“I found myself dreaming about bread” and in turn ” I(‘ve) spent years learning and digging into what at the time was very scattered and sometimes well protected knowledge and as a result my baking (has) improved and at some point the world noticed and I started gaining attention and flown around the world to several gatherings to teach and to lecture and its been a crazy adventure that started as a catch me if you can with a bit of impos(t)er syndrome…but I just went with it and and realized eventually that I did have something to offer the baking world…”
When I began my sourdough baking journey this past April and looked to bakers on Instagram for inspiration, this week’s featured baker and his artful, educated, and passionate approach stood out almost right away. Beyond his perfectly lit bread photos and inspiring ability to incorporate unique ingredients into his loaves, Guy Frenkel’s multifacted approach to continuously learning about both the hands-on and natural processes involved in sourdough baking became increasingly relatable. As I developed my own multifaceted approach to sourdough baking, I closely followed his baking activites, read and listened to interviews he gave to other bloggers, and viewed his instructional presentations. Therefore, once I started this series, I knew that I had to get in touch with him and find time for an interview that would capture what makes his approach inspiring to me and sourdough bakers around the world.
So without further ado, it is my honor to present to you Guy Frenkel of Céor Bread.
The following topics were discussed during the course of this interview (podcast episode):
0:00-1:02 – Episode Introduction
1:03-3:47 – The beginnings and subsquent evolution of Guy’s baking and involvement in the worldwide sourdough baking community.
3:48-6:56 – The “home baker advantage” – Are home bakers limited when it comes to the level of bread baking they can achieve in a home kitchen?
6:57-11:04 – Adapting the artistic principles of Bread Couture to the large scale production format of Céor’s new sourdough baking factory.
11:05-14:10 – Defining “artisan bread” in terms bread baking being both being an art and a craft. Going beyond the classics and celebrating local and seasonal ingredients, the unique creative expressive of each baker, and opportunities for growth.
14:11-17:09 Viewing bread through a cuilinary lens. Bread as the main attraction rather than “the canvas on which other creations are being painted.” and as something to bring to a meal instead of an expensive bottle of wine. Deconstructing and then adapting your favorite restaurant dishes with your local farmers market and imagination being your only limitations.
17:10-21:10 – Guy’s experiences with fellow bakers all over the world. Developing long lasting friendships full of shared learning experiences along the way rather than just accumulating contacts.
21:11-25:07 – Past and present artisan sourdough baking in Israel.
25:08-28:30 – Understanding fermentation beyond “you add a leavening agent and it makes the thing (dough) rise.” Researching the unknowns of sourdough fermentation through the lens of other types of fermentation such as beer brewing and its focus on style specific yeast strains.
28:31-31:08 – Do sourdough cultures change their yeast and bacteria composition when moved to a new location?
31:09-33:51 – Stone milling as part of Guy’s baking philosophy and practices.
33:52-40:18 – What do the terms “living bread” and “living bread” mean to you (Guy)? An in depth discussion of the triggers of the growth of the sourdough baking movement. Followed by a look into the history of sourdough bread and fermentation in general. Including how they changed with the discoveries of Louis Pasteur.
40:19-43:15 What you should know about the planned opening of the Céor bread factory and the Cast Your Bread charity baking movement.