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Baker Eric Kayser on the Perfect Baguette, the Atkins Diet, and Future Plans

Baker Eric Kayser on the Perfect Baguette, the Atkins Diet, and Future Plans


Eric Kayser knows his bread.

He’s the baker behind Maison Kayser, a boulangerie that opened in Paris in 1996 and became such a success, even in that competitive landscape, that 20 more locations soon opened in Paris, and now there are more than 80 locations worldwide, including a bakery/cafe in New York, with two more on the way. We had the opportunity this week to speak with the man himself at his Upper East Side location, and he opened up about the secrets behind his world-famous baguettes, his additional upcoming New York locations, and lots more.

"The secret to a great baguette is time, it can’t be rushed," Kayser said. "We start work on our baguettes a day in advance, because they need at least 10 hours minimum to ferment and rise. Perfection cannot be rushed."

Another secret? Quality ingredients. "You need to use natural flour, with no preservatives," he added. He uses local ingredients whenever possible (aside from the flour, which is the same at every location), and contrary to popular belief, the water used doesn’t affect the bread’s flavor at all.

If you’re hoping to attempt to make a baguette at home, Kayser advises against it. "It’s very difficult to make at home, because it’s so complicated," he said. "The fermentation takes time, you need to know how to properly shape it, need the proper environment to let it proof, you need to know how to cut it the right way so it rises properly, and the oven needs to be at the perfect temperature." For those committed, though, he advises starting out with a boule, which is a simple round loaf, instead of a baguette.

In this carb-conscious day and age, though, there are plenty of people who have sworn off bread in favor of Atkins-style diets. When asked if he had anything to say to those scared of cards, Kayser laughed. "Bread is one of the world’s most unique foods," he said. "You can eat it every day and live off just bread. Some people say that bread isn’t good for you. Some people say that meat isn’t good for you, some people say that fish isn’t good for you; for every food people will say it’s not good for you. In France, we eat bread with every meal and we’re completely normal!"

Kayser has two more New York outposts and a cookbook in the works, and while he’s still tight-lipped about specific details, we can expect to see the cookbook within a few months, and both of the new locations (one on 21st and Broadway and another on 40th Street, right across from Bryant Park), will be opening at the end of April or in early May. The Bryant Park location will be smaller, with no seating, but the Broadway outpost will be very similar to the Upper East Side one, with an open view of the ovens and baker.


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The Audiobook Shelf

My Song: A Memoir
Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson
Random House Audio Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 8th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780739384602, $45.00, www.randomhouseaudio.com

My Song: A Memoir is narrated by Harry Belafonte and Mirron Willis and provides a powerful unabridged account of Belafonte's life, from his poverty-ridden start in Harlem and Jamaica to his rise as an actor and his eventual fame as a singer. His activism, a key part of his life, is explored in detail in MY SONG, which documents both his life and the growing civil rights movement. His moving, personal story comes to life in audio and is a 'must' for any collection strong in music memoirs or powerful autobiographies.

Spontaneous Happiness
Andrew Weil, MD
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017-0010
9781611139716, $29.98, www.hachetteaudio.com

SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS is narrated by the author and teaches his proven method for maintaining optimum physical health. His choices embrace traditional and alternative medicines alike, offering a focus on emotional health that features integrative medical approaches. Scientifically proven strategies from both Eastern and Western psychology are designed to counteract low mood and enhance positive feelings, making this a fine pick for any inspirational audio library.

The Wise Man's Fear
Patrick Rothfuss
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
1423389387, $44.99, www.brillianceaudio.com

The Wise Man's Fear turns a powerful fantasy saga to audio, powered by Nick Podehl's smooth voice - which has received audio awards in past. The epic tells of a rivalry with a member of nobility forces, telling of Kvothe who wanders the countryside searching for answers to an assassination attempt and court politics. Romance and intrigue spice an epic fantasy saga hard to stop listening to. THE WISE MAN'S FEAR is a weighty novel and at first glance would seem to not translate well to unabridged audio: it's Nick Podehl's voice that carries the creation, translates well the tensions, and makes for a gripping story line that comes across in unabridged audio as powerfully as in print.

Micro
Michael Crichton and Richard Preston
Harper Audio
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780060873080, $39.99, www.harperaudio.com

MICRO receives a fine unabridged performance by John Bedford Lloyd who adds drama and tension to the audio story of an evolving technology that begins to murder. A microbiology endeavor to develop cutting-edge tools becomes dangerous and threatens the world in this riveting blend of science and fiction, filled with twists and turns of plot and powerful characterization. Any fan of Crichton's thrillers will relish his signature ability to create heart-stopping action, which comes to life in this audio and is recommended for any general lending library.


Watch the video: Τούρτα αφρός που λιώνει στο στόμα με σοκολατένιο παντεσπάνι ζουμερό και δυο γεύσεις σοκολάτα βανίλια