I mentioned I’ve been reading Michael Pollan’s book Cooked. In his section about air, he eloquently captures how air plays into bread along with the history of the beloved carb and the scientific elements that explain how bread is formed.
So, a few days ago right after my dentist appointment, I stopped by Panis Vitae– the neighborhood bakery, which happens to be one of my and my family’s favorite patisserie and boulangerie in Ilsan, a suburb of Seoul. Like all Korean-style bakeries, the freshly baked breads are on trays so I can grab a bag and a pair of tongs and add whatever breads I want. Today, I choose a particular bread called Levain, a big loaf of rustic sourdough made from whole grains.
I unlike most people, do not have a refined palette. I only know what I consider good and bad. But I like to think my criteria for what’s good and bad is pretty high.
The bread was a bit too dense, and the crumbs (the aerated holes underneath the crust) were not as developed as they should be (based on what I have read). It wasn’t as sour as the optimal sourdough, and taking a wad of bread and swishing it around my mouth, as advised from the book, did not produce a particularly wet sensation (the taste buds in our mouths salivate more when introduced to sour foods as a way to break down the acids).
I will be on a strict low carb diet when I come back home as an attempt to reverse into my weight before freshman year took a toll on my eating and sleeping habits. Until then, my quest for good bread in Korea continues.