There is a wonderful, and largely forgotten, graphic novella by Tom Wolfe, called The Man Who Always Peaked Too Soon (glimpses here) and for an age it was a standing joke in our family that I too always peaked too soon. Also that I was too idle to do anything with my insights before they turned into the Next Big Thing. Now, here I am, on the brink of returning to that freelance life, thinking hard about how to make it work and discovering that I have been so neglectful of so many things over the past few salaried years. Things that give me genuine satisfaction, that feed the autonomy, mastery and purpose that I find essential to make life worth living.
So it is that I have spent much of the morning searching for the notes I am sure I made about a loaf of bread I know I made. I know I made it because I have the photos to prove it. And I took them to illustrate a post, here or elsewhere. But no trace of that can I find.
The bread used grano arso, or burnt flour, which I came across in May 2011. I failed to find out much about it, but I baked with it that same month. And I was thinking about that because I’ve just recorded something for Eat This Podcast that rekindled my interest and sent me to the internet, where I discover a little burp of interest that apparently starts in February 2012.
See? The Man Who Always Peaked Too Soon.
Anyway, I wanted to be able to lay some claim to an early interest, but the best I have is these photographs. My recollection is that I used a standard semolina recipe, raised with yeast rather than a natural leaven, and that I used about 25% grano arso. I also remember it being delicious, so why didn’t I make more of it? And why didn’t I make any pasta?
If you can’t find any, there are now plenty of suggestions online for how to make your own. Are they “authentic,” whatever that means? I don’t really care.