I will never take freshly baked bread for granted again. The work and time it takes to produce the perfect crumb, raw dough gently massaged in the cup of one’s hands, back and forth, a gentle weaving rhythm – it’s an art, reaching that exact moment when the gluten strands achieve their perfect stretch, a smidge more flour if needed, until precisely ready to sit and rise. California Culinary Academy-trained Chef Maggie Cattell, formerly of Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg and Piccino in San Francisco, is an inspired yeast + flour enthusiast and dough whisperer. I recently attended her artisan bread making workshop at the biodynamic Love Apple Farms in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Braided Challah or Egg Bread using freshly laid eggs at Love Apple Farms which gives it that bright yellow color.
Two boules (balls) of Classic French Bread – (left) baked on a tin and (right) baked in a Dutch oven.
Workshop notes & drawings by artist and bread making student, Cheryl Moreno.