Dainty Bread

“The new woman, in the sense of the best woman, the flower of all the womanhood of past ages, has come to stay — if civilization is to endure. The sufferings of the past have but strengthened her, maternity has deepened her, education is broadening her — and she now knows that she must perfect…

Lunch Hour Bread

As the turn of the twentieth century approached, New York was at the tail end of nearly a century of non-stop transfiguration. The post-Civil War war boom had been especially good to the industrialists and financiers of Manhattan. An inexhaustible supply of cheap labor from Europe had been stoking the fire of local industry, now…

Industrial Bread

Emerging from the turbulent, transformative nineteenth century, Manhattan was a well-established manufacturing dynamo, powered by a constant inflow of foreign workers. The city’s ethnic and cultural character had always been varied, but decades of flux had left it fragmented, with working- and middle- and upper-class New Yorkers occupying virtually separate and mutually hostile New Yorks….

Jet Age Bread

Until the middle of the twentieth century, in the United States, gourmet cooking was something associated with precious, effete members of the fashionable upper class. It was about haute cuisine, served with great formality, but it was also about snails and calves’ brains and, possibly, chocolate-covered ants. Middle-class Americans weren’t encouraged to fuss over their…

Yuppie Bread

The word foodie was coined in 1980 by New York Times critic Gael Greene. It described a sensibility that was just taking hold among youngish, well-to-do New Yorkers who had developed an intense new relationship with food and restaurants, along with a taste for luxe ingredients—crème fraiche, sun-dried tomatoes, black walnuts—on an everyday basis. Upper-middle…

Purist Bread

The purist tradition is reactive. It’s a slightly highbrow, civilizing response to the enthusiasm American cooks, ably assisted by Madison Avenue, developed for factory-processed foods by the mid-twentieth century. Before canned vegetables and canned soup, cake mix and pudding mix and Cool Whip came to define normal, down-to-earth food style for virtually all Americans, cooking…

Inner Bread

This simple recipe, intended to provide scaffolding for improvisation and context for peaceful awareness, was created by Edward Espe Brown, then a monk-in-training at the tranquil northern California Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. It became a gateway bread experience for thousands, if not millions of newly-awakened home bakers in the 1970s. Espe continues to advocate for…