Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Little Rustic Bread in Wine Country

Finally, there was a break in the weather!  A reprieve from the rain.  It was a gorgeous, sunny, billowy cloud kinda day and it happened to fall on the day my girlfriend and I had a rustic bread making class at one of my favorite farms and winery (Red Ridge Farms/Durant Winery) here in the Willamette Valley.   So we wound our way through wine country on this perfect day, mouths watering for carbs and wine and the need to learn to make bread.

Now, the last time I made bread was when I was in my 20's.    I wanted to make something special for my mom and dad, something with a little artisan flare.  I wanted to show the world that I could conquer yeast and kneading and rolling and punching.   When I took it out of the oven and accidentally dropped it on the kitchen floor, I think it cracked the floor tile.  Needless to say, dad passed on taking a bite for fear he'd end up at the dentist with broken teeth.  That was the first and last time I made bread from scratch.   I didn't want to hurt anyone with my baking.

Oh but today, now today was fun.   After watching Chef Kusuma Rao make a few perfect loaves, I think I can try it again.  It looked so easy and if at first you don't succeed, wait 30 years and try again, right?  Oh and the variations are endless!  Olive bread, cheese bread, garlic bread with whole garlic cloves!  The ideas are like a painter's palette waiting for an artist to come along and create beautiful art...or in this case, beautiful bread!

We were also taught how to make a great Cumin Cauliflower Pate and a sort of beet hummus that was to-die-for but the chef wouldn't give us her recipe for that.  I guess chefs have to keep some secrets.


If you want to find more information on Chef Kusuma Rao, her website is

Happy baking!


Elaine Foley said...

That sounds like a great time and delicious too! What a nice way to spend the day with a friend. I love to take cooking classes but I like to eat what the chefs make even more!

Michelle said...

We had a great time...and yes...eating what the chefs make is THE BEST PART!

Sheryl Hutton said...

Loved reading this! Almost makes me wanna try my hand at bread from scratch. Almost.

Michelle said...

Try it Sheryl! Lol.