The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Catching up

Floydm's picture

Catching up

I've been overloaded the past couple of weeks, so I've fallen a bit behind on my blogging and baking. 

Going back the furthest: BreadSong gave me a heads up about an Advanced Baking class being taught very close to where I live at the UBC Farm a few weeks ago.  The class was being taught by Florin Moldovan, an accomplished Vancouver-based baker who ran a popular bakery in the Kitsilano neighborhood here.  Sadly Florin closed the bakery right around the time I moved here before I had a chance to visit.

Florin's blog is definitely worth checking out.

There were about a dozen of us in the class.  In his intro class, Florin covers the basic steps in baking (mixing, fermenting, shaping, etc). In the advanced class, he introduces preferments, soakers, sourdough, baker's math, and other things that folks had questions about.

Everyone was asked to bring a large mixing bowl with them. 

Florin provided the ingredients and had the soakers and starter ready to go. At the end of class we each got to leave with a bowl full of dough.

The next day the dough we'd prepared baked up beautifully. My photo doesn't do it justice.

Florin is an extremely accomplished baker, but one thing that struck me about the class is you wouldn't have to be that good to teach a class like this: a lot of us could do it. Gear-wise, since everyone was asked to bring a bowl and none of the baking was done there, all you really need is space you can occupy (and get dirty) for a few hours and about twenty bucks of ingredients.  Pre-measure the ingredients, have them ready in plastic cups or bowls before the class starts, and hand out a couple of print outs about the basics of baking and some simple formulas. Good times, and a great way to introduce folks to baking or meet other bakers.

* * *

Last week was a travel week, down to Oregon to see friends and wrap up our final loose ends there.  The storage locker is empty now; we are now fully settled in Vancouver.

* * *

After returning, I baked a nice loaf using a soaker and starter similar to what we did in class.  


100g rye flour

100g water

20g starter

Soaker 1

130g cracked wheat

140g water

Soaker 2

100g whole wheat flour

120g water

Final dough

300g Robin Hood "best for bread multigrain blend" flour

400g all-purpose unbleached flour

20g salt

330g water

The starter and soakers

The exterior shot is at the top of this post.  Here is a crumb shot.



evonlim's picture

it is beautiful.. very fortunate able to learn from a good baker. thanks for sharing :) 

happy baking Flyodm



dabrownman's picture

bread Floyd.   I especially like your bread made at home.  So nice looking inside and out.  Nice thick blistered crust with glossy and open crumb.  Has to tatse great too,

Happy baking Floyd

Mebake's picture

Thanks for sharing, Floyd!

The breads are all top notch. 

I'm glad you are fully settled in Vancouver..



Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Nice bread Floyd.  Good to see you taking advantage of UBC and its many offerings.

Kind of jealous actually!  Keep it up and you will be opening up your own local bakery ;)

By the way, another good local artisinal bakery is at the Granville Island Market.  Always been happy with their breads.


Janetcook's picture

Your loaf looks great!  I love baking with cracked grains soakers too. 

Did you let your soakers sit for 12 hours at room temp?  If so, did the second soaker begin to ferment since you didn't add salt?  I ask because PR always uses a bit of salt in the room temp soakers he uses in WGB and I know from experience that ww is pretty 'active'.  I also know that weather in Vancouver can be on the cool side but it is summer so my curiosity has gotten the best of me :)

Nice to hear you are settled in and loose ends are under wraps.

Take Care,


Floydm's picture

Yeah... if memory serves me right, my soakers sat at room temperature for roughly 8-10 hours.  I set them up mid-morning, then prepared the final dough in the evening after dinner.

Salt in the soaker might have been wise, but I was busy doing other things that day and didn't give it much research or thought.  Something to think about next time!

Janetcook's picture

Well, your loaf turned out just fine without it so maybe you are onto something?  I know people here have discussed the use of salt in soakers before....I still sit on the fence but tend to add it because that is how I first learned how to make them.....Worked then so I guess I just stick to what has worked in the past.  When I make 'hot' soakers/scalds I don't add it and my reasoning is that the heat kills the enzymes BUT then there is the ease of adding it thus making the final mix a bit less work...

Luckily doughs are forgiving :)

I will be interested to see if you ever do add salt to a room temp. soaker and if it makes any difference in the outcome.

By the way, thanks for the response.

Take Care,


breadsong's picture

Hi Floyd,
So glad you were able to go, and thanks for writing about the class.
I'd like to take one of Florin's classes one day.
The bread looks great!
:^) breadsong