Monday, December 6, 2010

Daily Bread

Culinary entrepreneur, master baker, and cookbook author Danny Klecko understands a thing or two about trust: he's earned it through years of sweating on the line with his crew, leading St. Agnes Baking Co., and feeding the hungry citizens of Minneapolis-Saint Paul. But how does Klecko feel about his Maker? Here he discusses faith, baking, and the ingredients of miracles.

So how do you get a Master Baker of thirty years to write a column for your blog? Just tell him that his contributions will be the equivalent of Bono's musings in the New York Times.

Although I am not a rock star, I would respectfully submit that a person who feeds a city on a daily basis understands modern culture better than a pop culture icon. (But with that said, I sure wouldn't mind obtaining some of the swag that comes along with gaining celebrity.)

The first thing I should point out is that the Baking Guild has been held in the highest esteem for centuries. The primary reason for this is because everybody hated Millers. When a family gathered its wheat after a harvest, the only option they had was to bring it to the Millers. The milling process always took place inside of a large building, and the families were never allowed in to watch. Records show that everybody felt that portions of their bounty were stolen, but they could never prove it.

The Bakers on the other hand invited people into their space and allowed them to watch as their wheat was baked into loaves. Respect for bakers grew rapidly. In fact 1/4 of the Roman Senate was comprised of bakers...is this just a coincidence?

My friends at Dingo Prayer have been kind enough to share their platform. My take is to offer a sort of "Blue Collar Theology" to their fan base, but remember I've been steeped in the principles of the hospitality industry.

Have you ever noticed how many times Christ never opened his mouth until he was certain that his guests were rested and fed? I'm pretty certain that's because he knew that words without trust were like casting pearls before swine.

In my three decades of feeding people, I have traveled the globe preparing food for prostitutes and nuns, homeless people to American presidents, street gangs and college professors--and through these experiences I've learned one thing: if I can keep my mouth shut long enough to figure out what ingredients a person covets, I can gain their trust, and trust is the most important component when you are trying to create miracles.

OK--there's nothing worse than a guy who doesn't know when to relinquish his soapbox, but before I shut it down, feel free to track down your favorite columnist. You can find me under Danny Klecko on Facebook, or just swing by the bakery if you are in the Twin Cities!


Dingo note: Klecko's K-9 Nation Biscuit Book: Baking for Your Best Friend makes the perfect gift!

Read Klecko's post Polish Sourdough.