My name is Massimo and I love bread and organic baking. I'm also the owner of Homemade-Italian-Bread.com. Let me tell you more about me.
My passion about bread started in the period I lived in Tuscany.
I have always been passionate about nature, agricolture, an ecological lifesyle and natural food is part of all of this. When I was 28 I left my hometown near Venice to go to live in Tuscany, in a very isolated place in the nature.
I have been living there, in an ancient stone-walled house, for 12 years. There was a wood oven in the house, made of stones. Since the first time I saw it, my imagination started to run. I had never thought that I would have baked bread and pizzas in a wood oven.
This was not enough to start. The spark that really lighted the fire have been my neighbors. There was an aged couple living close to me. We were the only inhabitants in 5 kilometers!
The woman, who is called Vera, was used to make sourdough bread in the wood oven every Saturday morning. I remember that my first invitation to them was on Saturday morning to see the baking. It was really fassinating. I went there many more times of course ... also to eat good!! She cooked every kind of food in that wood oven!
I started first to learn from her how to use the wood oven, then how to prepare the dough and cook it.
I was living very far from shops, and there were many woods in the nearby. So I wanted also to bake my own bread and I also started to cut the right wood to light the oven. The first time I lighted the oven the fire was so strong that few stones of the oven got broken, ops. The second time it went much better.
My first bread in the wood oven was not much nice. It looked like it didn't rise at all! But I learned quickly from Vera how to understand the right time and the right rising when to put the bread into the oven.
I also understood from experience that the flour I bought at the supermarket or at the mill was different, giving different results. For a long period I bought the flour in a mill in the nearby that was supplying many bakers in the area.
The next step has been to buy a small electrical mill, a very nice small tool that was standing in my big kitchen, and the wheat from a local farmer.
Once in a while Angiolino, Vera's husband, was cultivating wheat in the field, among poppies and cornflowers ... something that has become very rare ! ... and I was grinding the wheat with my small mill. That was really good ... my bread was coming from the land around my house.
It went on like this for years, refreshing the same sourdough time after time, baking white and whole wheat "Toscano" bread, adding small amount of millet, oats, rice, rye, corn flours that I was grinding in my kitchen.
But one day I had to leave this wonderful place. I invited all the people who came over in the years to a final party. I just lighted the oven and made 37 delicious pizzas for my guests. I am so sorry I don't have any picture of the party and of all the bread I made there, but I never imagined I would have built a web site about bread.
If you want to give a look to the place .. go to www.bivignano.com, some of the pictures are still the ones I took. A young couple from Switzerland lives there now. They are very very nice. They restored another part of the house very nicely and improved the property.
Now I live in Israel and I go to Italy 3-4 times a year. A new sourdough is living in my refrigerator, and I use a regular electrical oven. I buy flour in the organic food shops, but I always love my bread.