Mark Miller knows far more about yeast than most bakers need to know. But his
expertise is helping to guarantee that the rest of us can bake a better loaf of
Miller is the baking manager at the Red Star Yeast/Lesaffre Baking Center at
7475 W. Main St. on the far west side. Essentially a giant commercial baking
kitchen, the center is the place where the art of cooking meets the science of
Yeast, being a living organism, is among the least predictable of ingredients.
The very property that makes it desirable to cook with, that is, its ability to
grow and rise, makes it problematic for commercial food producers, who want
above all to produce a consistent product day after day.
Lesaffre Yeast Corp., a 150-year-old French company, bought the 120-year-old Red
Star company in 2002 to increase its corporate presence in North America. It set
up the Lesaffre Baking Center in 2007 to cater to customers in Canada and the
United States. Milwaukee is home to the only Lesaffre Baking Center in North
America. The next nearest one is in Mexico.
Photo Caption: Baking manager Mark Miller works in the massive industrial
kitchen at the Red Star Yeast/Lesaffre Baking Center on Milwaukee’s far west
side. The center specializes in the science of yeast.
Photo Credit: Tom Lynn
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