Monday, August 10, 2009

HOT OUT OF THE OVEN: Italian Bread

mmm...Can you think of anything more comforting than a warm, freshly baked loaf of Italian bread? Me either. It brings me back to my childhood, when I would come home from swim practice with wet hair on dark winter nights. Anticipating my starvation and chill, my mom was armed with mounds of spaghetti and a steaming loaf of this sauce loving bread. Naturally, I could never wait until dinner was served and would tear through the crusty shell, digging out the stretchy warm interior. My family always knew when I would sneak pieces of bread because I would leave it on the counter completely gutted. Working in a bakery, I have been exposed to many different types of artisan breads from different regions of the world. My mature palate prefers French sourdough and German malted barley breads to the traditional Italian bread. Despite this fact, every time the bakers pull the Italian out of the brick oven my mouth waters, my heart melts and I revert back to my 8-year-old self. When in need of comfort at 6am, Italian bread is the preferred snack of the bakery workers (perhaps tied with warm cheese bread...SO GOOD!). And naturally, we eat it child style: dig out the middle, throw the rest away, and then hide so no one will suspect it was you.

Do we ever really grow up?


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