“Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures. It is not coincidence that we say” Bread is the staff of life.”. (a quote from Poline)
As a first-generation Italian, I can assuredly say that bread is very definitely omnipresent in Italian cuisine. Each region, each little town every hamlet makes its own medley, and their bread will be featured in their typical dishes like panzanella, pappa pomodoro, bruschetta or a simple bread pudding. At every Italian table bread will make an appearance in some shape or form to compliment the meal.
An Italian proverb, “Portare a casa la Pagnotta” which translates “to bring the loaf home” is akin to our saying “bring home the bacon”!
Our family has an unusual number of accomplished bread bakers For years we owned a bread bakery which sold several different varieties of Italian breads to restaurants as well as supplying bread to our Italian market: E. 48th Street Market in Dunwoody, GA.
Over the years bread baking has become of big interest to several family members and a little competitive in a friendly way. So it was on a recent trip to visit nephew Victor and his wife Patty in Florida that we found ourselves involved in an afternoon of bread baking. Victor has a large wood fired oven in his backyard and it was inevitable that he and my husband,Charlie.. would spend time baking several diverse loaves. Happy are their neighbors and friends who are regular recipients of a loaf. I have to admit that I witnessed the whole baking process from a comfortable lounge chair, sipping good wine (in the latter part of the day, of course) while watching small boats sail up and down the intercoastal at the foot of their rear lawn. I can bake but bread is not my forte’ so I leave that to my husband.
There is nothing more satisfying than taking that finished loaf from out of the oven. And there is nothing more wonderful than enjoying the fruits of that labor. Most people travel to Florida to visit Mickey or enjoy a beach vacation. Then there is us who travels to Florida to enjoy family and bake and break bread.
And while the oven was still hot, it morphed into pizza for dinner….a double winner!