The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

kevroy's blog

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...who do we see about becoming professionals?

It took a frantic amount of organization, physical labor and nagging, lots and lots of firm, polite, incessant nagging to get everything done. There was wiring and plumbing and drywall, there were floors that needed reinfoncing, a foundation that needed shoring up. Floor plans had to be drawn up for Labor and Industry codes that needed addressing and inspecting, not to mention health codes with their ensuing inspections. There were work benches and walls and shelving to be built, painting, paperhanging and restoration of the beautiful but crumbling mullioned windows that made the shop what it was.

Equipment was purchased and installed, most of it used, most of it needing some special attention. We spent the final week doing basic prep work and overseeing the removal of several dead and dying trees.

In fewer than ninety days from the time we closed in the real estate and business loan we removed the "coming soon" sign, turned the lights on and clicked the key in the lock to open the door of our bake shop.

Nothing happened.

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I tried a new ciabatta roll today using a liquid levain starter in my sponge. I flavored it with a little fresh lemon peel, extra virgin olive oil, and chopped parsley. The idea was to keep it from interfering with other foods but still stand on it's own. Mission accomplished as far as that went, but the inside didn't have a nice open cell structure. The crust was nice and crunchy without being hard, though.

Earlier in the week I made a Kalamata olive sourdough with fresh rosemary, thyme and sage. The secret to this bread, I found, is that less is more. Previous attempts at this bread were so odiferously pungent my poor wife got dizzy from the smell! I cut the olives an herbs in half and ended up with a nicely flavored loaf that only gave my wife a headache.

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