“…liberally slather with softened butter…”
Sarah Cooper, Baker, California. And her dog Koji. Yes, he is named after the mold-inoculated grains responsible for miso, soy sauce, sake, mirin, and a host of other ingredients.
If you were a grain, which one would it be?
If I were a grain I would be an Einkorn! While I appreciate the progress we’ve made with modern wheats, there’s something so special about the way this ties us to bread eaters of the past and I think that’s worth preserving.
Whole-grain or not?
Of course I’d be a whole-grain! Milling all the components of the kernel together is what gives Einkorn it’s wonderful flavor and texture.
What does your grain alias pair best with?
Pro tip: slice a THICK piece of Einkorn and lightly toast it. Then liberally slather with softened butter, a sprinkle of crunchy Maldon salt and a splurge of honey drizzle. This combo never disappoints- I haven’t found a better pairing yet.
What role do you play in the grain economy today?
Throughout the last 12 years of my baking career I have had the good fortune to work with a broad group of talented bakers, pastry chefs and chefs. While school gave me a solid culinary foundation, working alongside these people is what really honed my skills. I’ve found over the years that this is an industry of truly generous individuals and I’m so grateful for the knowledge they’ve shared with me. To that end, I’m excited to be in the process of establishing my own bakeshop where I can both innovate and pass on that know-how to help set up the next generation of bakers.
And in ten years?
In 10 years I hope to still be baking in some capacity or another. I hope to have mentored a few strong bakers. And I hope they will be inclined to mentor some new bakers themselves.
Show and tell:
Interested in making some Einkorn loaves of your own? Find some freshly-milled local flour. Get yourself a loaf pan and a healthy Levain. Start with a conservative hydration- let’s call it 90%- and work up from there. Use your hands, not a mixer. Be patient. Be attentive. Be observant. Thousands of years of tradition are in your favor. You can do it!