Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the last interview I had the opportunity to do face-to-face was in March. In the upcoming weeks, one of the 126 weekly interviews that were previously published will be shared with readers. This article was originally published on May 27, 2018.
Never having met Chris Green in person, I expected a much heavier man as he walked in the door. He originated and is the administrator for the Facebook page "Phoenixville Phoodie Phoundation" with a love for food and culinary arts.
Chris grew up on Washington Avenue in Phoenixville in the home of his grandparents, Eugene and Florence Green. He fondly recalls his visits to Freida Hersh and her store. It was the place for the neighborhood kids went to go for their candy.
It was around the age of 10 that he started to cook with his grandfather. Eugene was the family cook and did most of the household’s cooking.
Chris’ background is in food safety. He worked his way up the ladder from a food tech to the head of safety at Clemens Food Group in Hatfield. Due to his schedule, he considers himself a “weekend cook” — prepping during the week.
Chris is proud of his family. He and Jesse Zummo met in Great Valley at the “Boathouse.” They have been married for eight years. Jesse puts her talents to use at “Salena Salon” as a hair stylist. His son Chris is called “Phoenix” and is a five-year baseball player. Seven-year old Tala runs track and field — recently she placed in the 100-meter and 400-meter races. Then there is Sophie — the love of the Green Household — who technically is the family’s oldest child. Sophie is a 12-year-old American Pit Bull.
Chris cooks it all — with the focus on bread doughs — top of the list is sourdough. It seems weekly he creates new ideas. He thinks it is all about the crumb and the perfection of his breads. For an added touch, he creates design scoring on top of each loaf. He has managed to make chocolate sourdough and sourdough croissants, as well as his pizzas.
He belongs to several classic dough groups. Actually, a pizza shop in by the name of “Gruppo LaPiccola Napoli” in Italy has contacted him about some of his pizza recipes and techniques. Chris lies to think outside the box.
Great bakers do not measure out their ingredients by cups and spoonfuls. They use a scale to measure for accuracy. Chris shares with us today his 80% sourdough recipe.
Chris Green’s Recipe for 80% Sourdough Bread
375 grams flour
285 grams water
16 grams of salt
160 grams of sourdough starter
1. Mix all the ingredients.
2. Bulk proof for 2-6 hours while doing stretch and folds every 30 minutes -6 times.
3. Continue to bulk proof for 1-3 more hours depending on the climate.
4. Shape the dough and place it into a banneton.
5. Proof in the banneton for 5-12 more hours depending on the temperature, or this is when the dough can go into the refrigerator to slow the fermentation process down.
(12-36 hours-utilize for convenience)
6. Place onto a baking sheet or preferably a Dutch oven with a lid.
7. Cook at 450 degrees F for 25 minutes with the lid on. Then 20 minutes with the lid off until brown.
UPDATE: Chris is still a sourdough bread baker learning more and more extreme variations of sourdough breads and pastries. He has learned to use more of an artistic side in bread making with stencil and scoring work. He is improving sourdough pizza making using a home oven. Post-quarantine, Chris looks forward to having some sourdough workshops to show a few phases of sourdough bread making, shaping, handling and fermenting knowledge.