Posted yesterday at 11:00 a.m.
At a very young age, Mathew Foulidis was already fascinated by artisan bakeries and their irresistible smell, an interest shared with his father who never missed an opportunity to discover a new establishment and come back with arms full of fresh bread. In her Greco-Italian family, as in many other Quebec families, bread was at the heart of the table among simple dishes, but always tasty, instinctively simmered by the Italian grandmother.
“I like real, accessible food. When traveling in Italy, it’s in family trattorias that I prefer to settle down because you can find authentic cuisine there. With globalization, it is lost, which is a real shame, ”says the cook. It is moreover with the idea of preserving heritage and quantifying the revenue from its nonna that he published My Italian Grandmother’s Kitchen, in 2016.
“I grew up in the kitchen. As a child, I did not play with toys, but with pans and pots. It was already written that as a good epicurean, he would later found Terroir, a wine import agency.
With Until the last crumba second book published this fall, Mathew Foulidis delves back into his family memories and takes an interest in the world of baking, the basics of which he began to master four years ago.
It’s a passion that exploded when I started making my own sourdough and discovering different flours. I wanted to share it with others and demystify its preparation.
The pleasure of baking bread
Bread is a staple in our diet. And food is at the heart of our lives. “We talked a lot about gluten-free and low-carb diets, but we saw it during the pandemic: baking powder and flour disappeared from the shelves”, notes the author, launching into a flight of explanations. “Because you can’t do without it… Because the aromas of bread are most comforting… Because a warm crumb is so good!” Because baking bread is relaxing, and even therapeutic. »
This is also the reason why Mathew Foulidis retains the pleasure of kneading the dough by hand, even when it comes to making 18 kg of bread in anticipation of a book launch. “We often have the impression that making bread is complex, when it is rather simple. But bread demands that you take your time. It doesn’t rush,” insists the cook who sees resistance in this process at a time when everything is going fast. “I think it reminds us that we have to see life more simply and take the time to see it pass. »
All around bread
Until the last crumb is not just a beautiful book showing the multiple ways of making bread, which it really is – backed by sound advice – with a generous offer of bakery products: loaves, bagels, pitas, ficelles, focaccias, crackers, buns, panettones…
The book is also interested in all that surrounds bread, with butters, dips, spreads and pâtés, and the ways to reuse it once the cajoling is over. Because this food that seduces just out of the oven can only lose its interest the next day. It is to ignore that it is possible to make gourmet dishes, and not only the traditional bread pudding.
No less than 900,000 tons of bread are wasted each year in the world, notes the author in his book, citing a study carried out in 2020. “I grew up with my Italian grandparents who experienced the Second World War . They taught me that you never waste food. »
If you don’t have the time or the interest to start making bread, you can always take an interest in that portion of the book where it is presented as an ingredient, and salivate over cauliflower soup, a with hazelnuts, a panzanella salad, donuts and other inspiring dishes that you won’t want to lose… not a crumb!
Down to the Last Crumb, 60 Bread Recipes
Eggplant Meatballs Recipe (Polpette al melanzane)
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Yield: 12 dumplings
- 2 large eggplants
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 500 ml (2 cups) finely ground bread
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) chopped parsley
- 125 ml (½ cup) grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, fry the eggplants over medium-high heat in olive oil until golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Transfer the eggplants to a blender with the bread, parsley, parmigiano reggiano, egg, salt and pepper.
- Pulse 5 or 6 times, or until mixture is smooth but visible bits of all ingredients remain.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- Using a 60 ml (¼ cup) measuring cup, measure the mixture of polpette and form balls with your hands.
- Place meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the polpette are slightly brown.
- Serve with a little marinara sauce. Garnish with fresh basil and shavings of parmigiano reggiano.