Baking, Baking Biographies, Show and Tell

Singing Bread

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​I am beyond excited that the bread that I made actually sings!  You will have to turn your volume up all the way to hear it.  Listen carefully.  Did you hear it?  Oh, how I wish you could smell it!!

Let me tell you the story… a while back, when spending time studying about baking, I came across an article recommending great bread baking books.  I read the reviews and decided that this book was for me.   Secrets of a Jewish Baker: Authentic Jewish Rye and Other Breads by George Greenstein.  Immediately, I felt as if I was sitting in his bakery watching and learning.  Oh! the aroma!

Here’s what Master Baker Greenstein wrote to open his book,

The author of this book is a master baker who has spent his life working with his hands in pursuit of the perfect loaf.  What is the perfect Bread? How does one know when it has been found?  Who is qualified to judge?

One night, working alone while the others were asleep, a baker was standing in front of a huge oven.  Behind him was an wire rack containing more than 200 loaves, hot, just removed from the oven.  All was still in the bakery that very first time when he heard the rye bread sing.  He turned, stood listening, at first without comprehension, then he smiled, recognized the sound — for him, a melody!

Occasionally when making bread everything comes together in harmony.  The dough is flawless and the surrounding conditions are ideal.  When the rye bread is removed from the oven, the crust begins to crack in the cooler air and form a finely veined alligator-like appearance.  To the baker’s ear the almost imperceptible crackling, multiplied a hundredfold, is a song of praise for the perfect loaf.

So, yesterday, I made Mr. Greenstein’s Rye Sourdough bread.  The timer rang, and I took the loaves out of the oven and set them on the cooling rack.  I’ve made bread so many times, I really can’t even count.  (27 years worth)  And as I was preparing the next batch, I heard it!  The bread was singing!!  I ran and grabbed by phone to share with you. Never before had I even noticed.  Maybe, I’m paying more attention now or maybe as Mr. Greenstein wrote about.. finally… a perfect loaf.

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