Thursday, May 28, 2009

In Memory of Luigi the Baker

Today we learned our dear friend and fellow bread baker passed away Friday. Luigi Ferrrari owned and operated Luigi's Baking in Bremerton, WA with fine Italian style bread and pastries. A prize for those living in the neighborhood or on a journey to his bakery for a loaf of crusty fresh baked bread.

We got to know Luigi when he rented our kitchen (pre-bakery) to bake his magnificent breads for the Gig Harbor Farmer's Market. He would bake all night, pack his truck with fresh bread, drive sleepless to greet his early morning bread regulars with a warm smile and fresh bread.

In the months he baked at Farm Kitchen I enjoyed our on going biga and dough discussions. I had finally found someone with the same passion of baking bread I have. Luigi added a new chapter to my understanding of long fermentation times and wet rustic bread doughs. His dough would creep across the table as it was resting before loafing. Then with a couple of quick deft hand movements he would form a loaf. He and I ventured unknowingly at the same time into no-knead dough experiments, which prompted more discussion about gluten structure and interesting flavor combinations. I will miss sharing these interactions and discoveries with him.

Each week as Luigi made his olive and gorgonzola bread we would debate how to effectively add olives to a roaming 30#-40# mass of dough on the table with out losing any. We all laughed as some of the olives escaped to the outer reaches of the room.

Then there was the love of BIG bowls. Luigi discovered my 2 big bowls and the race to find his own was on. The day he found his big bowl he sent me a picture.

We will miss you Luigi, with your soft spoken stories, tasty bread, buttery scones and passion for great bread.

Hollis & Anne

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