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:
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!