Northshore Magazine

Northshore November 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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94 whole wheat to their lineup in the future, always in keeping with the bakery's organic, natural ethos. Like The Olde Craft Bakery, Annarosa's is a European bakery that makes French, German, and Italian breads, as well as pastries. A former mechanical engineer who worked on sensitivity analyses in optimization studies, Malatesta finds the finicky world of bread baking appealing appreciates that subtle changes in things like temperature, humidity, and other factors can drastically affect how a loaf of bread turns out. Understanding—and being able to control and predict—how each of those variables affects the final product is key to bread baking, he says. "This is a trade where it's not about a recipe or a formula; it's about techniques and getting in tune with the products," he says. "You're coaxing that product into what its potential is, and that's what we're always reaching for." King agrees, saying that although there are formulas and recipes for certain doughs, every loaf of bread is essentially just different combinations of flour, water, yeast, and salt. "Now you know my secret recipe for everything I do," he laughs. But there's another ingredient, too: time. Time for fermentation, certainly, but also time for bakers to learn and understand the nuances of the bread itself. "We're really interested in the intimacy," King says. "You have to touch it, you have to feel it, you have to smell it, you have to know how it feels under your fingers when you're shaping it." That's not to say high-quality ingredients don't matter—quite the opposite. At Annarosa's, Malatesta says all of its whole grains are locally sourced. He points to breads like the Maine Grain, which has an earthy, nutty tang. "It's high in whole grain, highly nutritious, and with a bang-up flavor. You can really taste the terroir," he says. "It's different, and it's complex, and really, really good." Similarly, A&J King's North Shore Sourdough, a tangy loaf filled with character, tastes the way it does thanks not only to the tried-and-true components of technique and time but also great ingredients, like local grains. (Tip: It's a bread that King says would make a great Thanksgiving stuffing.) Bread is one of the world's oldest man- made foods, a staple of cultures around the world. It's called upon in religious rites and shared in times of joy and sorrow. It's only fitting, then, that something so meaning ful, life-sustaining, and elemental to our history and our daily lives should be entrusted to caring, expert bakers like the ones in our region. "There's something kind of weirdly alchemical and mystical about baking," King says. "It is very much ingrained in who we are as humans." ajkingbakery.com, annarosas.com, theoldecraftbakery.com A&J King has been a staple in Salem's community for years.

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