I received an e-mail last Friday from my editor at Ten Speed Press telling me that the whole grains bread book, this two year long project that many of you have contributed to, has finally gone to the printers. We should have it back by the end of the summer and see it on the stands by September. All I can say is, Hallelujah!! And also, thank you to all who tested recipes and sent me your great ideas and feedback.
By the way, the official title (chosen by the editors, not me) is: Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. Many of you suggested titles, and I sent them all to the editors but in the end, this is what they decided--if you sent me one that is close to this title, let me know, and if it's really close, I'll award you the grand prize of a free copy. As you may recall, I wanted to call it From Wheat to Eat, but that didn't fly (although we managed to get it into the text, somewhere in the early sections). It looks spectacular, loaded with photos-- both instructionals and so-called "beauty shots"-- and I am now very excited about seeing it in all its glory in a few few months. It took me two hours to type all the names of our testers (over 300) into the acknowledgements section. I'm pretty sure I got all of you in, and your names spelled correctly--please forgive me if I missed you and let me know in September.
Two weeks ago I had the chance to demonstrate four of the new recipes from the book at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual conference. This year it was held in Chicago (what a great restaurant city!) with over 1,300 movers and shakers of the culinary world in attendence. My presentation was a hands-on workshop for over 40 of the attendees, held at Kendall College. Kendall reminds me a lot of Johnson & Wales, with excellent programs in culinary, baking and pastry, hospitality management, and business among it's many offerings. Chef Melina Kelson-Podolsky, one of the bread instrutors there, was my liaison and she recruited a number of great students from her and Chef Heidi Hedeker's baking class to serve as volunteer helpers. It not only went smoothly from a logistical stand point, but the breads turned out beautifully. Of course, after all the testing that many of you did I expected them to be fine but this was, after all, the first public unveiling of these new formulas, so I was a little nervous. We made the high extraction country boules (Poilane-style), 100% whole wheat mash batards (the dreaded "mash" breads, now so easy and wonderful!), whole wheat spent grain loaves (using the spent stout beer grain from a local Chicago micro-brewery), and vollkornbrot (the bread that I predict will be the next darling of the artisan bread movement--100% rye bread, dense crumb, complex flavors unlike any other). Everyone also had the chance to make whole wheat seed-flour crackers with sunflower, flax, and pumpkin seed flour, along with whole sesame seeds. They were a big hit.
So we're off and running. I have just booked three classes for the fall, with more to come. In an upcoming post I will list the whole schedule, once it's finalized, but for now here they are:
September 22, Chapel Hill, NC (A Southern Season Culinary Center): Pizza (demo class)
October 19, Chapel Hill, NC (A Southern Season Culinary Center): Whole Grain Breads (demo class)
November 2nd and 3rd, Norwich, Vt (King Arthur Flour Baking Center): Whole Grain Breads--a 2-day hands on workshop.
Please contact those venues if you are interested in attending.
I should have a few other listings within the month. I will also be teaching classes to the public throughout the fall at our Johnson & Wales Charlotte campus, but the dates haven't been finalized yet.
More to come--thank you all again for hanging in there with me.
May your bread always rise!