A Stir The Pots Post

Richard Bertinet

by | Dec 20, 2010 | Bakers, Richard Bertinet


Richard Bertinet

It’s been a while since I first purchased Richard Bertinet’s Dough, a terrific book that includes a DVD with his now-famous method of “slapping” and folding dough. Some people find it more satisfying (even therapuetic) than gentle or no-knead techniques. Recently I had the chance to interview him for Stir the Pots.

In the interview, among other things Richard explains the background to his methods which he says are not new, but simply a continuation of traditions from when dough was prepared in wooden troughs. According to him, when electric machines (Artofex) were produced, they were engineered to mechanically replicate the technique. For Richard, there is no wasted movement in baking, the body is an extension or tool to control the bread or it controls you.

Hailing from Brittany, he now considers himself a Briton (more or less), in spite of his “outrageous” French accent. Based in Bath, he heads Bertinet Kitchens, teaching bread and food for small classes of up to 12 students. He is also the author Crust and his most recent book, Cook. Richard was recently awarded BBC Food Champion of the Year. Thinking about the interview, what I found most interesting was Richard’s passion, especially for bread, bakers and learning from others. Light it up!

Click to listen


  1. Nils

    Hi Jeremy, thanks for another great interview. You sounds a bit distant in the MP3, any way to change it? Best, Nils

  2. Jeremy

    I should of checked that, I don’t know if my computer or skype could of been adjusted, was it that bad??
    Will go back and see what I can do!
    P.S. Have you given up bread?? No bread posts for a while from Aachen!

  3. Kathy McClean

    Another great interview. Thanks for giving us a look into the lives of the great bakers and chefs around the world.

  4. Jeremy

    Hi Angie and Nils, must of been Nils chewing on some vollkornbrot!
    My words are less important, Richard is passionate and a really friendly guy, he has the gift for speaking about my favorite subject, bread!

  5. Mike Avery

    Great interview! At times, the sound was choppy, but I blame that on my ISP – everyone in my neighborhood seems to be doing their Christmas shopping online (or looking at videos) and the DSL provider doesn’t have a fat pipe into the area. Usually, it’s not this bad.
    Anyway, I tend to agree with Richard – cooks tend to be lousy bakers, the jump from baker to cook seems to be easier to make. (There are always individual exceptions).
    As to the stuff in the grocery stores called bread, I think he’s right. It would be best if we could find a way to make people stop calling that bread. However, it’s too late to close the barn door on that – the stuff in the grocery store has been called bread since the second world war.
    I think the next best thing is to start a campaign similar to CAMRA or CAMRB in England. The campaign for real ale was the father of many consumer movements. Ale in England was getting pretty bad, so people banded together and demanded good ale. They rate ales and only allow some to use the title, “real ale”. Andrew Whitley is a baker in England (google “what happened to bread” and you’ll find some of his talks) who modelled the Campaign for Real Bread after the real ale campaign. I think a similar campaign in the USA would be a good thing. The goal would be to have the campaign focus on ingredients and methodology rather than style or taste. Is a German vollkorn brot less a real bread than a French Pain au Levain? Pain de mie is a real bread when made correctly, even if it looks like grocery store bread. Copyrighting the term “realbread” would be a big step in that direction.

  6. Nils

    Oh yeah, it might have been a problem on my side. I listened with headphones and apparently one ear was nearly dead.
    I haven’t given up baking, just a lazy writer. Sorry about that.

  7. Cris

    Great job Jeremy, an excellent an very interesting interview to Bertinet. I had problems listen the end of the audio(?). Anyway, have a Good Christmas and New Year!.

  8. Jeremy

    Sorry Friends!
    I had to do some chop and splice, and it’s fixed! So please come back and listen again.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find More

Follow Us

Feel free to follow us on social media for the latest news and more inspiration.

Related Content