Our soft olive bread may not catch your eye when brought out together with our colorful, seasonal pasta dish. It may seem hardly noticeable at first glance next to the pasta but this issue highlights our fabulous olive bread.
The main dish I had was pasta with summer vegetables. The succulent vegetables were salted to perfection. The acidity of the tomato olive oil sauce was also just right. Strong summer flavors filled my palate. Then I tore off a piece of bread and took a bite. It was unbelievably soft and had a delicate sweetness with a slight after taste of salt and olive oil that was delightful. Without asserting itself, the bread let me enjoy the pasta down to the last bite. The soft olive bread is just that kind of bread. Hidden in this gentle flavor, however, is our bread maker’s unparalleled attention to detail.
Have you heard of “ancient wheat”? Most of the wheat used for breads today has been selectively bred to increase the percentage of gluten to accommodate contemporary tastes. “Ancient wheat” refers to a nearly pure breed of wheat, which has not been processed and was consumed by our ancient ancestors. In recent years, “ancient wheat” has gained attention as a breed of grain that even those with wheat allergies may be able to eat.
When Miho Museum’s bread artisans first learned that this ancient wheat was being made without chemical fertilizers and agrochemicals using the techniques of Shumei Natural Agriculture, they decided to create a bread without butter or any dairy products so that it would be as gentle for our bodies as possible.
Our bread artisans use an ancient wheat that is 100% red fife from Canada. This flour has little gluten so it doesn’t rise very well but they use a natural yeast made of fermented oranges and grapes to help the bread to rise. The olive oil is an extra virgin olive oil that is cultivated with Shumei Natural Agriculture methods in Tuscany, Italy. The lack of gluten gives the bread an exquisite amount of moisture and dryness and a delicate yet flavorful smell. The other detail that our bread artisans focused on was the softness of the bread. They found that by making the bread very big, they could use the lack of gluten and softness to bake a soft bread, which initially came from the idea of a bread that was easy to eat for even those with fragile teeth.
Our soft olive bread is packed with the kindness of our bread artisans. Currently, our bread accompanies our pasta as a side though it is sold with our other breads at times. If you see it, we highly recommend that you try it without hesitation!