“Your job as a baker is to evoke the full potential of flavor trapped in the flour.” – Chef Peter Reinhart
This concept is the basis for Chef Peter Reinhart’s career as a leading expert on bread baking, and one that he imparted on the class that gathered for his “New Frontiers in Bread Baking” demo this past Sunday.
From novices to professional bakers, 55 people filled the seats in ICE’s demo kitchen to learn Chef Peter’s techniques for cold (delayed) fermentation sweet dough, lean dough and Challah bread. If there’s one truth I gained from the demo, it’s that if you can make a couple of basic doughs well, you can make an unlimited number of pastries and breads.
The evening worked backward in that Chef Peter started off with pre-made dough that he shaped, including several versions of how to braid the Challah and the chocolate-cinnamon Babka with a cream cheese glaze (pictured). He then back-tracked to demonstrating how to actually make the dough itself, which he promptly passed around so students could get a hands-on idea of what their own doughs should feel like. All the while, Chef Peter entertained the class with stories of the history of breads, the cultural significance of patterns and the varying shapes of bread.
The recipes handed out and demonstrated in the class were pulled from Chef Peter’s most recent book, Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Everyday (Ten Speed Press, 2009).
Are you interested in learning new baking techniques? The Institute of Culinary Education is an award-winning baking school in New York, offering both culinary arts diplomas and recreational baking classes.