It is often said that the act of kneading bread is very therapeutic and calming. That being said, making a good loaf takes more than good dexterity skills. The interaction between yeast, flour, and water at its most basic level is a complex reaction that creates the flavor, texture, and density of any given loaf. In Michael Kalanty’s latest book,
In Michael Kalanty’s latest book, How to Bake More Bread, he thoroughly explains the method of using “wild yeast.” Those strains of microorganisms that are found naturally in flours, grains, vegetables and the skins of fruits.
Michael Kalanty’s technique, as outlined in his book, is to build the starter or mother by capturing the elusive yeast cells. To do this, first soak raisins in water for three days, then mix them with flour and honey. Feed and maintain this starter or mother, as it is called, for seven more days by adding a small amount of flour each day. This process produces a wild yeast culture the base for the famous flavorful bread known as sourdough. Sourdough bread is a type of bread made all over the world and a specialty of San Francisco where Kalanty resides and teaches.
I met Michael Kalanty in my travels as a chef/author and sampled some of his wonderful breads at a seminar that he taught at the American Culinary Federation National Convention in Kansas City.
Bake More Bread is the sequel to his award winning book, How to Bake Bread, it features the following:
- Three chapters to explain the trio of steps to create a wild yeast culture
- Master formula known as Pain au Levain for use with wild yeast cultures
- Step by step photos of how to form and bake bread
- Recipes and methods for three styles of breads “Modern Breads, Classic Breads and Porridge Breads”
- Innovative flavor wheel for bread
- 290 pages in soft cover book
Michael Kalanty’s books are written for the professional baker, the serious baking aficionado and the baking student alike or for those of us who want to learn more about the science of baking with yeast. He gives an excellent treatise on the study of how to use specialty flours and ancient grains. I highly recommend this book and am confident that it will quickly become a reference book for many a home library.