We finished the final photography yesterday and it really has me re-energized! I love the shots we got. Photographer Ron Manville and Ten Speed's art director Nancy Austin set up a photo studio in one of the Johnson & Wales bakeshops while I baked the breads in the bakeshop next to it (the students were on their trimester break so we had the bakeshops all to ourselves for a whole week--thank you J&W--it would have been impossible to accomplish this without that resource!!!). I'm taking the weekend off to recoup from the effort--I'm just getting too old for this, but when the book comes out I'll probably forget about how tired I've felt for the past two years.
I just got an interesting e-mail from home baker Jake Sterling with some thoughts and theories on why steam helps hearth breads. I'm attaching part of his letter for general information. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like me to pass on any responses to Jake (eventually, when I figure out how to do it, I'll put a response mechanism directly on this blog).
Enjoy! More from me soon, but here's Jake....
What I am writing about is a statement you make somewhere in Crust and Crumb about the temperature of steam in the oven.