This is the next in our series of educators featured in our Bake Twentyfive issue. Each weekday, we will spotlight a new instructor or educator in the fields of baking, pastry, and chocolate.
Nicky Giusto is a fourth-generation miller and baker who grew up in the world of bread. He learned production baking with his uncle, Keith Giusto, and later honed his skills by training with Didier Rosada and Mike Zakowski. He currently works for Central Milling, based in Logan, Utah, developing bread programs and providing technical support for customers, in addition to holding workshops for bakers of all levels. In 2016, he competed at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie on Team USA in the Baguette and World Bread Category.
The farmer, baker, miller partnership is integral to success at Central Milling, which has been in continuous operation since 1867. “Central Milling is quite successful because we live by the farmer, miller, baker model rigorously,” Giusto says. “We believe that one cannot exist without the other. In short, we listen to the baker’s wants and needs.”
Central Milling recently launched its new Artisan Baking Center in Petaluma, California, a first-class “boulangerie” with top equipment: rack oven, deck ovens, proofer/retarder and mixers. The Artisan Baking Center is geared for professional and home bakers. There are about 10 to 15 classes per month.
The state-of-the-art baking R&D and culinary education facility is the perfect place for artisans-in-training. The center offers classes and workshops on topics ranging from milling and baking to artistic design, fermentation and other culinary techniques.
At a recent class, for example, Giusto offered technical advice on producing Khorasan (an ancient grain) bagels. Start dipping your bagels into a simmering water/molasses bath for 30 seconds per side (top side down into the water) and return them to a newly prepared baking pan. Add toppings as desired. Place the pan of bagels on the middle shelf of the oven and bake at 426° F (400° F if using convection) for 10 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake an additional 8 to 12 minutes, until the bagels are golden brown all over.
He explains that you want to set a goal for having a “nice chewy bagel — not too chewy, but chewy enough.”