"All of these things that we do are about making a sticky dough into a well-shaped loaf. It's not a mechanical process. Every day you have to adjust it depending on the temperature, the rise, the environment, everything," he explains.

"We try not to take things too seriously. I mean, at the end of the day, it is just bread."

Some days, Stern must add more flour or water or allow extra time for fermentation. It takes years for bakers to acquire this skill: They must recognize their dough's volatility and adapt accordingly.

To finish the process, he marks his rounds with incisions that distinguish each variety: sesame, Jewish rye, plum fennel and rye, olive and za'atar, sunflower, whole wheat, or walnut and cranberry. His oven has a broken stone at the moment, so he can bake only 22 loaves per hour.

This year, his circumstances will change. In April, the bakery will move into a large retail space at NW 26th Street and NW Third Avenue in Wynwood. Stern will own his first mixer and, most important, an oven that can bake up to 140 loaves an hour. It'll be a certified kosher bakery, serving bread, pastries, soups, and salads. But with that label come challenges: To maintain this certification, Stern must sell only dairy and fish — no meat. He'll have to sell his business to a non-Jewish partner Saturdays and then buy it back Sundays.

Zak the Baker will be the only bakery of its kind in Miami. But that doesn't mean Stern won't have any more time for Taylor Swift: "We try not to take things too seriously. I mean, at the end of the day, it is just bread."

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1 comments
gumsandals
gumsandals

Another great read in this issue-- the search for the $1 beer was the other. I wish Zak the Baker luck.

 
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