment many writers, pamphleteers and publishers informed or inflamed public opinion, and used opposition to the government as a resource to mobilize public opinion in opposition to the monarchy, which in turn tried to repress what became known as “underground” literature. Today, they would be called the “fake news” media.

Complaints of the era included Read the rest of this entry »

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Break some bread today

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Baking bread requires the virtues of patience and attention. It is hard work wrapped in warm smells and a tremendous sense of accomplishment when the job is done. The process seems undeniably Read the rest of this entry »

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Could this be the worst “dining” experience in America, or… even worse?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 21, 2013

Does Eat Place, Greenville, Mississippi, front door - v6379

Does Eat Place, Greenville, Mississippi, front door

Torn between numerous thoughts, I struggled with the headline, and opening paragraph.

The headline “Public Food Establishment Not Fit For Human Consumption” would be adequate, I suppose, but I really like this lead as a headline much better: “I feel like I should’ve eaten a cucumber sandwich.”

That was actually a SMS which I’d sent a good friend of mine, who had mentioned that earlier in the day, he purchased some cucumbers at a local Farmer’s Market, was pondering how to prepare them, and was considering preparing cucumber sandwiches. Naturally, I gave him a fair amount of good-natured ribbing over the matter (suggesting perhaps that he should consider joining a ladies tea party group) particularly given that he has a penchant for sausages & “fair food,” sometimes aka “carnival food.”

How did I feel after that decidedly "ungastronomic" experience? A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is but one.

How did I feel after that decidedly “ungastronomic” experience?
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Here is but one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless…

Back to the Greenville, Mississippi fiasco.

It may be best to characterize the experience with a few terms:

Clip Joint

• Nasty

• Filthy

Overpriced

• Nickel and Dime

• Avoid at All Costs

Having read the reviews on UrbanSpoon.com, I was somewhat prepared – with strong emphasis upon the minimal aspect.

The following video is Read the rest of this entry »

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Hostess Names Flowers as Lead Bidder for Bread Business

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 13, 2013

The saga continues.

Hostess Names Flowers as Lead Bidder for Bread Business

Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies, said Flowers Foods Inc. (FLO) is the lead bidder for most of the assets of its bread-baking operations.

“We are pleased with the Flowers offers and look forward to a robust auction process that will allow these iconic brands to continue and to maximize value for all of the company’s stakeholders,” Hostess Chief Executive Officer Gregory F. Rayburn said yesterday in a statement.

The proposed accord with Flowers Foods includes the purchase of the Wonder, Butternut, Home Pride, Merita and Nature’s Pride brands, 20 bakeries, 38 depots and other assets for $355 million, which may be increased to $360 million if certain license rights are included in the sale. The remaining bread brands, as well as its snack cake business, will be sold separately, according to the statement.

Flowers Foods, based in Thomasville, Georgia, also agreed to

Read the rest of this entry »

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On a Cold Winter’s Day, it’s time for Hot Chocolate, Hot Cocoa – anything to keep warm and cozy… WHILE GOING STIR CRAZY!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 14, 2011

For the past hour or two, I have found myself relaxing as I’ve not relaxed in several days.

Here, in the Southeast, we’ve been inundated with wintry weather. Specifically, on the night of the 10th of January, parts of the South received up to a foot (12″) of powdery snow. As a matter of fact, it was recently reported that 49 of our 50 states had snow somewhere in them. That solitary exception… what state was it? Florida, of course! Even Hawaii has snow capped peaks.

Not being familiar with snow, any forecast of snow in the South generates great skepticism, and continues to …Continue reading…

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Punctilious Platypus Platitude

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 5, 2010

The pumpernickel was ready, but …but WHAT!? Continue…

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Hamburgers and bread

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 26, 2010

Breakfast… for what it’s worth.

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Tattooed Ladies & Trader Joe’s

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 6, 2009

I just got back from a brief rendezvous with Trader Joe’s. It’s a grocery store chain out of Monrovia, CA. That would be California for those unfamiliar with the Postal Service abbreviations for the 50 states. (I still haven’t figured out why the newspapers continue to abbreviate Alabama “Ala.,” Massachusetts “Mass,” or Vermont “Ver.”)

Anyway, I wanted some sourdough bread, brie and a bottle of wine. Eat and relax, you see. Because by this time, of course, I was already off work and back in Santa Rosa.

Before I arrived home, Read the rest of this entry »

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