The Bread of Heaven

Linnet Moss

Way back in 2006, I became a devotée of no-knead bread, popularized by Mark Bittman in a classic article. There are two secrets to this manna from heaven. First, you use only a tiny bit of yeast and let the dough sit for a long time so that it slowly ferments. Second, you put it in a Dutch oven so that the steam creates a gorgeous crust. It’s the best homemade bread I’ve ever had. Something of a religious experience.

I have great compassion for those who suffer from gluten intolerance. I would be a very unhappy bunny without those elastic molecules of protein that interact with yeast to give good bread its special texture: light and full of bubbles, yet chewy and substantial. Yes, this was the true secret of the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter, goddess of grain: sour dough in moist heat is transfigured into…

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