Most chefs have a few trade secrets they’ll never share. Not breadmaker and Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts International Baking and Pastry Institute head Ciril Hitz. "I’d rather pass [my knowledge] on to someone else to turn it into a gold mine," he jokes. "My area of expertise is teaching. If I can bake it you can bake it." Hitz’s casual attitude belies his big-league accomplishments, which include accolades from industry pubs such as Pastry Art & Design magazine and showing off his decorative bread sculptures on the Food Network. And, as anyone who has tried his loaves, bagels and rolls will attest, it’s not as if he couldn’t make a killing selling the stuff. But Hitz, who admits a penchant for Seven Stars’ ryes and sourdoughs, says he has no intention of opening his own bakery. "The work is extremely tolling," he says. "I value time with my family too much."
Instead, he’s focusing on creating educational DVDs and books and, of course, mentoring his students at JWU. In a few weeks, Hitz releases a new book (his second in as many years) titled Baking Artisan Pastries & Breads. The first half is dedicated to basic concepts and techniques, with the rest filled with recipes for breads and pastries (think savory scones, brioche, cinnamon buns).
He offers us a sneak peek with this recipe for pumpkin muffins.
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