Bread talk

Artisanal breads are superior in flavour and texture,revealed a tasting by The Baker’s Dozen.

Written by Dipti Nagpaul D'souza | Published:April 13, 2013 3:26 am

I HAVE been around for 3,000 years and people still take me for granted,” the loaf lamented. It had been handed over in a white paper bag with these words and some more,inscribed in a quaint black font.

A peek inside revealed it to be handsome: tough and browned on the outside. The true test of its claims of goodness,however,lay in driving the knife right through. And it didn’t disappoint. When cut,the Pain au Levain,a French sourdough bread,turned out to be soft and flavourful,studded with cranberries and blueberries.

The Baker’s Dozen,a Prabhadevi-based bakery that sells artisanal breads,had set up a tasting counter at Bandra’s outlet of Le 15 Patisserie on Tuesday evening under a property they jointly called Tasting Tuesdays. For a city which has only recently been introduced to the concept of breads that are handmade,the response was impressive.

The chef-entrepreneur of The Baker’s Dozen,Aditi Handa,had to herself a 4×4 square-foot corner by the store’s glass door. There,Handa set up a counter showcasing five of the dozen different varieties she bakes — pain au cereal (Rs 100),two kinds of pain au levain (Rs 120-200),four grain (Rs 120) and foccacia (Rs 60). She offers a tasting with a smear of either butter or brie cheese. The difference between the handmade variety and the machine-prepared loaves may be hard to tell but it exists,nevertheless.

Most importantly,the loaves deliver the flavour they promise.

Without added chemicals and preservatives,the taste of the grains and fruits is highlighted. The Pain au Levain in both walnuts and raisins as well as cranberry and blueberry flavours is made with up to 50 per cent wheat flour.

The sweet-and-sour berries offset the taste of freshly baked flour well. In her loaves of four grain (pumpkin,sesame,flax and sunflower seeds) and pain au cereal (sesame and flax seeds),Handa says the grains,without chopping them,when they are roasted in an oven,lend an aroma and taste to the bread,as well as a crunchy texture.

What’s delightful about these breads is that they allow you to forgo that slathering of butter and instead tempt you to bite into the slices,lightly toasted,alongside a hot cuppa. Do so and you know that the loaf is right: the world indeed takes it for granted.

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