Artisan breads are all the rage. Prefermentation, the process of using bread dough made hours in advance, to add to the final dough, is the new norm. Think biga, poolish, sourdough and levain. Mix in a vast variety of grains and seeds to really ramp up flavour and basic white bread just can’t compete.
The future of bread seems to lie in the past: Consumers and bakers are now asking where their wheat is cultivated, how is it processed, what is added to the dough, and what methods are used to bake it. “Traditional baking” is the future of artisanal breads, and this issue looks at how chefs are following ancient recipes and using old fashioned wood fired ovens to satisfy our appetite for good quality, home made bread.
It all began with the simple, but controversial question: Which city has the best bagels: Was it New York, Toronto, or Montreal?
Sonia Mota, current co-owner of Vandal Doughnuts has an appreciation for the offbeat. The doughnut shop she co-owns with Nicole Tufts currently resides inside Gus’ Pub, a bar on Agricola street in Halifax. “We knew from the get-go wherever we put our location, we wanted it to be a little different,” said Mota.
Huntsville, Ont., baker Lynda McLeod, the titular “Granny Lyn” of “Granny Lyn’s Kitchen” quit working in the pharmaceutical industry to bring joy to her clients and their pets. McLeod is most famous for her all natural, diabetic-friendly cookies that can be eaten by both dogs and humans. Her shareable, human-friendly dog biscuits are only among some of the treats offered at the Huntsville bakery.
In the words of Laura Aiken, former Bakers Journal editor: “The first and last editorials are so hard to write. It’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s also hard to say hello.” Having Laura’s kind support and mentorship means so much to me, particularly as this is my first issue.
After nearly seven years as the editor of Bakers Journal, I have moved to a different group within the magazine’s parent company. Naomi Szeben, a passionate home baker and experienced journalist and researcher, will be taking the reins.
One word to describe Eric Ho, owner of Bakery Sate in Vancouver, is courageous. After leaving a successful career as an engineer, Ho enrolled at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts to study baking and pastry. Then, without ever having actually worked in the food industry, he launched his own bakery and built it into a success.
Alan Dumonceaux, chair of the baking program at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), and Marcus Mariathas, senior director of product development for ACE Bakery in Toronto, were selected to compete for the coveted World Master Baker titles in the categories of Gourmet Baking and Nutritional Bread respectively.
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