Mr. Golper, like many comrades in the revolutionary salt-flour-water brigade, is engaged in an ancient and ceaseless battle: against the whims of working with fermenting dough whose personality can shift on a daily or even hourly basis; against the high costs of making bread in what he considers the purest manner; against decades of commercialization that have trained the American eye and palate to expect bread that is soft, gummy, pale and tasteless.

'Most people are trying to make bread as quickly as possible… I don’t think it’s healthy.'

Instead, Mr. Golper, 36, wages a loving blitz upon the miche dough, fermenting it for up to an epic 68 hours and hardening the crust with a bake that goes on for almost double the time (at a slightly lower temperature) than you would find in the average shop. The dough itself contains six different types of flour.”

Small independent bakers in New York, California, Oregon, Virginia and North Carolina (and many points in between) are going to great lengths to approach an ideal of bread that is simultaneously cutting-edge and primordial. They’re hunting down heirloom grains, early forms of wheat like emmer and einkorn, and milling their own flour. …

They’re using unusually wet dough and stretching out fermentation times. They’re trying to conjure up the baker’s version of terroir, creating sourdough starter in the classic manner: simply by letting it sit, welcoming the bacteria in the air so the bread presumably tastes like the place where it was made.”

Read on: Against the Grain



"My art is the way I perceive and define life. It is sacred work, since what I make are my prayers. These works are the measure of my character, the transfiguration of love and desire, and, finally, the quality of my soul." Joel-Peter Witkin

Joel-Peter Witkin’s work goes where others dare not tread. Brooklyn-born in 1939 and a devoted photographer all of his life, Witkin has carved out a career creating work that reveals his obsessions while tapping into the psyche and the deepest recesses of our subconscious. I have found myself attracted and repulsed, engaged and put off, and consistently in awe of an artist who can make me feel this way about Beauty and Art.

His latest show, "Love and Other Reasons to Love," is on view at the Andrew Smith Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. Last year’s documentary An Objective Eye is also online for viewing. Consider both of these an invitation to ponder Witkin’s legacy. No artist is as acutely aware of his own mortality (and the corresponding market value of his art) than Witkin. Spend some time with his work and decide for yourself the measure of his character, and the quality of his soul. —Lane Nevares