Saturday, October 22, 2005

Bread: Arizmendi Cooperative: Sourdough Beer Rye

My wife suggested that we pick one of these up. I was game despite certain childhood associations(1) with beer bread and rye bread. Suspecting all the while that some New Belgium Brewing Company beer must be involved. The guy at the counter brought me back down to earth though. They'd used some Samuel Adams Holiday beer for their starter.

Ingredient quibbles aside, what's tremendously appealing about an artisanal bread like this is the visual and tactile experience of a thing that most super market bread can only reference. Rought crust peeling back from the peak of the dense and heavy round. That kind of thing.

The rye taste of this bread was somewhat secondary to the sourdough, perfect for my sensibilities(2) though.

(1) Shortly after my mother met my dad, they went on a beer bread kick. I was 5 at the time. About all I remember was that you baked the beer bread in a clear glass tube that may or may not have been part of some kit. They baked a lot of it, and I recall liking it. In restrospect I am suspicious that it might be some dead giveaway of an economic or cultural handicap.

(2) I have childhood memories of rye bread as well — of not enjoying the taste of caraway.

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