To Live, Love and Learn: A Cookworm's Tale
It began with the smell of yeast and flour…of yeast and flour baking, to be precise. Holding my father’s hand outside a bakery in a city called Patiala (in Punjab) where fresh loaves and biscuits were sold. Flour stained bakers carrying large trays of what I later understood were ‘proved’ and ‘shaped’ breads. Memory plays its own tricks…I now remember those bakers as strong, muscular men with whiskers (weird, I know. What have whiskers got to do with bakers?).
I’m neither muscular nor do I have whiskers…but when it comes to being flour-stained and smelling of freshly baked bread, I’ve been there and done that. One of the first food gods I fell head over heels in love with, Nigella Lawson, emphasizes the fact that smell of food has everything to do with a home being inviting and, well, homey. While food of all kinds has the power to transform the home and hearth into little domesticated Heavens, bread, in my opinion, is the Zeus of this Olympus.
Breaking Bread (I can foresee at least 15 parts) is where I’ll share my experiences with and recipes for some of the best (and sometimes disastrous) breads I’ve baked. This includes basic breads (I think they’re good but can be quite boring at times), stuffed breads, variations and what not. I know the idea of baking your own bread can be quite scary, especially when we do get all kinds from the supermarkets. But trust me, its fun and so rewarding (yes, I mean the compliments!). All you need is flour (any type you want), yeast, milk water and eggs…and then add that little something (herbs, vegetables, meat) to create a superhero for your table and come out shining like a mad/genius scientist!