What Makes Bread So Special? Peter Reinhart’s Speech from the Taste3 Conference

updated May 3, 2019
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If you’ve spent even a little time poking around the bread baking world, you have likely heard the name Peter Reinhart. As an instructor at Johnson and Wales and the author of several books on bread baking, he has built a career out of his love for bread!

Our fellow Kitchn writer Dana recently sent us a link to Reinhart’s talk on “What Makes Bread So Special?” from the Taste3 Conference last July. This talk sums up everything we love about both Reinhart and baking bread! Take a look…

First, here’s the link to the speech, brought to us via TedTalks.

“What Makes Bread So Special?” by Peter Reinhart at the 2008 Taste3 Conference

One of the biggest things we’ve taken away from this speech is the need to see the entire process of bread baking. Reinhart talks about the seeds that go into the flour and continues all the way through to pulling the bread from the oven and breaking it open. Each step has its own role to play in the process, and a baker who is aware of these steps ultimately bakes a better loaf of bread.

Now that we’ve been baking bread for a while, we understand what he means. We would also add that it has only been by baking loaf after loaf that the steps he describes started to take on meaning beyond the basic intellectual understanding. Every time we bake a loaf of bread, we “get it” a little more!

Hearing Reinhart speak, it’s easy to see how baking becomes such a life-long passion for some people. Whether you’ve been baking for years or you’ve just bought your first packet of yeast, take a break from whatever you’re doing and give this a listen!

Related: Interweb Cookery: Take Your Break with Dan Barber’s “Goose Whisperer”

(Image via TedTalks)