The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pop-up baking at Chester St Kitchen

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PiPs's picture
PiPs

Pop-up baking at Chester St Kitchen

The weeks literally feel a blur ... I have lost track of when I last posted and although I frequently visit the site and marvel at people's bread I struggle to find time to post comments and answer questions.

We are still probably a month from opening the doors to the public as an eating space but this has not deterred the push to produce bread in the big blue oven ... that's right, the oven is now blue thanks to a fancy tiled make-over.

The test baking produces many, many test loaves ... more than our sister restaurant requires so we have started a 'pop-up bakery' ... we have an honour box system where people can buy the test loaves, chat with the baker and see the oven in operation.

It makes me smile to see my bread going to good homes ... I get an even bigger smile when I am visited by people I know ... Shiao-Ping came along and bought a loaf!!!

Along with the pop-up bakery we also hosted a breakfast for a group of Brisbane food bloggers ... this pushed my comfort level as I had to speak about the oven and the bread I produce ... public speaking is not my forte!

Here are some links to a few of the bloggers: 

http://www.melissaloh.com/2013/05/02/a-sneak-peek-into-chester-street-kitchen/

http://missfoodie.com.au/chester-street-kitchen-opening-soon/

I have also had other visitors of note to the bakery ... Ian from the ars pistorica project came up from Tasmania with some amazing new peels he had helped facilitate and spent some time with me in the bakery. It was great to talk with a fellow bread nut about bread, bakers and bakeries. I think we both learnt a lot ... I know my shaping and workflow has improved immensely and he pushed me to bake baguettes ... his favourite bread!

Ian's favourite baguette formula uses a combination of firm starter and instant yeast. After a three hour bulk the dough is divided and shaped for the final proof ... the tricky part (other than shaping) is getting the risen bread to perfectly match the woodfired oven's falling temperature ... getting enough steam in the chamber for the thin crackly crust is the bakers last challenge ... These baguettes are dedicated to ars pistorica!

So another week has drawn to a close ... my tired hands are looking forward to the addition of a mixer to the bakery next week ... All the breads so far have been hand mixed and the addition of a mixer will free up a large portion of my time during the day. The pop-up bakery will continue up until when our restaurant opens as I push, push and push myself everyday to make the best bread I possibly can!

cheers,
Phil

Comments

evonlim's picture
evonlim

remarkable crumb and crust.. that fire wood oven is really working out well, with your superb hands and passion. as always your photography skills are amazing. thank you so much for sharing. take care.. always wishing you the best.

loving all of it!!

evon

p/s i wish i could get a loaf from you as well

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks evon,

The oven is going really well ... Creates a great crust!

Cheers,
Phil

proth5's picture
proth5

You know I'm envious of the oven and the new job!  :>)

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Pat,

It's pretty exciting to bake baguettes ... I have never had an oven that could fit them ... sounds crazy heh?

Cheers,
Phil

chouette22's picture
chouette22

... and I just love how wonderfully things are coming along! I opened the links you provided and there we can see the blue-tiled oven in all its glory, as the centerpiece of the restaurant. An amazing sight - wow! And the food that got handed out to the bloggers looks incredible too. 
Your baguettes - what perfection! I am so impressed, you really have gotten to know your oven. 
And Shiao-Ping walked in and bought a loaf, how amazing is that? Love it all!

PiPs's picture
PiPs

... I haven't taken any photos of the blue oven yet as it seems out of context to me until the rest of the fit out is complete.

The oven has come good in the past week. The outer temperatures are increasing and holding longer making for more stable baking. 

... my jaw nearly hit the floor when Shiao-Ping visited! ... Probably the most nervous I have been selling a loaf of bread!

Cheers,
Phil

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

You're going to have some very happy customers next month!  The whole renovation looks stunning.  Judging from the great photos of all the varieties of bread, it looks like you've got the oven temperatures well characterized.  Best of luck for the opening.

-Brad

PiPs's picture
PiPs

With daily baking I feel pretty confident in the oven ... I imagine it will still throw me a curve ball occasionally!

Hopefully we can get a bit of a name for ourselves up until the opening!

Cheers,
Phil

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Phil,
So happy to see these amazing breads and to see your success with the new oven.
Everything looks beautiful there, in the restaurant.
The 'buzz' must be incredible with the pop-up bakery - all those people getting to a chance to taste that bread!
When you're ready to open the doors, the customers will be lining up around the block :^)
Best wishes working with the new mixer!
:^) breadsong

PiPs's picture
PiPs

It was so nice to be in the kitchen yesterday and hear customers milling around and chatting at the front of the building ... for the past few months we have been very isolated ...

The mixer should be good ... will be used very minimally ... but will save me a lot of time.

Cheers,
Phil

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks for sharing an updating us.  It's so exciting to hear and see the passion you have for your new work.  Those samples you showed us look amazing.  Good luck with your opening.

if you hav a spare moment would live to see the formula for those baggies.

Cheers,

Ian

 

 

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Ian,

I'll write up the baggie formula soon ... I hope to do a series on my new 'professional' methods :)

Cheers,
Phil

Wingnut's picture
Wingnut

Absolutely amazing looking bread mate. No worries if you don't want to talk in public just let the loaves do all the talking.

Cheers,

Wingnut

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Wingnut,

The talking wasn't too bad ... is a weird sensation to be talking about something that has been a very internal process for so long.

I think the bloggers enjoyed their morning with us ... funny how many of them thought the oven was huge ... I look at it and wish it was bigger :)

Cheers,
Phil

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Phil,

If you are thinking the oven is too small already...then it is!!!

You will be very successful, so should expect increasing demand for your bread.

However, a bigger oven is not necessarily the solution.   Having worked with a wood-fired brick oven [French Chazal Guelard-type] that was in excess of 9 square metres, I can say you are better off with smaller ovens.   So you will be better building another oven alongside, or near-by when you need to expand!

I'm enjoying keeping up with your adventure.

All good wishes

Andy

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi Andy,

I would have preferred a larger oven but we are restricted with space ... I am not complaining ... will do the best with what I have available.

I think the double oven scenario works really well for these types of ovens. I am constantly surprised by how well the insulation is working with this oven ... getting a good amount of bakes through it!

Cheers,
Phil

ananda's picture
ananda

So do you have space anywhere to build another oven if necessary Phil?

The Guelard oven has fires beneath the front of the oven, with flues leading up into the oven chamber.   The Guelard [French for mouth] sits on the top of the flue and points the flames down the oven.   The idea is that these flames then ignite the gases floating in the oven chamber to give secondary combustion.   We constantly found that the front half of the oven was fired solid, and great to bake on.   However, the full heat never penetrated right to the back of the oven, so we had to finish an oven cycle just using thre front portion of the oven before it came to re-firing.   The idea with these ovens is that it should be simple and effective to "flash-fire", which is certainly not the case with the style of oven you have.   However, in practice we always found the Guelard oven worked better if we fired it just once per shift, and fired it hard.   The only problem with this was that the management did not like us firing the oven this way!!!!

Anyway, I digress.   It's good to read of your emerging contentment with your oven...that bodes well indeed.

Best wishes

Andy

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

With a WFO.  Finally some Artisan Bread Phil using the real standard!  Way to go man.  Most of the rest of  us can just dream about such things - like yo unused to!  You might never get another chance once the mixer gets there :-)  Your bread never looked better.... inside or out!   You just can't get crust like that any other way.  Nice baking  Phil

PiPs's picture
PiPs

There are a couple of breads that I will continue to hand mix ... it's just better for them ... and when I say I will be using a mixer ... I mean it will be doing the grunt work of combining ingredients ...I'll then dump the dough into a tub where I will continue to develop by hand.

We are actually looking for an assistant baker ... anyone interested?

Phil

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

as a pro baker without the use of a mixer.  Just can't get enough bread done without one.

If I lived in Brisbane I would apply for the Ass. Baker Job in a heart beat @!

Happy Artisan Baking Phil (by an real Artisan Baker)

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Everything looks superb..Love those baguettes : )  too!

Sylvia

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Sylvia,

They tasted pretty darn good too ...

cheers, phil

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Love that oven, Phil! All loaves, and pastries look delicious.Do you think you have tamed that beast yet? I think you have.. those baguettes are absolutely gorgeous!!

So, you have met Shiao-Ping, and Ian from Ars pistorica? how lovely.

I read that you freshly mill flour, do you do so for feeding the levain/ part of the dough? i'm impresssed. I enjoyed reading your progress, and the blogs above.

Waitng to see you in full action soon. Inspiring efforts!

-Khalid

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi Khalid,

The oven has improved greatly in the past week ... much more predictable and holding temperatures better. I think the majority of moisture has been driven out of it. Over the past week I have been able to have the oven temps where I want it and when I want it within 10C or so ... that makes me happy.

The freshly milled flour is something I want to expand upon but I am waiting until the business is better established. At the moment the starter, leaven builds and wholegrain flours are milled fresh. A standard dough may have up to 30% freshly milled grains at the moment ... I will need to get a larger mill sooner than later!

I hope to meet more Fresh Loafers in due time :)

Cheers,
Phil

 

Ascort's picture
Ascort

I was listening to the radio yesterday morning and was hearing about a bakery selling bread by an honesty system and then realised what they were talking about.  It was the bread that Phil is baking.

Here is a link to the broadcast. (Just download the audio)

http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2013/05/honesty-box-at-an-inner-brisbane-bakery.html?site=brisbane&program=612_breakfast

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Great looking breads, Phil!  Glad to hear it is all coming together.

lumos's picture
lumos

What an amazing and exciting life you're living at the moment!  Thanks for sharing. I won't me surprised at all if we see YOUR bread books are flying off the shelves of bookshops in a few years time. (Any discount for your old TFL friends? :p)