Not long ago, Jessica went to a friend’s bridal shower, and so I decided to do what I always do when the opportunity arises: make bread. And by “opportunity arises,” I mean any conceivable time and place where bread could theoretically be consumed. Birthday party? Bread. Bridal shower? Bread. Anti-Bread Rally? Definitely bread. Also, with the word “arises” we get a delicious piece of wordplay, because much as opportunities arise, so does bread dough.
So there’s that.
I ended up making sourdough olive bread and sourdough walnut bread, and because it was a fancy party I felt the need to make them look all pretty – not to mention that this is a wedding blog, after all, and there are certain presentational standards I need to adhere to:
Yes, that last photo there is two loaves of bread on top of our washing machine. We have limited space in our kitchen and that’s where they ended up. Then, I had the brilliant idea of taking them outside and putting them on a wooden bench, which explains why the first two photos look so much nicer and “bloggier” than the third. Wooden benches are an acceptable medium for blog-photo mounting, whereas washing machines are still on the fringes.
After baking the loaves, I got a intense jolt of craftitude coursing through my veins, and so Jessica and I headed off to Paper Plus, a nearby paper outlet store that sells all sorts of awesome stuff on the cheap. I got some raffia – which, it turns out, comes from an African palm tree, which was news to me – and some silk flowers, and made delightful little tags to label the loaves. Though I myself wasn’t invited to the bridal shower, not being of the womanly persuasion, I was assured that both breads were eaten and enjoyed.
And speaking of bread, my dear friend Abby asked me to make bread for her wedding, which is a few weeks after ours. Actually, that’s not exactly true – she sort of tricked me into thinking it was my idea, gently cajoling me into volunteering, never explaining that it was actually a no-bid contract. She manipulated me with a deft blend of bread-complementing and subtle hints, and I ended up laying out my case for why I should be The One chosen to bake. It wasn’t until after she agreed that I realized she’d played me like a sourdough violin.
Her wedding will have around 80 guests, which means Jessica and I have the not-insignificant task of baking around 10-12 loaves of bread that day. The current plan is to make 4 different types of sourdough rounds – plain, olive, whole wheat, and polenta, probably – and cut them into quarters. Each table would then get a whole loaf that’s actually made up of 4 different quarters of bread, sewn together with “invisible bread strings” by a local food surgeon so it looks like one solid piece of bread.
No, not really! But seriously, that’s one option, minus the surgery. The issue there is that we’d have to get bread knives and cutting boards out for every table, and I’m not sure it’s worth the extra trouble. In the end we may decide to pre-slice the bread and put it in baskets, which would also be lovely. I imagine we’ll also have little ramekins of butter on the side, perhaps even various flavored butters. Like honey butter, and garlic butter.
Wait, you guys: CHOCOLATE BUTTER?
Hmm, I dunno. But the point is, if any of you have brilliant ideas on how to present the bread in a beautiful way, let me know.