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Home Bread Baking is Back!

Posted by Bea Davis on Apr 22, 2020 1:24:28 PM

This trend may be the best thing to come from Quarantine 2020.

SourdoughHome baking is back, and Mr. DeMille, it's ready for it's close up!

Go on any social media site nowadays and you'll see people posting pictures of their latest bread creations. Boules and loaves, sourdough and focaccia...the internet is exploding with bread.

But is this something new, or have all these people been baking bread the entire time and we, the hungry public, just haven't known it? Or has the thought of being home with now end in sight spurred on a great resurgence of home bread baking? 

An incomplete and thoroughly unscientific poll on Facebook shows that, generally, people were "occasional" bakers before, and then started experimenting with sourdoughs because of their newfound time. For some, it's about finding some inner peace during the current crisis. For others it's about making up for a grocery shortfall. Sometimes it's about feeding themselves and their families a product with fewer ingredients than what they can find at the store. 

Rachel Wyman, owner of Montclair Bread Company in Montclair, NJ, saw an opportunity to get people excited about home baking and started posting step-by-step photos of how to produce some of her fan favorites. "I'm sharing my recipes because I know a lot of people are bored, entertaining kids, missing their favorite [Montclair Bread Company] baked goods, or all three. I've gotten such a positive response it's been easy to keep going." 

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Like most trends in the modern age, posting begets doing, doing begets posting, and it gains a foothold. What about you? Did you bake at home before the quarantine? Maybe you're a professional baker and doing so feels as natural as waking up. If you never baked before, what have you started with and how is it going? Share pictures of your breads in the comments. Here are a few to get things started

Flat Bread

Country White Loaf

Focaccia

 

 

Topics: Pastry Trends, home baking, in the news, bread

Real Baking with Rose

Posted by Bea Davis on Apr 17, 2020 11:37:55 AM

Because we could all use some guidance from the queen of baking.

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Since 1988 and the publishing of her seminal cookbook "The Cake Bible", Rose Levy Beranbaum has been helping the world become better bakers and dessert makers. Now, in an effort to contribute to the current surge in comfort-baking that has taken hold of the country, she's teamed up with Miro Uskokovic, pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, to talk and bake and teach all things baking.Their first conversation was entitled "The Power of Flour" and has continued on to cover eggs, and butter. 

Chef Uskokovic is also hosting conversations with other notables in the industry, such as Sherry Yard, Daniel Skurnick, and Karen Demasco.

We certainly hope this continues long after social distancing becomes a thing of the past. But right now it's a great way to pass some time, and become a better baker in the process. 

Topics: Videos, Pastry Trends, education, Karen Demasco, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Miro Uskokovic, Sherry Yard, Daniel Skurnick

ERIC’S 7 STEPS TO DESSERT PERFECTION

Posted by Bea Davis on Mar 25, 2020 10:15:00 AM

Eric Bertoia shares his secrets for a great plate.

Eric Bertoia 600

As the corporate pastry chef of Paris Gourmet, Eric Bertoia spends his days creating and tasting plenty of desserts. He loves nothing more than to help other pastry cooks and chefs around the country raise their game, and to create menus that can really wow their customers.

But what does he look for in a great dessert? I got the chance to sit down with Eric and talk about what tingles his tongue, and learn these 7 great tips to creating a perfect plate.

1. Respecting the season

Seasonal produce

Seasonality is one of the most crucial elements of successful dessert creation. Guests definitely look for different flavors at different times of the year. For example, while chocolate desserts may be popular year round, they're definitely in higher demand in the winter. And spring and summer scream for desserts that feature fresh berries. And, of course, seasonality only helps the next element...

2. Quality of ingredients

It's a given that ingredients, especially fresh produce, is going to be of higher quality when it's in season. Featuring fresh strawberries in a dessert in the middle of December only leads to higher costs for lower quality and, ultimately, a disappointed customer. And that's probably the highest cost of all. 

3. Using 3 to 5 different flavors

Incorporating a variety of flavors in your dessert keeps things interesting on your customers palate. But you don't want too many, otherwise it becomes a confusing jumble of flavors where no single element stands out. And remember...sometimes you want flavors that contrast, sometimes you want flavors that compliment.

4. Balancing textures : crispy - soft - creamy - temperature

Similarly, having a multiple different textures at play in your dessert gives another layer of interest. If your dessert is only cold-soft-and-creamy, with no element that brings some crunch or heft, your customer is going to lose interest quickly. Think about the perfect s'more...the gooey warm slightly melty chocolate, a gooey-crisp marshmallow, and a crunchy graham cracker. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. 

Delicious chocolate dessert served on a white plate5. Design/ decoration

Everything great plate needs a finishing touch. But make sure it contributes meaningfully to the final product. 

6. Presentation

"We eat with our eyes," the old adage goes. Find new and creative ways to present your dessert - ways that bring delight, surprise, and joy to your guests. At the same time, make sure the presentation is in service of the dish, not the other way around. 

7. Taste

And of course, nothing else matters if the dessert doesn't taste good. Get feedback from your coworkers. Refine, refine, and refine again. Always seek greater clarity of flavor

Follow these 7 steps, and you're well on your way to creating a memorable dessert that will keep your guests coming back for more. 

 

Topics: Techniques, Pastry Trends, seasonal, trends

Pastry Trends: Five of the Best Paris Pastries

Posted by Bea Davis on Jul 31, 2014 4:18:58 PM
Lindsay Tramuta of The Wall Street Journal chronicled her five favorite Paris pastries in her recent article.  She found that some of the best pastry chefs are focusing intensely on a single signature item.  Her top picks and possible future pastry trends: classics like eclairs, choux, tarte tropezienne, merveillieux, and a very special angel food cake.
PatisserieCiel
Patisserie Ciel

Topics: Pastry Trends, Paris

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