OK, here we go, on my honor........
This is the last time I am going to tell this story.
For those of you that have badges that allow you into the Klecko Party Tent, I apologize.
I know you've heard this story more times than you can bare, but this recipe is actually important. It does merit repeating.
Wouldn't it be a shame if it got lost?
Klecko want's the entire world to not only have access to this recipe, but to utilize it in times when reconciliation needs to take place in your life, or better yet.... in your heart.
Just over 20 years ago Presidents Reagan and President Gorbachev held a peace summit in my city.
The world was getting tired of going to sleep each night knowing that both of these world powers were leaning on big red buttons that were capable of launching nuclear warheads at strategic points across the planet.
When I heard that the pow-wow was coming to the Twin Cities I was ecstatic.
Gorby, the man who was quarterbacking the destruction of my country, and my friends was met with open arms.
Everybody in Saint Paul met him with cheers.
We thought the birthmark was sexy as h***, and even sold T-shirts with his image on every street corner across the metro.
I'm not kidding, dude had instant rock star status, and to think Klecko grew up in a house that came equipped with a bomb shelter in case the "Reds" dropped a big one on us.
As a kid in school, each year we had to go into the auditorium and watch films on how we should react if, or when the Ruskies bombed us.
Well, the shin-dig was gonna go down at the Saint Paul Hotel, this was an account of the bakery I was working for at the time.
I didn't know this, but one of their chefs called one of our office staff and told them that the event needed a loaf of bread that the 2 Presidents could break as a symbol of peace.
I guess they were curious if we had any Russian bakers on staff, or anybody who made Russian breads.
Well praise Polish Christ and the Saints of Bialystok, what's even better than having a Russian for an occasion like this?
Why a Pollack of course, we have been indentured servants to the Russians and Germans for generations.
So there you have it, little Danny Klecko got the nod.
In all seriousness, this may have been the first time ever that Klecko became the logical choice.
At this point in my life, my career, nobody outside of 1254 West 7th street knew who I was, and yet I was going to embark on an project that would literally change my existence on this planet.
When I think back to the opportunity....I kinda get emotional because it reminded me of the Bible story Daniel.
Like me, he was just a guy, but his services would have him placed at the feet of a king.
No disrespect, because Daniel is aces in my book and one of the first people I am going to request to meet in heaven (if I am permitted to enter), but I had 2 kings to not only please.....but to unite.
The one part of this story I have never told anybody up until this point is about the process of how I made the bread and how the process kinda tortured my soul.
First off, when you bake for a dignitary, it is customary to either bake a recipe from their homeland, or one that is indigenous of your own.
There were going to be tastings set up where chefs would critique the samples.
C.I.A. Spooks would could and go throughout our bakery unannounced and spy on us.
I felt a pressure like I had never felt before, or since.
Klecko wanted to nail this in the worst way.
Every night (or in the wee hours of the morning) I would walk home from work and pray to God.
I'm not kidding you, I'd walk down the dark city streets listing ingredients and then I would beg God to control my mind and hands so I could get this right.
I'll bet I looked like one of those crazy Old Testament Prophets, except with cooler hair and an absence of sandals.
I ended up doing a piece that was the quintessential Minnesota loaf.
It is a Wild Rice Sourdough.
I knew President Reagan was a cowboy at heart, and therefore I sent away to a Native American Rez for the rice, and got different grains and sweetening agents from across my state.
Now I'm not saying that 2 men as important as these Presidents have the time to inquire as to every ingredient that is in their loaf, or why they were selected, but you know Klecko.......I really wanted my end of this historic occasion to not add confusion.
Karma comes from every angle, and numerous instruments, even loaves of bread.
In case you just got out of a coma......these 2 world leaders broke Klecko's masterpiece bread, shook hands, and within weeks that Berlin Wall was ripped down and the world has never been the same.
Before I hand off the recipe. I would be remiss if I didn't report that I have worked across Russia many times since that day, and I have talked to many people over there.
Throughout the Cold War most of the common people of Russia felt the same way I did. They lived in fear, not so much of America, as much as knowing that humankind is a flawed species and if we are not careful, and do know how to coexist....
*BOOM*..........we are all going to have trouble!
Thank You Polish Jesus for that moment in my life, and may this recipe bless any set of hands that prepare it in the name of peace.
Wild Rice Sourdough
2 1/2 tablespoon yeast
2 3/4 cups water
1 1/3 cup brick starter (listed in a previous post)
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoon vinegar
2 1/4 wheat flour
6 cups bread flour
1/2 cup bran
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup cooked wild rice
bake at 400-450 "F" for close to 30 minutes.