Today I had 3 new recruits come over and help out with bread baking. I had prepared ahead of time, and had 3 miches proofing, and 3900g of baguette dough (for 13 loaves) fermenting when they arrived. One of the things I liked about this training session was that I was able to let go a bit more from the bread than I’ve been able to in the past. For example, while I was helping someone with some of the math, another trainee went ahead and unloaded some baguettes all on her own. I also let them do almost all of the shaping (although I had to practice with a few) and scoring.
The biggest issue was that the baguette dough was way too sticky at 67%. I am using a new flour from Giusto called Artisan Malted Bread Flour, which definitely performs different from my other flours. However, even with the stickiness, the shaping went along ok, and the finished products were still very tasty. In addition to the baking of the bread, I took my new recruits along with me to give away some of the bread, and had very positive results.
On the way down to the Papusa Lady, I saw one of my neighbors, and gave him a loaf. Then Papusa lady got a baguette (which are her favorite of my breads), and a large miche. Next came Pirate Cat Radio, and I met a new worker there who was very enthusiastic about the bread. I stopped in to Blow Fish Sushi, and talked with the bartender a bit, who also was enthusiastic; he told me to come back and talk to them over lunch. While at Blow Fish, someone at the bar overheard me talking, and was very interested in Sour Flour. I talked to him a bit, then gave him some bread. Next was Universal Cafe; their executive chef (who I’ve given bread to) was not around, but I dropped it off with a new person who I had not met before. J&B Club was happy as always to get their baguette. As I was walking down the street back to my house, I passed some neighbors I had not met before, and gave them some bread; they were quite appreciative. Finally, I stopped in a corner store that I had not been in before, and told them about what I was doing. They were extremely receptive, and offered to let me use their shop as a distribution point. To top things off, I walk back into my clean, bread free (almost bread free) home, and am overwhelmed by the aroma of a bakery. Funny how 16 loaves can do so much.
I’m continually overwhelmed by how many things are in front of me, but days like this make it all worthwhile. Just about everyone I speak to loves Sour Flour, and I love the fact that things keep improving.