The food scene in Asheville has something for everyone including some worth-the-wait-in-line bakeries. MOTHER and OWL Bakery are two of our favorites. With their inspiration, we can safely say that you can bake bread at home that is Instagram worthy. Our source that can turn anyone into a bread baker is “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.
The Year of Bread
It’s a fact that people like to collect souvenirs from their travels. When guests check out, they often buy our custom coffee mug to remember their trip to Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast in Asheville. Personally my choice for souvenirs is books, always books. On a trip in 2008, I purchased “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” It was life changing as yeast had always gotten the best of me. I began my quest to conquer bread in Chapter Five The Master Recipe. Subsequently I worked my way, recipe by recipe, through all the chapters. Without a doubt, our family of four indulged almost daily in what we gloriously nicknamed The Year of Bread.
Like many people during the pandemic, I fell under the spell of starting sourdough. Failing miserably, I returned to a tried-and-true recipe: Challah. In 2020, batch after batch of dough rose, was stored in the refrigerator, then baked into loaves. This enriched dough makes the best French toast for our guests at breakfast.
Recipe and Tips
Since I respect copyright laws, the recipe is available online at www.artisanbreadinfive.com. However, my tip for challah is to divide a batch into 3 loaves, braid per the instructions, and place in 9×5 loaf pans. Bake as directed until golden brown on top but wait for the loaves to cool before cutting, if you can!
Challah bread in loaf pans
A Festival for Bread
Back after a pandemic hiatus, the Asheville Bread Festival returns April 22-23, 2023. Saturday begins with a bread fair featuring local and regional bakers and millers offering a range of breads, pastries, flours, and more. Following the fair, choose a lecture or hands-on workshop (like Spanish-Style Laminated Pastry.) Lastly, attend a happy hour with panel discussion. Only professional bakers attend the Master Class on Sunday.
Our historic bed & breakfast in Montford is the perfect location for all your Asheville adventures. Book your stay and let us cook your breakfast to start the day right.