Sourdough Stand-Up: Comedian Tom Papa Bakes Bread | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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Episode 425
August 21, 2020

Sourdough Stand-Up: Comedian Tom Papa Bakes Bread

Sourdough Stand-Up: Comedian Tom Papa Bakes Bread

Tom Papa tells us about learning to bake bread between comedy gigs, the question he always gets asked about sourdough starters and why his favorite food memory isn’t his grandmother’s cooking, but her jars of gherkin pickles. Plus, we chat with Mark Diacono about all things bitter, fermented and sour; Bianca Bosker shares the history of supermarkets; and we learn a Vietnamese technique for cooking with caramel.

This episode is brought to you by Sleep Number.

Questions in this Episode

“In baking, I know the common wisdom is to make a well in the dries and pour in the wets. But that makes a second bowl that much messier! Does it matter and/or is one method better?"

“I’d love to make Italian red gravy like my grandmother used to make it—can you help me out?”

“It seems that breadmaking techniques are significantly different now than they were 40 years ago. When, how, and why did things change?”

“I started rendering fat out of chicken skins to make schmaltz and realized I have really no clue how to make good schmaltz. Are you supposed to salt the chicken skins first? How far do you cook them down? How do you know when the schmaltz done? How long does schmaltz keep in the fridge or freezer?”

“Is there a way to tell ahead of time if you’re going to get garlic that’s easy to peel?”

Tom Papa