The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

“NINE FOR THE SHOW”

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ananda's picture
ananda

“NINE FOR THE SHOW”

“NINE FOR THE SHOW”

Strange, but I am no longer working as a Lecturer at Newcastle College.   The decision to take voluntary redundancy felt right at the time, and I do not feel any different about that now, moving forward.

The TFL course was a great way to finish work at the College.   What better than being given a chance to teach a class of passionate, keen and like-minded bakers?   I left the write-up to Richard, and thank him for doing such a good job.   You can see it here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21993/uk-based-baking-course#comment-178241

Since then I have been back into College on 4 days, and some of this blog entry is about what I was getting up to back in the old haunt.   I have to say, I was on holiday at the time, and was lucky enough to be indulging myself in lots of fun with a favoured pass time; namely, making lots of lovely breads!   I spent 2 days on production, then I had a teaching contract for a day to earn some money, then a trip in to collect all the bread I had made the previous week, and say a final goodbye to the few people there.

My mission was to make a range of craft and genuinely artisan breads which I could sell at our Village Show, here in Powburn, which took place on Saturday 6th August.   The write-up follows below.

I negotiated an agreement with my previous line manager in College, allowing me to have 2 days working in the Bakery Kitchen to produce a range of breads for myself to sell at the Show.   I then wrapped and stored all the produce in the “walk-in” freezer, and met up with the Stores Manager on Friday lunchtime to collect all the bread and transport it to Northumberland ready for the Show.

I worked over Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th July, with some valued assistance from an ex-student, Dgilly, on the first day: thank you for that my friend!   There are some photographs below taken during both production sessions.

On day one we made the following:

    1. 12 small brown bloomers using an overnight sponge
    2. 6 large white bloomers using an overnight sponge
    3. 5 tinned Borodinsky loaves using the complex 3 stage process I posted on here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24237/celebrating-rye-breads
    4. 12 large Gilchesters’ Miche; see my post here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23811/miche-using-stiff-levain-and-gilchesters-organic-farmhouse-flour
    5. 12 small boules of Pain de Siègle de Thézac, formula posted here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22688/some-weekend-home-bread-baking-and-college-quotequality-and-diversity-competitionquot-ent and here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22439/brief-report-young-baker-competition-and-weekend-bread-baking-home and here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21382/pain-de-si%C3%A8gle-new-year039s-eve-2010 and here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20955/pain-de-si%C3%A8gle-more-familiar-formula and here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20318/young-baker-competition-half-term-home-baking and here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19922/two-similar-yet-contrasting-formulae-using-element-dark-rye-flour 

On day two I made the remainder of the planned schedule:

  1. 12 Pane Siciliano, using an overnight Biga with some Gilchesters Pizza/Ciabatta flour and authentic Italian Semolina Flour [coarse, not re-milled].   The formula is posted below.
  2. 10 panned loaves of Rossisky, all rye sourdough loaf, with some red malt for flavour, and topped with cracked rye grain
  3. 6 large Chollah, as six-stranded plaits.   There is a detailed post here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15230/ananda039s-blog
  4. 8 large Sourdough seed boule, based largely on my previous post, and on Hamelman’s original formula in “Bread”, pp. 176-77.   I used the twin leaven procedure of my post here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17308/semolina-durum-bread-and-sourdough-seed-bread

 

 

Pane Siciliano Dough using a Stiff Biga

Material

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Stiff Biga

 

 

Special CC Flour

43

1500

Water

25.8

900

Fresh Yeast

0.2

7

TOTAL

69

2407

 

 

 

2.  Final Dough

 

 

Biga [from above]

69

2407

Gilchesters Ciabatta Flour

28.5

1000

Italian Coarse Semolina Flour

28.5

1000

Salt

1.8

63

Yeast

1.8

63

Water

42.2

1480

TOTAL

171.8

6013

% pre-fermented flour

43

-

% overall hydration

68

-

 

 

All the bread was wrapped and frozen as soon as it was cooled, and labelled for easy identification.   It was neatly stacked in baskets on a set of dolly wheels, so we could transport it easily to load to my car.

In the meantime Alison went shopping to our newly re-furbished village Antique Centre and came back with some lovely large display wicker baskets and a huge piece of purple gingham cloth to use to cover the stall table which I had paid for.   The cloth had been made a by a company calling themselves “artisan”…how appropriate!   I called into the Bank for change for a float, late on Friday afternoon, and we made a last minute call out to the family for a proper cash box to use as a till.   Alison’s Dad came up trumps; thanks Maurice!

The other work was on the publicity side, and I have been given so much support here by Alison’s sister, Beverley, who works for a printing company in Cramlington.   Here’s a plug for Ravensworths, who have done me absolutely proud; thank you all, so much.

Beverley and my niece Eve arrived on Friday night loaded with the cash box, plus the following:

200 Business Cards; 2 large Address laminates; 4 laminates giving full details for each of the products; 2 price lists, as cards on stands; 2 pages of small stickers with my logo, to use to seal up the paper I was using to wrap  the breads at point of sale.             

The publicity information for all nine varieties is shown below:

Borodinsky

Description:

This loaf replicates the complex 3 stage formula from Auerman, of the GOST

Standards introduced in the Soviet  era.   Originally considered to be  a loaf to commemorate victory in the Battle of Borodino in 1812, this version of the bread uses a Rye Sourdough plus a zavarkha  [boil-up] of molasses, malt, rye flour and boiling water.   The 2 are combined to form a sponge.   This is then used with further flour to form the final paste.   Considered to be “The Prince of Russian Breads”   Bitter-sweet overtones with an aroma given off from the freshly ground coriander seeds.

Ingredients:

Organic Wholegrain Rye Flour, White Bread Flour,  Water, Organic Blackstrap Molasses, Red Malt from Barley, Salt, Coriander

Notes:

  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes less than 1% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Rye and Wheat

 

Small Brown Bloomer

 

Description:

This loaf is made with a ripened white leaven as the pre-ferment at 37.5% of the total flour.   The remaining flour in the final dough is a wholemeal bread flour.  The leaven brings strength, maturity and flavour to the dough and produces a wonderfully bold and attractive, tasty loaf.   There is a small amount of bakers’ yeast and vegetable fat added to the final dough.

 

Ingredients:

Wholemeal Bread Flour, White Bread Flour, Water, Salt, Fresh Bakers’ Yeast, White Vegetable Fat.

 

Notes:

  • Salt and Vegetable Fat constitutes approx. 1.2% each of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Wheat.

 

Six-Strand Chollah

Description:

This loaf is used as the centrepiece for certain Jewish Festival meal celebrations.   There are lots of different plaits which can be used.   The idea is to produce a showcase loaf which allows those participating to tear off portions of the bread, as a knife is not allowed to be used.   The bread is enriched, and I have used a short pre-ferment to encourage a reliable fermentation, plenty of loaf volume and the best flavour in the finished bread.   Note that this bread is sweetened, and that butter is also used, in addition to milk in place of the usual water.   A considerable amount of egg brings further tolerance in the dough through all the process stages.

 

Ingredients:

White Bread Flour, Water, Milk Powder, Sugar, Butter, Egg, Salt, Fresh Bakers’ Yeast.

 

Notes:

  • Contains Gluten from Wheat.
  • Contains Bakers’ Yeast
    • Contains Dairy Products including Milk Powder, Egg and Butter

 

Gilchesters’ Miche

 

Description:

This loaf is leavened solely with a wheat levain maintained using white bread flour.   The flour in the levain constitutes 27% of the total flour in the recipe. The  remaining 73% of the flour is Gilchesters’ Organic Farmhouse flour [a high extraction flour, approximately 85% wholemeal].   This means the bread is made using largely locally grown and processed ingredients.   Gilchesters grow single strain, tall-stemmed organic Sativa wheat on their farm near Stamfordham.   This is stoneground to flour at their own mill, the only mill to be installed in Northumberland in the last 150 years .

 

Ingredients:

Organic Gilchesters’ Farmhouse Flour, White Bread Flour, Water, Salt

 

Notes:

  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes approx. 1.2% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Wheat

 

 

Pain Siègle de Thézac

 

Description:

This loaf is leavened solely with a rye sourdough culture for plenty of flavour.   The rye constitutes 25% of the total flour in the recipe, the  remainder being white bread flour which gives a lighter eating texture .

 

Ingredients:

White Bread Flour, Organic Dark Rye Flour, Water, Salt

 

Notes:

  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes approx. 1.2% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from both Wheat and Rye

 

 

Pane Siciliano

 

Description:

This loaf  has been made with an overnight pre-fermented dough called a “Biga”, using  a very small amount of  Bakers’ Yeast plus half the total flour in the formula.   The final dough contains a  mix  of half authentic Italian Semola di Grano Duro giving  a hint of straw colour to the dough, and the finished crumb.    The remaining half of the flour comes from Gilchesters, being an Organic Pizza/Ciabatta flour, very finely milled . The shaping symbolises the  eyes of Santa Lucia  watching over the faithful.   The legend is that Lucia refused to marry a Roman General as she had devoted herself to God during the pre-Christian Roman era in Siciliy.

 

Ingredients:

White Bread Flour, Organic Gilchesters’ Pizza/Ciabatta Flour, Italian Semola di Grano Duro,  Water, Salt, Fresh Bakers’ Yeast

 

Notes:

  • Salt constitutes approx. 1.2% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Wheat

 

 

Rossisky

Description:

This loaf is made only with 100% whole rye flour, red malt, salt and water.   It is leavened with a rye sourdough culture only, with no added bakers’ yeast.   The sourdough is given a full 18 hours fermentation before it is used to make the final paste.   The most basic of the Russian sourdough rye breads; this panned version has a topping of  Organic Rye Flakes to give an attractive appearance and some extra texture to the crust.

 

Ingredients:

Organic Wholegrain Rye Flour, Red Malt from Barley, Water, Salt, Organic Rye Flakes

 

Notes:

  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes approximately 1% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Rye and Barley

 

 

Seeded Sourdough Boule

Description:

This loaf is leavened with a rye sourdough culture and a wheat levain for plenty of flavour.   A soaker of golden linseeds in cold water is also used, in order to encourage high hydration in the dough.   The dough is retarded overnight for more flavour.   The other seeds used are roasted in the oven before being added to the dough.   The final dough has a portion of wholewheat flour added along with white bread flour. 

Ingredients:

White Bread Flour, Wholemeal Bread Flour, Organic Dark Rye Flour, Golden Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds Water, Salt

Notes:

  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes approx. 1.2% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from both Wheat and Rye

 

 

Large White Bloomer

 

Description:

This loaf is made with a yeasted pre-ferment, commonly used in French bread baking, called a “olish”.   This brings strength, maturity and flavour to the dough and produces a wonderfully bold and attractive, tasty loaf.

 

Ingredients:

White Bread Flour, Water, Salt, Fresh Bakers’ Yeast, White Vegetable Fat.

 

Notes:

  • Salt and Vegetable Fat constitutes approx. 1.2% each of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Wheat.

 

The Event

 

Still feeling sleepy on Saturday morning, I loaded up the car while Alison provided an essential breakfast of fruit and yoghurt with espresso coffee enabling me to come fully to life.   The weather was wonderfully sunny first thing, although we were aware the forecast for the day was not good…as is, apparently, frequently the case for the annual event in Powburn!

 

I drove onto the site, found the “Food Tent”, and my allotted table space, and set too unloading the car and preparing to sell my wares.   Soon after, my 2 trusty assistants arrived.   They had walked to the Show, as our car was FULL of bread!   Alison was in charge of wrapping the sold items.   I took the money and gave change.   Anna, our next door neighbour took charge of the little “tastings” table we set up, offering little samples of the bread with butter, olive oil/balsamic combo, or naked.   Anna, you were fantastic; thank you so much for your enthusiasm and your belief in me and the bread for sale.   As you can imagine, I was more than happy to provide further customer support by answering any questions and giving more information out as needed; “talk the talk!”

The Show began to fill with people, and the weather turned to rain, as the forecast had promised.   It did not, however, detract from what became a really successful and enjoyable day.   I sold 70 loaves, with just 6 left to bring home.   Financially, I netted just over £200.   However, the biggest coup was all the favourable publicity, and the interest generated amongst fellow local traders and those visiting the Show.   I was overwhelmed by those committed people out there, selling local and really special food, taking such an interest in what I had done, and clearly impressed with the integrity and authenticity of the breads I had made.   It made me realise it was all worthwhile.

As you can all imagine, I have been taking numerous steps to carve out a new and more exciting destiny for me, and for Alison, in the months and years to come.   This adventure at the Powburn Show was a big and fun part of the plan.

Some photographs of the day are shown below.

“Bread and Roses” is the theme I’m using.   How very apt: the loaves which sold out first were the most specialist, special and…expensive!   The “Chollah” was a hit, and interest in both the Russian sourdoughs was just so fantastic too!   The biggie was the Gilchesters’ Miche.   That was so pleasing for me.   I have put a lot of work into perfecting being able to work with this flour, as various blog posts will testify to.   Everyone was fascinated by the local aspect and the details concerning the wheat being grown and milled here in Northumberland.   This is just great; it confirms that the small producer has to produce food which is genuinely nourishing and sustaining, in all aspects.   It also has to be really special, and something the large producers are neither able, nor willing, to try to poach, rip-off and ruin.

Lastly, thank you to all my family for support and utter belief in me; especially to Alison, of course, for wanting to share my vision as part of our journey together as life partners.

My very best wishes to all

Andy

Comments

lumos's picture
lumos

A wonderful array of breads and wonderful write-up, Andy! Thank you for sharing.

It was quite moving to read your expressing your gratitude and love to your friends and family, especially to Alison.  I wish you and Alison an even brighter and happier future than you've had already.

Good luck!....and big cheers for the brightening future for the British foodies!

BW

lumos

ananda's picture
ananda

Many thanks lumos,

I firmly believe that the time for the re-birth of good bread here in the UK is right now.   It is happening all around us and we [you and I and other UK people at TFL] will all play an important part in its future progress.

Best wishes

Andy

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

If I remember from your posts, you were on the production side before teaching at the college.  Was there an element of "the good old days" present as you prepared for the sale?  Although not explicitly stated, it sounds as though a new bakery is in development.  If that is your intent, then I wish you well with your new endeavor.  And I would be somewhat envious of your customers, except that having been bitten by the bread baking bug means that I scarcely ever buy bread anymore.

Of your lovely assistants, which one is wearing the hat--Alison or Anna?

Best wishes,

Paul

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Paul,

Yes I worked in bakery production in some shape or form from 1987 right through to the end of 2005.   My time was filled with  challenge, enjoyment and learning.   And I would happily spend more time in the future baking in commercial quantities.   I don't look back, however...just forward for new times, more exciting and rewarding still.   New bakery business of some kind is certainly one of the options I'm exploring just now, amongst a number of different possibilities.

Alison wears the hat!

It's really good to hear from you

Best wishes

Andy

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Very impressive show of effort my friend. While there was never any doubt about your ability to produce the bread products, you made an impressive display that looked professionally artisan. Keying on the locally milled grains was I'm sure, appreciated by your customers.

If you were looking for validation of a concept prior to taking the next step, I suspect you have found your course. Good luck to both of you.

Eric

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Yes, that's so true, Eric.

I've had a gentlemen phoning me up this morning wanting to put a bread stall on one of the local Farmer's Markets which he runs.   This Saturday!!!   Also 27th August, which I maybe could manage

Got to keep pushing at the doors.   Local, Rye Sourdough/Natural leavens were the biggies I reckon...and no big producer will slamdunk me if I set up on those terms

Excellent to have you pass by and offer your support and wisdom

Best wishes

Andy

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

All was very nicely written and wonderful photos of your work.  The Silician Scrolls really caught my eye..also the other breads are outstanding!  They sound and look exceptionally delicious.

I'm baking just a couple of Sicilian loaves today...sometimes I shape in scroll and sometimes in a batard..the batard works a little better for us slicing for 'sandwiches and toast', I guess because it's has a little more volume...which is what I liked about your scrolls, they look so very large and full...great for slicing for everyday.  I like large loaves and I should try my scrolls larger.  Next go I'll make a larger batch.  I usually get 2 scrolls.  I've read that you need to let the dough rest a little longer if using the semolina grind, rather than the durum flour, in the formula I have, so it can have time to soften the grain.     I have a new supply of duram flour and though I have baked theses before, I would still like to try them with a semolina grind.  For now I have all this fresh durum.  

My biga requires a 12 hour ferment at 70F.  It's very warm here now with our night time temperatures at just a little below 70F...so I set my biga outside last night at 9pm and had Mike bring it in at about 3:30am and place it in the frig for me.  It will have to wait until later this afternoon after my wood fired oven has stablized for bread baking.  I hope it all works out ok. I'll take the biga out of the frig.  Timing the biga for doubling, it wasn't nearly doubled this morning at 10am and I need to figure in mix, proofing of the bread times, also, I will light the wood fired oven when a breeze comes about 3pm..so the brief period of smoke blows away as I start up the fire.  So pizza's first and a later bake for the rest.  I hope it works out ok.  Can you help me with any suggestions on how to keep my biga over longer periods of time?  It is most convenient for me to mix it around 9pm.  I've seen were some biga's are held for days and used.  I've never tried that.  Any suggestions are appreciated.  I know I could get up really early and make my biga and bake late in the day would work easily...but I'm not a morning person ..tend to keep hours closer to my husbands work hours...we are night owls, 'lol' :>  

Wonderul formula, Andy.  Sicilian bread is a favorite of mine.  Your Scrolls had to be a real eye catcher at the market...not to mention all the other beauties you baked.  

Thank you for sharing and the very best always to you and yours!

Andy, Wonderful bakers Fedora's. They are all the rage over here now.  My darling sweet grandaughter and her just as sweetest boyfriend!

    

 

Sylvia

  

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Sylvia,

Thank you so much for your kind and generous words.

We call this type of  hat a "Trilby".   It's the only type of hat I feel comfortable in as part of a baker's uniform!   I usually wear a hairnet underneath, but forgot to bring them out to the show that day...there's a confession!

For the coarser semolina, I would recommend soaking it in all the final dough water for 30 minutes to an hour first, before going on to make the final dough.   It's a good tip!

Very best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

If I happened upon a collection of breads like that, all together, made with such ingredients and techniques, I would think I had died and gone to heaven.   And what a great success.   A sign of things to come.   -Varda

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Andy,

A couple of decades ago there was a book in the USA self-help market titled (as my memory serves) "Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow". I never bought it, I thought the title said it all. Looks like your living it! Best of all on your new ventures and adventures. I hope you won't be too busy to contribute your much read and welcomed postings on TFL.

David G

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,

I cannot imagine making a living doing something which I didn't enjoy or have great interest in.

I watched my Dad being miserable, hating his job as a schoolteacher for years and years.   I just couldn't do that.

Best wishes to you

Andy

asfolks's picture
asfolks

What a wonderful collection of breads. Thanks for taking the time for all of your informative posts.

Your teaching career lives on, it just moved over to TFL!

ananda's picture
ananda

Thank you very much Varda,

I intend to keep some form of teaching within whatever baking role I take up for the future; preferably with Alison involved as she is a far more experienced teacher than I will probably ever be

Best wishes

Andy

ananda's picture
ananda

Many thanks for your kind words asfolks

Actually, my contribution to TFL teaching resources is very small.

I am always keen to stress to baking students that the wealth of information on this site is just about as good as it can possibly get for a dedicated student wanting to know all the ins and outs of high quality breadmaking.   I am very happy to be a small contributor to that.

Best wishes

Andy

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy,

Those breads are just superb! No wonder they flew into the baskets of discriminating foodies and food suppliers! 

Good to see all the help and support you got too for all that you've given to others. Loved the pictures of Dgilly with the loaf and Alison with the piece of bread, as well as the table of gorgeous breads. Great work on Alison's part with the display also - wicker baskets and gingham make a very appealing backdrop for the loaves and their descriptions. I would love to walk into a food tent that featured that display. 

All the very best to you and Alison for this new part of the adventure,

Daisy_A

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Many thanks, Daisy_A!

There is no end of support coming from all around me; that is so encouraging.

It's so satisfying to be recording all of this and finding how much people enjoy reading it too.

What a great community we have!

The MSc starts again in a few months time; but I'm pushing all boundaries until the end of the Summer before I see where I land before I get back to that in a big way.   I remain so grateful for all your support and encouragement.

Very best wishes

Andy

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Seriously though, what you've done with this... I can't quite figure how to put it other than to say: I want that here. Wonderful.
Marcus

ananda's picture
ananda

Many thanks for your genrous words, Marcus

Can you not find this sort of bread at specialist places in California?

Good job you're sufficiently accomplished as a baker yourself

Best wishes

Andy

wassisname's picture
wassisname

One of the few shortcomings of this side of the state, not much in the way of exciting bread.  A small price to pay.  Pulling a good loaf out of the oven (when luck is on my side) pretty much makes up for it. 

All the best,

Marcus

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,
Such a lovely variety of first-class breads you prepared for the show, Andy;
all so expertly made, with much care taken with the making and display.

Your villagers and fellow vendors  must have really appreciated your hard work, the write-ups about all of the breads, and hearing about locally-grown and milled wheat. Fortunate villagers indeed – to enjoy the integrity and authenticity of your breads – truly special!

The loaves are all beautiful, each and every one.
I really liked the “A”-scored loaves, and those oval Rossisky loaves (such a nice shape for a bread pan).

“Bread and Roses” is the theme I’m using.

 …two varieties of “Bloomers’’ to accompany those gorgeous roses! :^)

So very happy to see your success at the show, and that you have the support of your nearest and dearest.
Well done!!!

:^) from breadsong

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi breadsong,

I think that authenticity and integrity was clearly exactly what those at the Show really spotted and saw as all-important.   And it's a key part of the "Bread and Roses" theme isn't it?   "This is something really just that bit special"

Love the oval tins; I'll miss those.   I think I may have a dart on Ebay see if I can find something similar!

There was only one Gilchesters Loaf scored with an "A".   But I may adopt it for all of them in the future.   It made a lovely little logo, for sure!

Lovely to hear from you as always

Best wishes

Andy

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Wow!!  I would be thrilled to find such a beautiful and varied array of breads at the best artisan street markets in food-crazy San Francisco.  Nice job by the whole team on the production and presentation.  And you offer free bread-ucation, too!

Best of luck, Andy.

Glenn

ananda's picture
ananda

Glenn you have all the captions!

"Bread-ucation"!

I love it!

Best wishes

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko


Brilliant array of breads here Andy, just stunning!

You've accomplished a number of things here, not the least of which is establishing that there is a desire locally for hand made craft bread. I'm interpreting this in part as being the preliminary market research of a future retail baking business in the plan you refer to. Judging by your sales it looks like your community is in solid support of being able to purchase real bread made from quality ingredients. That has to be very encouraging to know as you move forward with your plan, that and the fact your family and friends are with you all the way in this is vitally important. Whatever your  ultimate business goal is Andy, I've no doubt that you'll achieve it and hope that any obstacles encountered along the way are minor and temporary. Here's to your future success my friend, and all the very best towards achieving it.

In enthusiastic support,

Franko

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Franko,

Thank you for your support and insight, as always.   It is especially valued from a fellow craft baker.

You are so right about the key factors I gained from this experience; and I am so glad, as this was my insight as to what people would really want.

Please tell me I am correct here: no large operator would want to get into this market on any sort of honest basis?   I'm only interested in honesty; the public will always see through the phoney...in the end!

Very best wishes to you Franko,

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Andy,

If you're talking about even a medium size bread 'factory' I'm reasonably sure you're safe from them competing with you from a position of honest craft. They'd need to find a group of skilled craftsmen willing to work for minimum wage to make it worth their while. On the other hand if your sales are threatening what they consider their share of the market, they'll work hard to prevent that from happening by offering product that's close enough to your own (for some people) and priced lower, that it may draw some consumers away from your door. I've no idea what sort of players are in your local area or what volume of production you're contemplating, so this may never be an issue for you. I think if there are enough people in your area that are committed to supporting the local farms, mills, and craftsmen like yourself that know how to get the best from what the farmers and millers produce it shouldn't be a problem to create a following for your distinctive breads in short order.

I know you have lots of help to draw from on the home front and plenty of support here on the site, but what I wouldn't give to be able to hop over and lend a hand where I could to help get things rolling. For now I'll have to be content with just being able to offer moral support... but that could change in the months ahead.

All the best Andy,

Franko 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Franko,

It's rather wet in this part of the world, but, otherwise extremely lovely.

You are welcome guests anytime, you know that.

BW

Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The breads are gorgeous, of course, and the write-up is wonderful. It shows your enthusiasm for baking and having others enjoy your production.

I'm looking forward to each new chapter in the story of your successes to come.

David

ananda's picture
ananda

Thank you as always for your generous words of support David,

There could be many chapters to come, of course!

All good wishes

Andy

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Andy - thanks for the sharing.  love your write up here,  the sharing on the bread that you made,  especially,  indicating the use of local produce.  All the best in your next phase in life, looking forward to your next story....

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Jenny,

Thank you for your good wishes

Andy

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I'am glad you've found yourself a new yet exciting career, Andy! Thank you for taking the time to post all this, we at TFL are delighted that you're sparing the time and effort to share such a nice aspect of your life. 

I wish you all the best with your future endeavors. And your breads shown, as usual, are truely lovely and well crafted.

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Khalid,

It's not "found" yet, but I am enjoying having a very good look round, for sure.   It's a pleasure to share the journey.

All good wishes

Andy

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

to touch, smell and taste all these great breads! With such skill, as well as attention to business details, I have no doubt you will be successful in the next stage of your career!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi txfarmer,

the detail needed will evolve, for sure.   Lots of fun and hard work along the way.

It's so good to have compliments about fine detail from you; I am all too aware of the detail going into your baking and the high quality end products you come up with.

All good wishes

Andy

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Way to go, Andy.  Those are beautiful breads.  I wish you all the best in your new endeavours.

Syd

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Syd,

Very good to hear from you

Best wishes

Andy

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hello Andy

After learning from you on our TFL course I was expecting some decent loaves but really - that display is amazing!  An incredible variety of bread from just one person (with a bit of help) I wish I'd been there to see them in person! 

Perhaps you could move over to Vancouver Island and work with Franco to build a large artisan bread business (and find a vacancy for an accountant/baker :) ).  Whilst I agree with you that the north east of England is a lovely area I would choose Vancouver Island every time (and I've visited both)!!

Your display above clearly shows why we learned so much on the TFL course, you really deserve the title of "Master Baker".  My bread has noticeably improved since the course (in my opinion and according to my wife) and the flour from Little Salkeld water mill that I bought from you is our "new best friend",  almost the whole 900g loaf has disappeared in less than a day!  But more of that in my own post.  I'm off out to Chester to buy some flour from Walk Mill so I will let you know what it is like.

You are definitely a star.

Best Wishes for the future

Richard

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your very kind words, and it is lovely to hear from you.

I am so glad you have found a way to appreciate the joys of the Watermill flour.   When I first started baking professionally in 1987, we used exclusively Little Salkeld Watermill 100% and 85% wholewheat flours.   A couple of years later and they introduced an Unbleached White.   We also took their rye flour.   The only exception in the early years was the malted flour which we sourced from Doves Farm.   It's unique and the owners of the mill are great people too.

Vancouver Island with Franko?   I'd probably move tomorrow, although I suspect Alison would take a good bit more persuading!?

Very best wishes to you

Andy

copyu's picture
copyu

Just adding my tuppence-worth of best wishes for the future...again!

I just wonder how long it will take the College to realize they should've offered you a 30% higher salary for all of your hard work and just to keep you 'on-board'...Oh, well! It's their loss and the rest of the world's gain!

Be well and stay 'outstanding' in your craft, sir!

Adam

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Adam,

I was offered a 10% pay cut, an increase of 140 hours contact time and removal of teacher's pay and conditions.

Your proposal of a 30% rise is somewhat more attractive.   Alas the current climate in UK education, especially at FE and HE levels under our extremely unenlightened "Government" offers a very poor outlook indeed.

Remaining outstanding in my craft will be utterly essential, believe me!

Many thanks for your suport and kind words

Best wishes

Andy

copyu's picture
copyu

I suspected as much! I've been in a very similar situation—8 semesters of faithful work (92% of full-time) that allowed our school to achieve its 'accreditation' (as an ELICOS centre); I took a 'course co-ordinator' role for one of the programs, became a lecturer in EAP...a fabulous job, actually, but no paid sick leave, no paid holidays, no benefits...

Someone handed me a contract to sign on the first day of semester 9—after 6 weeks of unpaid summer hols, living on my meagre savings—100% schedule, same conditions and 10% per hour pay cut. I had a car that needed repairs, notice from my landlord to quit the premises (as his daughter had left her husband and needed somewhere to live) and an unexpected, considerable debt to the government due to a 'bureaucratic error'—being paid a student allowance for many months after I'd quit studying. (I had actually informed the relevant office by phone and had made an appointment to be taken off the student allowance program in person...2-3 simple mouse clicks that should have been made, but had not been...)

I'd already done spreadsheets, working out my budget to repay the government's 'stuff-up', to get my car functional and find a new place to live. All that was needed was my present hours and salary and a little spending restraint on my part. I couldn't sign the ludicrous contract, of course! A friend had some property in a rain-forest area, up north, where I languished for about 10 months in an old caravan, which I restored while living in it and looking for work. That was really good fun!

When the government started to 'garnish' my dole money (for their mistake) there was an interesting case in Australian Constitutional Law in the making. I couldn't be bothered, even though I was very well-connected, having just graduated Law School...I took a job offer in Japan and here I am...with my two minuscule ovens that give me a little bit of satisfaction...

You've got the knowledge and the talent to be back on your feet in no time at all, I know it! I hope it takes you less time than it took me to find that 'satisfaction'. 

Best, as always, sir!

Adam 

     

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Wow Andy

What an epic bake and what a great write up  and wow what a change, i have been reading  a lot about the changes that are being forced through,in the UK but here it is in practice!

I have no doubt that you will do well what ever you decide to do, and i join all the other TFL folk in wishing you well in your next endeavour.

I my self was offered the chance to do the same job that i had been doing for 21 years  with a pay cut when the West Australian Government privatised the workforce side of the public transport service here in Perth.

 I am proud that over 400 of my fellow workers were of the same view as me and sought redeployment or at least a decent redundancy. These fellow workers were mostly longserving experienced drivers like myself so when 400 drivers x 20 plus years experience goes out the door replaced by new  no experience people then that is a huge loss. (still having troubles ) Some of us were fortunate to find work redeployed to other government jobs and the rest were eventually able to be paid a decent redundancy of 4 weeks for each year of service uncapped. it is said that you often have three careers in life, so i have had my professional career as a tradesman baker 10 years, 21 years as a bus driver and now approaching retirement 10 years as a supply officer. each time the changes were virtually forced, local bakery bought out by multi national and wanting staff to transfer to new super premises on the otherside of the metro area. privitisation of labour for still government owned buses.  Currently in the supply/ procurement job where i get the chance to use some of my bread skills and hopefully a year or 2 more before an early retirement and best of all is only 10 minutes away, monday to friday no late nights or early starts and not going to be beaten up for the sake of a lousy fare.

On a lighter note I am still looking forward to meeting you in person next year, or perhaps you may have more time to travel and we could see you here in Aus where you would be made most welcome!

  GOOD ON YOU MATE  Regards Yozza

ananda's picture
ananda

It's really good to hear from you Yozza,

Back home in UK, a certain person's vision of "The Big Society" seems to be falling to pieces.

No excuses for bad behaviour: absolutely not!

But we all need to have access to both bread and roses.   I don't think the Tories will ever really quite get this.

Such a shame; a vision of local communities looking out for each other is great.   But it won't happen unless there is investment.   And all we are seeing right now is cuts.   As ever: out of touch!

No change there, then!

I'll just get on and make good bread, and enjoy that.   That's enough!

Best wishes

Andy