The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Montana Sourdough baker

Mako's picture
Mako

Montana Sourdough baker

 

One day you're a mild mannered Engineer who has a passion for cooking and real BBQ.

you're handed a sourdough started and told is been kept alive since the 1800's

 

The next day you find yourself buying 50 pound bags of flour and buying a Steam/Proofing oven

 

 I've been lurking on the Fresh loaf for a few months and I just realized that Mark (MCS) is my neighbor (we live a couple miles apart) small world

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Oh cool!!!!! You're going to have so much fun. Can't wait to see what you come up with. And go see Mark about some tips.

 Jane

Pablo's picture
Pablo

"I just realized that Mark (MCS) is my neighbor"

I'm SO jealous!!!  When you visit have a bear claw for me.  

:-Paul

Mako's picture
Mako

I'm most looking forward to watching the shaping and seeing the texture of the dough. I have a million questions.

I was on the cusp of ordering some Rye flour so now i'm hoping I can tag along on one of Marks orders to Bobs Red mill and combine shipping costs.

Here in Montana we have an abundance of bread flowers, but Rye on the other hand is a little lacking.

My father in law is a wheat farmer (spring wheat) so I can't wait to try to mill some of that.

And we have a great source for Wheat Montana flours (I've seen people here ordering their stuff). We have a local store where you walk in and fresh mill however much you want into a bag (like some coffe places do).

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Mako,

Welcome to TFL! You just made me berry berry jealous. Some folks have all the luck! Walk in and mill your wheat, how cool.

I'm looking forward to following your baking adventures. Let us see your results, please?

Soundman (David)

Mako's picture
Mako

 

I'll have to dig up some pictures of my previous adventures, my Spinach parmesan Boules turned out great.

 

I still havent gotten the hang of my new oven to provide any worthy photos.  Not for lack of trying, I've made 4 batches (2 loaves each).

 

My oven is a Kitchen Aid Steam/Bake/Convection oven with bread proofing mode.  I love the proof mode, but I think my problem lately is that I'm overproofing because it works so well  (I need to shorten my proof time, because I'm used to slow cold proofing)

mcs's picture
mcs

Hey there,
I don't know if you're specifically particular about your rye flour, but Montana Milling makes dark, medium, and light rye flour that I'm going to be trying next after I finish up the Bob's Red Mill stuff that I have.  It's between $31 and $34 for 50#, plus there's no shipping cost.  If you don't need that much, I'll let you know when I place an order.

-Mark

http://thebackhomebakery.com

mcs's picture
mcs

OK, if you live so close, how come you haven't been buying my stuff at the farmers market? Just kidding.  When you said 'a couple miles apart'  I didn't know if you meant 'a couple' as in 'less than 10' or the Montana version which might be something like 'less than a 3 hour drive'.  Talk to you later.

-Mark

http://thebackhomebakery.com

Mako's picture
Mako

 

I literally live less than 2 miles from your house (West reserve Drive by the round about).  I read the directions to your house on your website, I drive by McMannamy Draw all the time.

 

I only go to the Kalispell Farmers market and I only just missed you at the event at Rabecca Farm (was planning to go but other things came up)

 

I'll have to admint I mostly buy my stuff from Polebridge Mercantile (I make special trips to purchase their products)

mcs's picture
mcs

How could you?  Just kidding, I know the drive alone is worth it (or so I've heard).  Anyway, give me a ring when you want a grand tour or better yet, when you're ready to work (I've got plenty of aprons).

-Mark

http://thebackhomebakery.com

Mako's picture
Mako

 

I'd love to see that shaping lesson in real life...

 and I promise to buy any loaves I mess up!!!

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Boy Mark if I lived down the road, I'd bring you coffee early. Then I'd buy one of everything.

Eric 

mcs's picture
mcs

That reminds me of when I was a teacher of junior high kids not too long ago.  Every day I ate lunch with them in the cafeteria and as I was choosing where to sit each day, it went something like this:
"Mr. Sinclair, sit here!  You can have my cookies!"
"Sit over here, I've got brownies you can have!"
"Mr. Sinclair, look!  We saved you  an aisle seat (end of the table for my long legs) AND we've got cupcakes AND my mom's chocolate chip cookies!"

me:  "Sorry guys, but the aisle seat and homemade cookies wins today"
everybody else: "Ohhhhhhh..."

-Mark

http://thebackhomebakery.com

breadawe's picture
breadawe

I Am enjoying all of the posts.  Actually, I am Mark's 76 year old migrant worker from Spokane Washington.  Last month, I spent a good part of a week working for Mark in his bakery. He is a "go for it guy" starting most mornings at 2:00am mixing and baking up goodies to delight your palate.  So Mark does not get in trouble with some Montana laws, for not reporting a new employee, I am just a home baker, retired from corporate life, with a passion for making bread that spent some learning time with Mark,

What an experience!  Croissants, puff pastry goodies, bear claws, apple strudel you would not believe, french baguettes, kalamata rosemary bread...the list goes on and on.

Mark and I worked side by side for, sometimes, 16 hour days.  You get to know folks when you do that.  Mark sets high standards, uses only the best ingredients and produces artisan products.  Quality guy and quality baked products

Next Spring, I'm back!

 

John 

 

 

  

 

Mako's picture
Mako

 

It sounds like Marks a regular Bread and Breakfast..

 except you're trhilled to have to do all the work.

mcs's picture
mcs

To tell you the truth, I don't think John got a single breakfast the whole time he was here.  But I think he did get one lunch, only because the power went out and there was nothing to do but watch the bread get overproofed.
It's "The Back Home Bakery Work Study and Weight Loss Program" - Smell all you want, because there's no time to eat anything!

-Mark

http://thebackhomebakery.com

mcs's picture
mcs

John,
Expect a call when things get really busy again.  

-Mark

http://thebackhomebakery.com