I have regularly baked bread at home for almost a decade and I have sold bread, scones, and biscotti at the Morris Area Farmers Market since 2015. In that time, I have experimented with all sorts of breads: kneadless and kneaded; lean and enriched; commercial yeast and wild yeast; traditional American loaf breads and rustic European hearth breads; bread flour, rye flour, barley flour, whole wheat flour, semolina flour, and pastry flour. I even learned how to make baguettes at a cooking school in Paris. Throughout all this experimentation, I have learned that my favorite breads to bake are French and Italian classics – ciabatta, focaccia, pain à l’ancienne, baguettes, pane Siciliano, fougasse – and so I now specialize in these Mediterranean breads.
People often ask which of my breads I most like to eat and while the answer is constantly changing, right now, my favorite is pain de campagne (French for “country bread”). The hint of rye flour and crackly crust remind me of the delicious baguette I would buy every day from my local bakery when I lived and taught in France.
Bread is an important part of my life – it’s part of the story of how I met my wife! – and I will continue to experiment with new recipes and bring the best European-style breads I can to the customers of the Morris Area Farmers Market.