Thursday, 17 November 2011

Homage to Filippov

I love my Panasonic bread maker. I bought it two years ago, and it was a very good investment. I regularly bake bread (loaf and rolls) for my family. Sasha's favourite bread is the sunflower seeds and honey cob, he cannot wait for a slice of bread, when I cut it, all hot out of the bread maker.

Yesterday was another day of baking, this time I was trying a Francine brioche mix. The machine made the dough, all I had to do is roll the buns, let them rise and bake.

You may ask, what does it have to do with Filippov, and who he is.
He was running the most famous bakery in Moscow in the days before the October revolution.
Vladimir Gilyarovsky wrote very eloquently about him in his book "Moscow and Muscovites".

The little story about the rolls with raisins that I quote comes from the recollections about the famous bakery and its owner (read the full article on Gilyarovsky at Legendary reporter/Voice of Russia 20/09/2011, apologies I had to remove the link as it was flagged as broken link) by Lyubov Tsarevskaya, it is a really interesting piece):

"And then a novelty was created, which customers pounced on – saiki buns with raisins…

“How did you think of them?”

“It was very simple,” the old man answered. And indeed, it transpired most effortlessly. Governor General Zakrevsky at that stage was the omnipotent dictator in Moscow, who instilled fear in everyone. Every morning, hot Filippov saiki (bread rolls) were served with his tea.

“What is this disgusting thing? Bring baker Filippov here at once!” Zakrevsky roared one morning.

His servants, unsure of what was happening, dragged the discombobulated Filippov to their boss.

“What is this? A cockroach?” He demanded and pushed forth a saika with a cockroach inside. “What is this? Well?”

“It’s very simple, your honour,” the old man said, turning the saika in his hands. “It is a raisin!” he said and gobbled up the piece with the roach.

“You’re lying, you rascal. There are no saiki with raisins! Get out!”

Filippov ran into the bakery, grabbed a sieve with raisins and dumped it into the saiki dough, to the dismay of the bakers.

An hour later, Filippov was treating Zakrevsky to saiki with raisins and a day later, customers couldn’t get enough of them.

“So very simple! It all happens on its own, you just need to catch it,” Filippov said when raisin saiki were brought up"

I love this story. And hence my homage to the old rascal - brioche rolls with raisins (some were baked plain and some have raisins).

To read more about the famous Filippov's bakery in Moscow, go here.
And if you want to have a good chuckle and find out why you should never rely on BabelFish or any other automatic translator engine, have a look here. (links removed as broken)

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