This month Master Baker Denis Granarolo of Terra Momo Bread Company led the class of the Princeton Eats food series at the The Princeton Public Library. He explained that the bakery is getting back to mostly baking bread, and shared some tips with us.
Granorolo uses instant dry yeast to make his dough. It can be added directly to the ingredients in the kneading process. Most people use active dry yeast that needs to be added to some warm water and sugar to activate it before mixing with flour and water to create the dough.
He explained that the differences in bread texture is due to the percentage of water in it. Less water makes a denser bread with smaller holes. A higher percentage of water makes a more rustic bread with larger holes, like ciabatta. Wetter doughs need to be folded more to give them the proper structure. Since they’re sticky, you just need to flour your hands for the folding process.
The longer doughs rise, the more they can ferment. The gas carbon dioxide produced makes the dough rise, the alcohol is released, but the flavor enhancing lactic acid bacteria remains. Each area has different bacteria in the air, which in turn produces a different flavor. This is why you can only make the famous San Francisco sour dough in the Bay Area.
Bakers are known for keeping about 30% of their dough as starters for the next batch. You can actually make a San Francisco sour dough if you have some of its starter dough. There are some doughs that span decades or centuries to make artisanal breads.
At the end of the hour, Granorolo gave everyone sample slices of some of his breads, and dough to make a small loaf of bread. My daughter brought hers home, folded it a couple of times, kept it refrigerated, and baked it the next day with my supervision (photo). I must say, this bread had so much more flavor than my homemade bread. Of course, this is why he’s a master baker!
The Princeton Eats series continues on August 7th at 10 AM with Executive Chef Chrisopher Albrecht preparing a dish with ingredients from the Farmers’ Market.