Meet the Baker Behind the Loaves (podcast): Keith Guisto of Central Milling

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 (pause) From industry veterans to those who have only been baking since March 2020. It takes a lot for a mill to come highly recommended by bakers of every experience level.  In addition, like a great whole grain sourdough loaf which starts with high quality flour and a vision of the final product, a great milling company starts with a visionary dedicated to making sure every baker has what he or she needs to bake high quality breads and baked goods. Within the US that milling company is Central Milling and its visionary is this episode’s featured baker.  With so many years of milling, baking, and distributing experience there was so much that I want to ask him. With his genuine passion showing in every shared story, my nerves quickly dissipated as Keith Guisto and I discussed a balance of memorable baking and milling experiences, Central Milling’s history, and what makes the sourdough baking community so amazing.

Photo Credit: Keith Guisto Bakery Supply

So without further ado, please join me in getting to know the baker behind the loaves, Keith Guisto, passionate baker, miller, and visionary. Happy Baking!

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

0:00-1:17 – Inspiring quotes / Episode Intro

1:18-4:15 – Experiences that stand out from Keith’s baking career and what motivates him to keep baking, teaching, and learning.

4:16-10:04 – The history of Central Milling from Keith’s perspective: Leaving his family business and partnering with Kent Perry to create a milling company with quality flours (e.g. identity preserved wheat) and relationships as its first priority.

10:05-16:54 – Events that led to the opening of Keith Guisto Bakery Supply in 2009: Distribution woes, falling out of key business relationships, concerned professional bakers, taking charge to take back market share, and consulting with and teaching home and professional bakers.

16:55-21:00 – Farmer relationships that exemplify both Keith and Central Milling’s dedication to individuals at every level of the baking industry, from seed to loaf.

21:01-24:11 – The process of ensuring that exceptional wheat varieties can be grown and then milled from year to year: Tasting, testing, collaborating, and consulting all before selling them to customers.

24:12-26:18 – Keith’s perspective on roller stone milling at Central Milling and future plans for selling their stone milled flours.

26:19-28:35 Keith’s time-tested sourdough baking method and perspective on teaching others to bake consistent loaves (Artisan Baking Center).

28:36-32:01 A) How Keiths consults with professional bakers and directs them towards choosing flours, baking methods, and equipment that suit their needs. B) Trusting your sourdough baking method/s and adapting them to bake inspired loaves.

32:02-36:54 Base flours: Choosing one and getting the most out of it…Keith’s personal history and relationship with (utilization of) Artisan Baker’s Craft Plus flour.

36:55-39:25 Recipe development and baking for the Keith Guisto Bread Club: Base recipe vs mix-ins such as cranberries.

39:26-45:16 – The development of Keith’s home oven steam kit and baking mixes and potential timetable for it’s release…Making whole grain sourdough baking as accessible as possible.

45:17-50:21 – What the terms “living bread” and “living food” mean to Keith…Central Milling’s unique relationship with Steve Sullivan and Acme Bread.

50:22-End – Thanking Keith for his contributions to the baking industry and sourdough baking community with credit given to those who have and continue to help make his visions into reality.

To follow Keith’s baking, milling, and overall involvement in the worldwide sourdough baking community visit centralmilling.com and kgbakerysupply.com in conjunction with each of their respective Instagram accounts @centramilling and @keithguistobakerysupply. To learn more about Keith’s new sourdough subscription service, the Keith Guisto Bread Club, follow @kgbreadclub on both Instagram and Facebook…For my interviews like this click the Meet the Baker Behind Loaves series logo in the right sidebar. Happy Baking!

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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