Honey Whole-Wheat Bread from A Passion for Bread by Master Baker Lionel Vatinet
Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts. ~ James Beard
There are few things that are as satisfying to create in your own kitchen as a gorgeous loaf of homemade bread. The aroma of yeast bread baking in the oven is intoxicating and there is nothing quite as memorable as the first bite of steaming hot bread graced with a bit of butter.
Gorgeous artisan breads are one of our main indulgences whenever we travel to Europe. The bakeries are filled with stunning baguettes, boules, and bâtards. It’s honestly one of our favorite things to eat whenever we travel across the pond, particularly to France. Just pass me a loaf of freshly baked crusty French bread, a bit of butter, a hefty piece of local cheese, and a nice bottle of wine; then call me in a few hours. 😉
Since traveling to Europe is not a frequent occurrence, we have to improvise here in the states. That may mean finding a suitable bakery that makes beautiful loaves of breads or teach yourself the art of making artisan breads at home.
I was excited when I was contacted about receiving a copy of Master Baker Lionel Vatinet’s book, A Passion For Bread: Lessons from a Master Baker. Lionel apprenticed for seven years at Les Compagnons due Devoir. This French craftsman’s guild dates back to the Middle Ages, so you can bet they have this bread thing figured out by now. He was also the founding instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute where he instructed talented bakers from all over the world, including bakeries such as La Brea, Panera, and Cottage Lane in New Zealand. In addition, his breads have been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, Saveur, and Food & Wine.
Lionel practices his craft every day at his bakery and café, La Farm Bakery in Cary, NC, which he operates with his wife, who is also an artisan bread baker. I was fortunate to meet Lionel in Atlanta earlier this year at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and saw, tasted, and took home several of his gorgeous breads. Artisan bread baking is a passion and it requires practice to get it right and to make it perfect. That’s where this book comes in.