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Breadbaking Sprouts From the Past Into the Future

Story by Erika Janik
Photography by Joe Laedtke

James and Jenny Marino didn’t know their future lay in bread. But the “staff of life” became the driver of their new life in 2009, when they purchased a decades-old bakery in Waukesha.

“We got into bread very accidentally,” says Jenny Marino, CEO and president of Angelic Bakehouse. “We needed to reinvent ourselves after the collapse of the housing market and ended up buying Cybros, a bakery that had been producing sprouted grain breads for decades.”

The Marinos knew nothing about breadmaking. James had worked in the mortgage industry and Jenny was a stay-at-home mom. The pair hoped to find a business to buy and wanted to stay in Milwaukee, but they initially dismissed Cybros, because sprouted grain was so far out of their comfort zone.

One night, over a dinner of turkey burgers, James flipped over the package of wheat buns that Jenny had purchased earlier that day. He loved the taste and wondered what made them different. The buns turned out to be sprouted. The baker? Cybros.

“The cliche of love at first bite is so true,” Jenny says, with a … Read More

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Get Your Hands Into the Stuff of Life

Making bread a matter of practice, patience for home bakers

Column by Christina Ward
Photography by Rob Gustafson

Four. Water. Salt. Yeast. Bread. The “stuff” of life. It is an old adage in all cooking that the simpler and fewer the ingredients the more important technique is. Bread baking is the quintessential expression of this maxim. Successful bread making is wholly about technique. Yes, there are subtleties achieved through changes in the types of flour, salt, yeast, and even water used in a recipe. And of course, you can boost flavor with herbs, fats, and other tasty additions. But at its core, bread is about the toothsome bite of the crust and the soft chew of the crumb—qualities only achieved through proper technique.

The revolution in bread baking of the past decade is to look backwards at how our ancestors made bread. With science at our fingertips, we now know how that alluring mixture of flour, water, salt, and yeast behave together and how to better utilize the two unmentioned ingredients needed for all bread: time and temperature.

I spoke with Gene Webb, owner of North Shore Boulangerie. Before following his dream of baking French-style breads, he studied yeast … Read More

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Simple Artisan Boule Bread

Please note: This recipe uses the ancient ‘long-fermentation’ method of making bread. The entire process takes about 24 hours in 10 minute bursts of action.

This recipe also uses weight measures (with a volume conversion for cheating!). Gene Webb at North Shore Boulangerie and Joe Blaine at National Bakery are both advocates for weight measures, as they are far more accurate than volume measures, and encourage home bakers to invest in a kitchen scale.

Adapted from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Makes 4 loaves

Heat oven to 450 degrees for baking.

Ingredients:

  • 680 grams (3 cups) lukewarm water
  • 10 grams (1 tablespoon) dry active yeast
  • 17 to 25 grams (1 to 1 ½) tablespoons kosher salt
  • 910 grams (6 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • cornmeal (for pan sprinkling)

Recommended Tools (with substitutions):

  • Wooden pizza peel (wooden bread board or wooden cutting board)
  • large (about 6 quarts) plastic container with lid (food grade plastic bucket, or large stoneware bowl)
  • Danish dough hook (wooden spoon, granny fork, bare hands)
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking or pizza stone (baking sheet, covered with parchment paper)

 

Step One: Mixing and storing dough

In your large plastic container, mix yeast, salt and water. (Water … Read More

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Sandwich Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Adapted from Father Dominic Garramone, OSB

Ingredients:

  •  2 cups warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (not instant)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
  • ¼ cup melted butter (that is not hot, but warm) or lard (or vegetable oil for vegan)
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups unbleached bread flour (Separate into 5 cups and 1 to ½ cups)

Tools:

  • Large stoneware bowl (bowl should be three times volume of your dough. i.e. for this recipe bowl capacity should be at least 15 cups.)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heavy duty bread loaf pans
  • Nice but not necessary: Kitchen Aid Mixer with dough hook

 

In stoneware bowl mix water, sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve. Let stand about 10 minutes (or until foamy). Add salt and butter; stir to mix.

One cup at a time, add 5 cups of the flour, mixing thoroughly each time.

***Kitchenaid Method***  Move dough into Kitchen-Aid with dough hook attachment. Turn on low setting. Let dough hook work dough about 3 minutes.

***Hand Method***  Move dough to lightly floured wood surface (using reserved flour). Knead 6 to 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place … Read More

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