Beer, Bread and Pretzels – Yes Please

Joel so thoughtfully bought a pair of tickets to one of Edible Brooklyn’s “How To…” Series for Bread Baking at the Brooklyn Brewery, which we attended last night. I was especially excited as I’ve recently become a student baker and meeting some of the top bakers in the industry was very important to me.

Despite the torrential downpours that May’s wrath has brought upon us, there was a very good turn out for this particular presentation. Aside from all of the guests, presenters included Keith Cohen from Orwashers Bakery, Mathew Tilden from SCRATCHbread and Alfred Milanese from Martin’s Handmade Pennsylvania Dutch Pretzels. Each store also brought along delicious samplings of what made them famous.

Alfred Milanese started the night off talking about how his pretzels are still made by hand. He even showed a video of the ‘factory’ in Pennsylvania which is about as modern as our subway system. The story and production behind Martin’s Pretzels is quite fascinating and was a great way to open up the presentations.

Next up was my personal favorite – Mathew Tilden. His bakery, SCRATCHbread is located in BedSty, Brooklyn. Mathew mostly opened the floor for questions which turned into stories of his successes and trials getting to where he is today. His path and goals are the most interesting to me. He seemed to portray not only a want to please people by building a baking and food brand, but he seemed the most driven out of all the presenters. His brand is the most like a start-up and it sounds as if he’s ready to start a movement with his food – which is very motivational to a newbie baker. I’m hoping for a future (wink wink Mathew!) within the SCRATCHbread brand.

Last of the presenters was Keith Cohen from Orwashers Bakery: the oldest artisanal bakery in New York. Keith actually purchased Orwashers several years ago but still maintains its integrity through the store front as well as their wholesale business. Keith discussed his business and brought in dough and starter samples for the crowd to learn from. I, of course knew what he was talking about (I’d better after 3 weeks of intensive learning!).

The evening was very interesting and informative – filled with new ideas, baking information and beer. What could be bad?!

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