The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Back Home Bakery - Charlie's Return

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CJtheDeuce's picture
CJtheDeuce

The Back Home Bakery - Charlie's Return

I met Mark just last September.   That visit was just a primer and I wanted to come back to learn more.

This week, I came to Kalispell to help Mark while Sharon was out of town.  I wanted to post some pictures of the fruits of our labor. 


Last year this machine scared me to death.  This year I accepted the challenge.

 


You scolded me and scolded me, and I got it.  I can shape Sal's without having baguette dough stuck up to my elbows.

 



I shaped all of the burger rolls for Loula's Cafe in Whitefish.

 


Packed, beautiful and ready for delivery.

 


Dinner Theatre at the bakery.

 


I asked for a sign if I was at the right place at the right time, and this appeared.

 


Special sweets for the market.

 


Tired but happy.  In 2.5 hours, everything in this picture (and in the van) was sold out.

Pack up, lunch in town, and back to the bakery for a much needed nap.

For those who have come before and those who will come after, Happy Trails!

-Charlie

 

 

Comments

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

It sounds as though you came away with new abilities and some new confidence, too.

I think that the sticky buns were as much a sign that you were in the right place at the right time as the rainbow!  ;-)

Paul

CJtheDeuce's picture
CJtheDeuce

Yup the sticky buns are a very good sign. I thought you would enjoy the fond memories of nap time.

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Charlie,

I always love reading about people who spend time baking with Mark and your contribution is no exception especially with the lovely scenery shots.  What a beautiful part of the country his bakery is set up in though I imagine the winters can be a bit tough.....

Must say you look very relaxed in the photos - like someone who has baked with Mark for years and years and years.  Amazing how quickly all the bread gets sold on marked day.  Just goes to show that people really do love home made breads.

One thing I have been wondering about lately as my daughter wants me to make some breads for her to sell at a garage sale she is planning.....small oven limits amount I can whip up in a day so only obvious solution is to bake over a weeks time and freeze the items I make only I have never frozen my breads before a worry about freezer burn.  How does Mark store his breads prior to selling them or does he bake all that he sells the day before the market?

Thanks for the write up and photos!

Take Care,

Janet

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Mark bakes all of the product on the same day that it is sold.  That means he's up at 1 or 2 a.m. to start baking. Then he's loading up the van around 7-7:30 to leave for market.  Bigas and other pre-ferments are usually mixed the previous evening.  If it's going to be a high-volume day, as for the Kalispell market, dry ingredients may be pre-portioned the previous evening, too. 

On non-market days that Mark bakes for his wholesale customers, the schedule is a bit more relaxed--he may not start until 3 in the morning.

Some pastries or pastry doughs are made in advance, frozen unbaked, and then baked on market days.  As of my visit, nothing was baked in advance and held for later sale.

Paul

CJtheDeuce's picture
CJtheDeuce

Janetcook

Here are a couple of snapshots of Saturdays work day. It begins with a wake up at 12:50 am since i only need about 10 min. to get ready for work witch starts at 1 to get everything done in time to get to Kalispell & set up. Pastries are made up & frozen as time allows during the week, then proofed & baked as dough is mixed & bulk fermentation times begin. All the breads are mixed/proofed from 1 to 4 & baked from around 4 to 6.

The times begin right after the dough is mixed & goes into proof & end with when they went into the oven.

 


This is the list of yummies we took to the market, the quanity on the left & the time we sold out on the right. I know your concerned about those 2 peach that were left over, well we volenteered & ate them & they were great.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Paul and Charlie,

Thanks for filling me in.  I had to chuckle at your rising time which is when I go to bed most days :-).  What a whirl wind of a schedule. What a good feeling it must be to be able to keep pace with it all - kinda like a perfectly choreographed dance routine. How fortunate the customers are to have bread that is truly 'fresh'.  Very interesting to see the time line of sales too.  Sorry you had to force the peach pastries on yourselves.  The heavy burden of being a baker I presume :-)

So where does that leave me in wanting to freeze some bread for my daughter's garage sale?  No way could I pull off a 'Mark' schedule.  Any ideas?

Thank you both for taking the time to respond to my inquiry :-)

Take Care,

Janet

jvafis's picture
jvafis

Hi Janet,

I compete in the Yeast Bread division at our county fair and have to submit eight loaves of bread between 7 and 10 am. Clearly, this isn't going to  happen with a home oven. I bake the breads (baguette, pain au levain, cinnamon raisin walnut, whole wheat sandwich, whole wheat multigrain, and two dill flavored herb breads) during the week before they are due. I wrap the cooled loaves in foil and put them in a plastsic bag before freezing them. The night before they are to be entered, I take them out of the freezer and let them defrost. In the morning I put them in their foil into a 375° oven for 7 minutes to "refresh" them. It seems to work; I got Best of Division for the pain au levain, and a first and second place on all the entries. I have also put frozen bread in a 425° oven for 20-25 minutes which also seems to work.

John

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

John,

Thanks for this information.  I hadn't thought of foil. Your method sounds very do-able for me and I like that you have done it with a lot of different loaves and that your breads have won awards.  Sounds like you have developed a very tried and true method of 'saving' loaves for later 'use'.

When you say 'refresh' what does the bit of heat actually do?  What difference do you see in your loaves when you heat them this way as opposed to not heating them and simply letting them thaw overnight?

Thanks again for your response.

Janet

 

jvafis's picture
jvafis

Hi Janet,

The reheating makes a huge difference in the crust. For the whole wheat sandwich loaves or the cinnamon raisin loaves, it probably doesn't matter because the crust is usually not meant to be crunchy. For crusty breads the reheating leads to a crisp, crunchy crust. I also test the temperature of the interior when I put frozen bread in the oven without first defrosting it. The amount of time for a frozen loaf to be heated and thawed through varies, naturally, with the thickness of the loaf so the timing is not quite so definite.John
Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

John,

Thanks for the details.  Makes sense about what heating does to the crust now that you mention it.  I have made note in my bread files :-)

Take Care,

Janet

wally's picture
wally

To you and Mark! Such is the life of a baker...and you look as if you're enjoying it!

Larry

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Thanks, Charlie, for such wonderful visuals of your week with Mark.

Judging by your nap photo, looks like the Auberge Sinclair offers quite comfortable and attractive accommodations.

The breads look pretty good too!

Lindy

CJtheDeuce's picture
CJtheDeuce

After a great 8 days at The Back Home Bakery I'm back to work today. I arrived to find 5 of the 9 airplanes that I maintain for BGSU down for maintenance & one of them has damage from a collision with the tow vehicle ! Some days are more challenging than others.

I close my eyes & find peace/calm in My trip to Kalispell & the years of knowledge  delivered by an excellent teacher. Thank you Mark !

Charlie

mcs's picture
mcs

Sometimes making a bunch of rolls is a whole lot less stressful than maintaining airplanes for student pilots. 

Thanks to your excellent shaping of Loula's PSB rolls I have another order for 12 dozen rolls this Friday.  If you're in the neighborhood, the action starts at 3AM.  Thanks for the hard work.

-Mark