March 14, 2015 |
Ilon Silverman holds the slice of bread in both hands, looking down as if he were reading it. He closes his eyes and chews. "There's not a word to describe it," he finally says. A pause. "There's probably many words. " The elusive, nuanced flavor of pain au levain - naturally leavened bread - is the reason Silverman wakes up every day. It is 9 a.m. Wednesday. He has been at the small bakery in Avondale's new natural-foods market since 3:45. Clad in a houndstooth cap and flour-stained apron, Silverman talks almost religiously about his bread, calling it "intoxicating," "zen," and "earthy.
March 6, 2015
IF YOU WORKED at Sacchetti's Bakery, in Ardmore, you learned two things. You learned to duck when Rearo, the hotheaded Italian who owned the business with his brother Tony, headed your way. That S.O.B. had a handshake like a bench vise and a fist like a ball-peen hammer. If he was happy, he'd squeeze your knuckles into mangled pulp; if he was pissed, he'd plant a hard one to your bicep. And you learned it was hard work to bake bread. There were 100-pound sacks of flour to be hoisted into a massive mixer, and heavy metal racks to be rolled into a proofing box where the temperature was a constant 100 degrees and the humidity registered 100 percent.
November 27, 2014 |
'So why aren't we making real grilled cheese?" said chef Marc Vetri, who was visiting our after-school cooking class. "Well, we're going for something healthier," I said. Baked whole-wheat pitas stuffed with cheese and homemade tomato soup - a reinvention of the classic pairing. "You think these are healthy?" he said, grabbing the pitas and reading off the offensive ingredients: preservatives, enzymes, gluten. "So, what kind of bread should I buy in a grocery store?
November 11, 2014 |
LOWER TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Along a rural road where the sandy shoreline becomes loamy farmland as it moves up the narrow neck of the Cape May peninsula, the fourth-generation scion of a family with a long-standing tradition to work this land has come to be known simply as "the bread lady. " Over the last five years on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, beginning each spring and ending just before Thanksgiving, like clockwork a long line forms an hour before the red-roofed stand at Enfin Farm is set to open.
September 22, 2014 |
A year ago, Alex Bois, 26 at the time, was launching his bread program at the new High Street on Market, the kid sister of Fork, baking the squid-ink bialys and moist kaiser rolls and rustic, local-buckwheat-cherry breads that found a cult following. But since this month's Bon Appetit rated High Street its No. 2 new restaurant in the country, citing Bois' phenomenal breads, he can hardly keep a levain on the shelf. Q: A friend of mine said he heard you were such a purist that you wouldn't eat someone else's bread unless you knew the yeast structure.
June 20, 2014 |
Long a forgettable freebie to take the edge off before the real food arrived, bread is getting fresh-baked respect on local tables. At fine-dining restaurants such as Fork and Avance, bread has been elevated to a "course" - complete with tasting notes - within elaborate prix fixe menus. And more restaurants are recognizing bread's value and charging for it: Petruce et al. puts a price on its hearth-baked sourdough, as does Pub and Kitchen for its whiskey-sage bread with ramp butter.
May 16, 2014 |
The bake sale is a time-honored fund-raising tradition. But at Our Shared Ground, a Moorestown nonprofit dedicated to nutrition and agriculture education, they do it a little differently. Instead of banana bread and slice-and-bake cookies, think crusty artisan sourdough and delicate galettes - proofed in a refrigerated shipping container and baked fresh each week in a custom-made, wood-fired oven-on-wheels. Quality, said Cynthia Quinton, executive director of the four-year-old organization, is the whole point.
May 9, 2014 |
The bake sale is a time-honored fund-raising tradition. But at Our Shared Ground, a Moorestown nonprofit dedicated to nutrition and agriculture education, they do it a little differently. Instead of banana bread and slice-and-bake cookies, think crusty artisan sourdough and delicate galettes - proofed in a refrigerated shipping container and baked fresh each week in a custom-made wood-fired oven-on-wheels. Quality, said Cynthia Quinton, executive director of the four-year-old organization, is the whole point.
April 18, 2014 |
Easter is rarely ranked among the calendar's best food holidays. It's certainly not Thanksgiving, with its magnificent roast turkey, or even Christmas, with its homebaked cookie tradition. But this Sunday is Joey Baldino's favorite feast of the year. Baldino, chef owner of Zeppoli restaurant in Collingswood, looks forward to spending the day with his extended Italian American family in the South Philly neighborhood where they've been celebrating with the same recipes for generations.
April 8, 2014
P EGGY ZWERVER, 59, and husband Tom Baker, 57, of Germantown, own Earth Bread + Brewery, a sustainable restaurant and brewpub in Mount Airy, which they started in 2008. I spoke with Zwerver. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for the biz? A: We had a production brewery in Ocean, N.J. On the bottom of the production chain you see how much people make on a product you created. So after seven years we decided we wanted a [spot] where we'd want to hang out and Tom could brew anything and we'd be sustainable.