Meet the Baker Behind the Loaves (podcast): Anomarel Ogen

Greeting fellow bakers, Barry from The Brewed Palate here. I’d like to welcome you to my latest Meet the Baker Behind the Loaves series podcast interview. Of the many ways that I’ve found inspirational fellow sourdough bakers to interview, getting suggestions from bakers that I’ve met through this interview series is definitely my favorite. During my interview of Ceor Bread’s Guy Frenkel, he mentioned a baker who has revolutionized sourdough baking in Israel and I immediately started researching and following his baking. From humble beginnings, Anomarel Ogen’s dedication to his fellow bakers and the land of Israel shines through in how he presents his wealth of baking and fermentation knowledge. From ancient grains to fast and wild fermentations this interview left me humbled and inspired to keep learning.

Photo Credit: Gadi Ohad

So without further ado, please join me in getting to know the baker behind the loaves, Anomarel Ogen, artisan baker, baking consultant, product developer, and all around amazing human being. Happy Baking!

Photo Credit: Gadi Ohad

The following topics were discussed during the course of this interview (podcast episode):

0:00-1:34 – Inspiring quotes / Episode Intro

1:35-10:37 – An in depth discussion of Anomarel’s baking twenty plus year baking journey: From restaurant cook to off-the-grid bakery owner to revolutionizing sourdough baking and grain agriculture in Israel. Anomarel describes his most impactful experiences in an engaging, relateable, and inspiring manner.

10:30-13:59 – Anomarel’s current baking related projects – consulting, product development, grain cultivation, and mentorship.

Photo Credit: Anomarel Ogen

14:00-17:49 – What is currently driving Israel’s sourdough baking culture? and What factors have inspired its recent growth?

17:50-20:22 – Anomarel’s role in creating a sustainable chain of farmers, millers, and bakers which drives the availability of locally grown staple, heirloom, and ancient grains.

20:23-30:34 – Baking with ancient grains: How to get the most out of each ancient grain…Including how to truly know whether you’re using a “young levain” and differences between using 20-50% and 100% ancient grain in your recipe/s.

30:35-41:40 – Anomarel’s 5 hour “from dough to cooling rack” method: Inspiration, professional practicality, techniques, tricks, and issues it solves.

41:41-44:14 – Does water chemistry effect the health of one’s sourdough starter? Chlorine aside, could water temperature be a more significant factor to look at?

44:15-49:14 – Leavening breads with wild yeast from fermenting fruits like raisins… Utilizing a “covert vs an overt taste” to add aroma and flavor complexity to your breads.

Photo Credit: Anomarel Ogen

49:15-57:04 – Living bread: A) Bread as a medium for improving the quality life of others and a means to preserve and develop Israel’s grain agriculture. B) Conscious attention to growing, baking, eating, and supporting uniquely local food products (e.g. bread and olive oil). B) The benefits of constantly questioning common bread knowledge and learning from the baking traditions of countries in your immediate region (e.g. Israel learning from Turkey vs France and Germany).

57:05-End – Episode conclusion: The benefits of sourdough baking being so communal and how to follow Anomarel’s baking. Instagram / Facebook. Old Dough project.

About Barry W

NJ (formerly NYC) based home brewer and fermented food enthusiast sharing his brewing, cooking, and baking adventures on thebrewedpalate.com.
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