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Modernist BreadCrumbs

Modernist Cuisine founder Nathan Myhrvold and head chef Francisco Migoya join host Jordan Werner Barry and executive producer Michael Harlan Turkell for Modernist BreadCrumbs, a special series taking a new look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet: bread. Start with starter and then take a look at the discoveries and techniques from Modernist Bread. Enjoy interviews with the bakers, scientists, chefs, authors, millers, and Bread Heads who are shaping the future of bread. We’ll take deep dives into the microbial world, heritage grains, flatbreads, and breads with holes, but we’ll also step back and look at how bread intersects with culture, fermentation, immigration, art, and tradition. Fire up your oven and follow the breadcrumbs.

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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Episode 9: Mother, May I?

Welcome to Season Two of Modernist BreadCrumbs! It seems only natural—and appropriately poetic—to start this season talking about starters. They’re the inception of the loaf, the first step. You don’t need a starter to make bread, but the story of cultivating yeast from the environment around us—whether you call it “starter,” “culture,” “levain," or “mother”—is what we’re focusing on in this episode, from microbes to miche. We'll hear from Executive Producer Michael Harlan Turkell about his "mother," baker Sarah Owens about her "Beast," microbial ecologists Dr. Erin McKenney and Dr. Rob Dunn of The Sourdough Project, and, of course, co-authors of "Modernist Bread," Nathan Myhrvold and Francsico Migoya. “Sourdough for Science” Link: http://studentsdiscover.org/lesson/sourdough-for-science “New Year, New Bread” Link: http://studentsdiscover.org/lesson/new-year-new-bread Puratos Sourdough Library Virtual Tour Link: https://www.poppr.be/virtualtour/puratos/#p=scene_p1.html Photo credit: Nathan Myhrvold / The Cooking Lab, LLC. Theme music: Thomas Hughes and Gretchen Lohse (@carolclevelandsings) Modernist BreadCrumbs is powered by Simplecast.

42mins

24 Oct 2018

Rank #1

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Episode 1: Pre-ferment

This is Episode One of Modernist BreadCrumbs: "Pre-ferment," on the history of bread. Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think. From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future. In this episode, we take a look at ancient drawings on cave walls, dig through the ashes of a volcano eruption, and consider the primal evolution of bread as we know it. We hope you'll loaf it.

58mins

4 Oct 2017

Rank #2

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Episode 2: The Great Civilizations of Grain

This is Episode Two of Modernist BreadCrumbs: “The Great Civilizations of Grain,” on grains, flour, and milling. In this episode, we look inside with a kernel of knowledge, sprout ancient grains, and take a journey through wheat’s history. We could go on for flours. Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think. From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future.

1hr 12mins

18 Oct 2017

Rank #3

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Episode 3: On the Rise

This is Episode Three of Modernist BreadCrumbs: “On the Rise,” on yeast, leavening, and fermentation. Here, we observe a microscopic single-celled organism from the fungi kingdom, and its full effect on bread: yeast. How can something so small make such a big impact? When it comes to bread, the proof really is in the proofing. Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think. From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future. Modernist BreadCrumbs is powered by Simplecast

56mins

25 Oct 2017

Rank #4

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Modernist BreadCrumbs Live: Nathan Myhrvold in Conversation with Michael Harlan Turkell

Nathan Myhrvold and Michael Harlan Turkell kick off Modernist BreadCrumbs, their new podcast series on Heritage Radio Network, with a special conversation about the future of bread. Myhrvold will share insights from his new 5-volume book Modernist Bread (on sale November 7, 2017), the inspiration behind the podcast, as well as what the Modernist Cuisine team learned over four years of nonstop research, photography, experiments, writing and baking. From its surprising history to the complex science behind every loaf, this discussion will reveal why we need to take a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet. Modernist BreadCrumbs is powered by Simplecast

58mins

11 Oct 2017

Rank #5

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Episode 4: Milling About

This is Episode Four of Modernist BreadCrumbs: “Milling About,” History Part II, Pre-Industrialization. When we look back on how modern baking came to be, it’s the same old story of craft informing art, and how the artisanal approach was replicated through the aid of mechanization. This episode picks up where Episode One left off, telling bread's life story from All Purpose to Zopf. Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think. From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future. Modernist BreadCrumbs is powered by Simplecast

52mins

1 Nov 2017

Rank #6

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Episode 5: Against the Grain

This is Episode Five of Modernist BreadCrumbs: “Against the Grain,” on politics. How does bread play a part in politics you ask? Withholding grain has been part of party lines as well as a catalyst of war. Though the fight still continues to bring bread to those impoverished and underfed around the world, we urge you to chew on this: become as active as a sourdough starter, and be part of the bread revolution. Rise up! Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think. From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future. Music by Thomas Hughes and Gretchen Lohse Modernist BreadCrumbs is powered by Simplecast

55mins

15 Nov 2017

Rank #7

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Episode 8: Breadbox

This is Episode Eight of Modernist BreadCrumbs: “Breadbox.” Bread is immeasurable, no longer bound by precepts. The new dictum of baking bread is built on shapes and sizes we haven’t even dreamt of. This episode, the proverbial breadbox of the series, will hold all the bits of bread we haven’t gotten to yet, or have yet to be made. Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think. From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future. Theme Music by Thomas Hughes and Gretchen Lohse Modernist BreadCrumbs is powered by Simplecast

1hr 28mins

13 Dec 2017

Rank #8

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Episode 7: Thermal Mass

This is Episode Seven of Modernist BreadCrumbs: "Thermal Mass," on baking and ovens. We’ll discuss “thermal mass," or the ability to absorb and hold heat, in two-parts: within bread itself, and the ovens it's baked in. It’s a complex physicochemical process… that’s more than just hot air. Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think. From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future. Modernist BreadCrumbs is powered by Simplecast

1hr 3mins

29 Nov 2017

Rank #9

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Episode 6: Balls & Sticks

This is Episode Six of Modernist BreadCrumbs: “Balls & Sticks,” on shapes, scoring, and semiotics. Balls & sticks. You’ll hear this idiom over and over in this episode, as if we’re talking in circles. The two shapes' repetitive figures have been a constant in bread’s identity over time, but why? Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think. From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future. Modernist BreadCrumbs is powered by Simplecast

53mins

22 Nov 2017

Rank #10