The Burned Seed Feast: An Offering and a Blessing

A sublime Seed Feast loaf, an offering to and a blessing from Fornax, Roman Goddess of the Ovens.

Last week’s bake was all but finished when I realized I’d forgotten to make my offering to the goddess of the ovens, Fornax!

Last Thursday, Feb. 17, was the final day of the Festival of Fornacalia, a day when Roman bakers made an offering of spelt grain (they tossed some into their hot ovens) and asked for Fornax’s blessing for the coming year.… Continue reading

Rye Bread: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Rye and Spelt Sourdough Loaf – A Happy Monk fave!

Last week’s Rye and Spelt Loaf scratched a need for me — the taste of rye, that unusual grain that bakes and tastes so differently than wheat. I’m rarely over-the-moon about my bread, as many customers are, but this loaf was beautiful!

The coarse rye flour in this loaf was highlighted by the milder tasting spelt flour, and I tasted that big earthy flavour I love so much about this under-appreciated grain.… Continue reading

No-Knead Bread, Revisited

Readers of the New York Times may have noticed that the well-known “No-Knead” bread method is back in the news.

In a May 3 article, the Times food writer, J. Kenji López-Alt, took a look back at the breadmaking method that revolutionized home baking in the early 2000s. It’s a startlingly easy way of making bread that produces excellent results.… Continue reading

This Bread You Eat, This Poem You Digest

Photo courtesy of Hobbs House Bakery

Blue Hour

by Cheryl Pearson

Up before the hens, my daughter.
Just her and the cows in the blue hour.

Them tugged of milkweight and loosed
to steam like warm loaves in the cold air.

Her in an apron, hair pulled into a bun.
I know how she works: the way she takes

the dough’s wet slack, punches it down
into flour.
Continue reading

Nina’s Pain Sauvage

A Happy Monk attempt at Nina’s Pain Sauvage

Nina Raginsky is on to something!

Her Pain Sauvage is nothing short of a revelation, being made without any leavening of any kind. No sourdough, no commercial yeast, just whole flour (and grain meal), water and salt. And it makes the most delicious bread.

Remarkable!

She lives on Salt Spring Island in a 100-year-old house, which she calls her “Maison Sauvage” and tends her garden, which she calls her “Jardin Sauvage.”… Continue reading