My first memory of bread was back in Nottingham in the early1960’s sitting in my aunt’s kitchen, legs and feet swinging in anticipation, being tormented by the smell of her luscious thick slices of toast supporting slabs of melting butter. Recently a dear friend reminded me of that same toast we used to devour in that very kitchen 40 years ago and the memories started flooding back. Amazingly, memories stored in our distant childhood can be triggered and evoked by the whiff of a smell of home-made food, a first love’s perfume or even glue from countless Airfix model kits. The phenomenon, odour-evoked autobiographical memory, happens to us all. Mine happens to be bread.
For the last few years I have been fascinated by the art of baking bread and that band of artisan bakers that are pushing the boundaries of quality hand-crafted breads. Inspired by the likes of San Francisco’s’ Chad Robertson and Josey Baker and Copenhagen’s’ Claus Meyer, I have attempted to create their sourdough wonders, never really reaching their professional heights. Sensing my frustration after yet another deflated crust, my Danish wife, Jette recently enrolled me into one of Meyers Madhus‘ baking workshops. For the last 15 years Meyers Madhus has been providing culinary and baking classes in Copenhagen, attracting curious souls like myself into that mysterious universe of sourdoughs. Guided by our experienced baker, Sophie, the art of creating delicious breads became slowly unravelled during the evening.
Meyers Madhus classes are so popular that many of Copenhagen’s local residents and international visitors have passed through these kitchens taking home with them more than rye breads and buns, but a wealth of knowledge of our Nordic food culture. Thanks to Claus and the team at Meyers Madhus for reminding me of distant memories and a Ølands bread to be proud of.
Photo credits: Meyers Madhus & Phillip Mills
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