Bread baking is the sweet spot between precision and creativity. I’ve personally found the activity to provide a solution to the restlessness and apparently, so has everyone else. As our global community reimagines the new normal amid the coronavirus pandemic, the effect of this baking trend goes beyond the endless sourdough starter Instagram stories. The baking aisle has noticeably been missing a key baking ingredient, as we’re in the midst of a national yeast shortage. Shortage or not, here’s why you should hop on the bread-baking bandwagon and how the practice of bread making will make you a better consultant.
Baking with a leavening agent changes the game. Yeast is a living organism that transforms a bowl of flour, water, and salt into a shapeshifting, evolving product. While the ingredients remain the same, the air temperature and humidity levels of the kitchen, water hardness and temperature, and type of salt can all impact your loaf. At the San Francisco based bakery Tartine, co-owners Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson have honed their bread-making process to perfection, largely through radical collaboration with their millers. This collaboration produces quality inputs and allows them to adapt depending on the conditions of the wheat being harvested and supports their view of baking as a “craft, science, art, and philosophy”. Much like a recipe, at Audienz we use the rigorous platform of our practice areas as an approach and roadmap to our work. As projects and situations develop (a global pandemic, for example) our team has the expertise and the nimbleness to adapt and adjust as our environment changes. Our consultants thrive as new challenges rise. You might even say they’re our bread and butter.
Much like marketing before the 1960s, most American chefs in the 1980s served bread that came in a pre-mixed bag and lacked individuality or nuanced flavors. James Beard Award winner, author, and restaurateur Nancy Silverton didn’t settle for serving her patrons subpar bread that every restaurant on the block was serving. After intense study and incorporating learnings from Italy, Nancy’s passion for diverse starters and flours brought about the artisanal bread movement in America and the massive success of her La Brea Bakery. In our consulting world of tight competition for customers, we must drive our message and outputs to be differentiated and relevant. As a consult team, we rely on the strength of our diversity, both in our individuals background and experience and as a company with a diverse project landscape. We deliver a product with a recipe unique to each client.
Master baker Sarah Black, most famous for introducing an unforgettable ciabatta to New York City, recently gave an interview about the many benefits bread baking has on our interior lives. As the global pandemic has forced many of us who live increasingly busy lives to a halt, bread baking is a welcome call to stillness, process, and quiet. At Audienz, the craft of our work is taking the opportunity to flex our strategic muscles through close collaboration with our clients. To see the big picture in our projects and the world of our clients, we’re encouraged to take the time to reflect and process our client’s biggest challenges and create deeply relevant solutions that are outside the box.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your ingredients and start experimenting. Perhaps you’ll end up with more than a delicious loaf.