I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Scratch Bread

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Food will always outweigh my hatred of hipsters

I admit: I hate going out the Brooklyn. I hate that the subway ride is so longer. I hate that I am not familiar with it. I hate hipsters. Brooklyn is crawling with them. I am a straight hater for Brooklyn and I will step to the right. One thing that Brooklyn does right however is food. I do not care what Mimi Sheraton says here, Brooklyn has a growing food culture and people that are willing to put in the hard work in supporting it and making the perfecting whatever craft. One of these places is Scratch Bread.

The cliché is that food connects with people. As cheesy and stupid as it sounds, it is true and I believe that bread has the ultimate personal connection and anyone that has made bread, real yeast bread (quick breads like banana bread and stuff I do not recognize as being bread. It is a cake in a loaf pan) that requires your hands to knead the dough has a connection with food like no other. The warmth of your hands and the bread as you slowly stretch and fold the dough as it transform from a shaggy, sticky, goopy mess, to a elastic, sleek, smooth and stretchy living organism. Dough itself is a living thing where you leave that sucker alone and it will grow and rise within hours and it is constantly changing.

I heard about Scratch Bread and its founder Matt Tilden is a prime example of Brooklyneers expanding the food scene in Brooklyn. Not only is he trying to change the perception that people have about bread but tries to bring a community aspect to it.

I unfortunately did not get to meet the man behind the bread but I did try a few of his offerings.
Savory “Mufin", eggy and light

The Savory “Mufin” is not like a muffin which is probably why it is missing an “f” but it more like a popover but which a lot more of a heft but still held its delicate texture. The “Mufin” was hearty and egg for such a small little bite but was a bit salty.
Cocoa Nib and Chai Sticky Hand Roll

Next up was the Cocoa Nib and Chai Sticky Hand Roll, an exceptionally piece of work. Made with an olive oil brioche, it was smooth and chewy, counter balanced the candied orange peel and sticky sweet topping. The topping sweet and soothing chai flavors of ginger and cardamom with the earthy bitterness of the cocoa nibs rounded the Hand Roll. I could admittedly eat a tray of these.

I had the Focaccia made with roasted garlic and kale. The kale’s slight bitterness gave a great wintery bite and with the roasted garlic it was a solid combination. The focaccia was springy and airy with a crisp exterior. Many focaccias teeter on the line of being oil and dry but this did not and was was good piece of bread.

 Focaccia with Roasted Garlic and Kale

Sourdough Rustic Loaf on the right and a good hunk of Head Cheese from the Meat Hook on the left

Lastly I had the Sourdough Rustic Loaf. This is a loaf that will truly make you think differently about bread. First off, it is not a square sandwich bread in which has equal dimensions and made into perfect square sandwich slices, this is a bread that you rip with your hands and stick a wad of rich butter or wrap a piece of meat with. This is hearty, hefty bread that you can eat and feel satisfied when eaten. This is bread that you can dunk in a chowder or drench in a bowl of soup and it will soak up all that liquid but will not break apart. It is soft, spongy and chewy on the inside and had a crusty exterior. If you have been eating tasteless Wonder Bread and Thomas Bagels the flavor alone will cause you to hemorrhage because your taste buds and brain will not know how to react and shut down. His sourdough on first bite livens up the taste buds and as you chew, the sourdough does not fade away immediately and does not start to mellow until you are just about to sallow it, were it becomes pleasantly sweet giving you a wholesome taste.  

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