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Food Fetishes

Rise and Shine

Marilyn loves making bread "because the ingredients are so simple you really have to put yourself into what you're making," she says. "It's as much an expression of the baker as an interpretation of a recipe."

Snacks and coffee sustain us as we work. Toward the end of the class, we're served a light, delicious meal of soup, salad, cheese and bread. After class, we walk out into the evening carrying bags of fresh loaves, which Marilyn has instructed us not to even think of cutting until morning.

Many months later, we're all still baking. I've managed to duplicate the onion taste and chewy texture of a genuine New York bialy -- something I haven't been able to find anywhere around here. I know my bialys are authentic, because a visiting friend brought me a dozen from Kossar's in New York for comparison purposes.

Well-bread: Marilyn Kakudo displays the art of breadmaking at Cook Street.
Mark A. Manger
Well-bread: Marilyn Kakudo displays the art of breadmaking at Cook Street.

Calls to other students confirm that the conversion is widespread. Preston has been bringing loaves -- made with his own starters -- to sales meetings. He says the tips he picked up from Marilyn were more than worth the three long drives back and forth from Cañon City. "Now people want my bread," he says. The student who yearned for a European crust hasn't managed to achieve it, but she's still making bread. Michael Jones bought himself a peel and tiles for the oven. While his results don't compare with those of Whole Foods and the Denver Bread Company, "I like my bread," he says. "I make a lot of loaf bread."

Lorenzo says he's fascinated by the different leavening methods Marilyn showed us: sponge, poolish, sourdough starter and regular yeast. After the class, he made his own starter with organic grapes, creating a "bowl of dough that got bigger and bigger and bigger." He's used this for bread and sourdough pancakes. "It's a nice smell -- a little sour, a little alcohol-y," he says.

"I have to run home this afternoon," he adds. "I've got a country bread proofing in the refrigerator."

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