wait a second, wtf is this, another post within a week of the last?!?!? i'm doing my best here team, i'll keep writing if you keep reading. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 1.20.34 PM.png

also i just love this new structure of Frequently Unanswered Questions, i am getting all jazzed by the idea that i can revitalize this space as a collection of all of y'alls very good questions and my mediocre answers. ;) so enough lollygaggin, on to the next volume of FUQ - 


photo: Erin Kunkel @erinkunkel

photo: Erin Kunkel @erinkunkel

well, you can't make MY bread at your home, but you can make YOUR bread in your home. and i want to support you in that, because it's really not that hard, you just have to put a few pieces in place to make it possible. first of all, watch this. second of all, read this. nothing will replace the rewards of a regular baking practice, both in process and product, so if you have any inclination to work this into your life, i'd like to wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.


i could have never imagined the "success" of JBB the way it has progressed over the last 7 years. now that we've landed where we are - a team of 15 bakers baking over 400 loaves a day, milling all of our whole grain flour, sourcing all of our wheat from California, using only organic grains, pizza and sandwiches everyday, multiple baking classes every week, a beautiful cafe that's filled w beautiful people... just pinch me because i'm not sure this is real life! and yet, each day is remarkably similar to the one that came before, and still a little different, which makes me think that perhaps this IS real life, and it also makes me stop and ponder once in a while: where exactly are we headed?

that's been a hard thing to figure out, much harder than i ever would have known, and frankly this is as far as my "plan" got. but something that's been really surprising to me is the ways in which cultural assumptions about "success" have imposed their forces. even when people have the best intentions and are trying to support us and help us be the best we can be, i've had to perpetually reflect and redefine what my own values are, what "success" means to me, what i want the business to grow into.

we operate in a culture that assumes that success equals growth. specifically, "growth" in the sense of moremoremoremoremore, that insatiable desire that's part and parcel of the American dream. it isn't inherently evil or wrong, just turns out that it's not what "success" means to me, it's not the path of JBB. i value growth, very much so in fact, both in my self and in my business and in my staff, it's just a different kind of growth... shaking hands with the farmer that grows our wheat. diving deep into developing new recipes and techniques that coax the full potential from the ingredients we use. imbuing our loaves with our massive spirits. sinking into ourselves and our communities in ways that help us grow *together*. maintaining clarity on these values has been much more confusing than i would have ever imagined, given the differences between my definition of growth and our culture's definition of growth. but i never liked being "normal," so that works out nicely now doesn't it? ;)

what does "growth" and "success" mean to you? how are these similar or different to the generally accepted definition?


adventure bread.jpg

thank you for being obsessed with our adventure bread, we are obsessed with it too. and likewise it is obsessed with us, because without us it wouldn't exist. bakers all over the country have started making this bread, professional bakers and home bakers alike, and it just warms my heart. the truth is it's pretty darn simple to make. i included the recipe in my book, but my wonderful friend David Lebovitz included this recipe on his website from a few years back, so if you're curious to try your hand at crafting this loaf in your own home, just go here. oh yeah, as far as what's in it, it's basically just a bunch of toasted seeds held together with psyllium seed husk and almond flour, but all the details are in the recipe.

til next week my dears.

love, jb

Frequently Unanswered Questions (FUQ) by Josey Baker

well hello there!! i know, i know, every time i make a blog post i begin it with some version of, "jeez it sure has been a long time!! how the heck are you doing?!? you look so much older and wiser since the last time we spoke..." jk jk i don't actually say that last part because that would be kind of stupid and rude and while i am playful i like to consider myself neither stupid nor rude. but every once in a while ya gotta call it like ya see it, even if that means being a little "rude" or "stupid." where am i going with this? i'm not sure, let's see....... 

ya know how lots of websites have Frequently Asked Questions pages? well, i was reading through my e-mail this morning and was marveling at how many questions i regularly get that i don't have good answers for and it all of the sudden occurred to me as clear as day - i need a Frequently Unanswered Questions post! plus it turns into FUQ which is just funny and a little naughty and you know that's just my style. SO - here we go.


why yes, yes i can. i think i get this question a lot because people hear about this guy who fell in love with bread baking and then turned it into a successful business and voila! but obviously it's not that simple. so first of all: dreams really do come true. but before your dream can come true you have to *have a dream*, so i would like to congratulate you if you are able to say that. and if you don't have a clearly defined dream that's just fine, these things take time and luckily life is long and you can do this. and right after that i want to remind you of something you already know: it takes a lot of hard work to make your dreams come true. and maybe even a little bit of luck. regardless, the most important thing to remember is that it is possible, i.e. don't take no for an answer, i.e. roll up your sleeves and make it happen, i.e. think outside the box, i.e. spend time alone with yourself and get to know the nooks and crannies of your dreams because if you don't do that you will end up getting confused about what it is that you actually want and you will be working so so hard for some mish mash of your dreams and other people's dreams and then wtf are you doing?

This is Fritz Durst, farmer extraordinaire, in his element, following his dreams.  

This is Fritz Durst, farmer extraordinaire, in his element, following his dreams.  

i happened upon bread baking because my buddy George gifted me a sourdough starter and some simple instructions and i fell in love, but before that happened i'd spent a lot of time reflecting on what it was that i wanted to do, more specifically how i wanted to spend my days. some of things i knew i wanted:

  • to engage in a craft that involved working with my hands
  • to be forced/have the opportunity to practice patience
  • to spend minimal time on the computer
  • to have work/life balance
  • to be social through my work

in hindsight bread baking is a perfect match for these criteria, but i'd never considered it til George came by with that sourdough starter. but there are plenty of other careers that could have been a good fit, just so happens i became a bread baker. and my last name is Baker, so that sort of seems like it was written in the stars, right? ;) moral of the story is that the only way your dream will come true is if you make sure that it's YOUR dream. reflecting on the moments of your days is a good place to start/end. and don't let anybody tell you it can't happen, because if you do, they'll be right. 


Rob Moss Wilson, @robmosswilson, made this super tight podcast logo for me. 

Rob Moss Wilson, @robmosswilson, made this super tight podcast logo for me. 

a ha, you caught me there!! while i did start blabbing all big about how i was just going to whip up a podcast, it turns out that making a good podcast is not something you can just whip up. so i am letting the podcast ferment in the deep recesses of my consciousness because A) it will make it better after long slow fermentation, B) i need to find the right people to partner with, and C) i am thinking about having my brother as my co-host because C1) it would be very fun, C2) he doesn't know anything about bread so it would be great to explain things to him, and C3) i love him and we don't talk enough. (some of those may be similar enough to not warrant unique letters/numbers but just let me do things my way ok you're not the boss of me) so don't you worry, it is still in the works, it's just going to take a little while because as we all know good things take time. like good bread. which brings me to another FUQ -


credit: The Morrisons, @themorrisonsphoto

credit: The Morrisons, @themorrisonsphoto

now that's a real doozy. the very first thing i have to say is when you have 6 minutes to spare just settle down and watch this video of the late Alan Scott. i stumbled upon this a while back before i knew anything about bread or baking or Alan, and his spirit shone through so strongly that i just had to see what exactly he was talking about for myself. could go on for hours about that, but the next thing i'd have to say is get this if you haven't already. ;) and watch these if you haven't already. but really what it comes down to if i cut to the chase and stop promoting myself is that the most helpful thing of all is having a regular baking practice. i mean, that sounds really nice, right? why don't you just go ahead and say it out loud right now.  "a regular baking practice." did you say it? if not, i am going to urge you once again, you can say it really quietly, even a whisper, but just try saying it to yourself, out loud. "a regular baking practice." this means that at least once a week you bake a loaf of bread, start to finish. this is a very nice way to spend time and it teaches you all sorts of important things about bread and life and just give it a shot already if you have any inkling, you'll see what i mean. plus you'll then have a loaf of bread, which makes for a beautiful gift or a meal or if push comes to shove you can put it in your freezer and eat it one day down the road when you don't feel like baking bread. 

there are plenty of other FUQs out there, but they will have to wait for another day. til then, be well my friends. 

<3 josey



rad bakers, part 1 by Josey Baker

yo sexies

a lot has happened since we last spoke... i moved to Oakland, and this little guy got a room of this own - 

"watermelon tastes good, i may be small but i'm not an idiot." -Cassady (he didn't say that, he can't talk, he's only 1 year old)

"watermelon tastes good, i may be small but i'm not an idiot." -Cassady (he didn't say that, he can't talk, he's only 1 year old)

but let's not get caught up in all sorts of Dad stuff, look at this pretty picture of bread - 

red, white + rye. this is a whole grain beauty that's really come into it's own over the past few months. we call it 'red, white + rye" because it's a blend of red wheat (COLR), white wheat (Patwin) and rye. all stone ground whole grain, all sourdough.&nbsp;

red, white + rye. this is a whole grain beauty that's really come into it's own over the past few months. we call it 'red, white + rye" because it's a blend of red wheat (COLR), white wheat (Patwin) and rye. all stone ground whole grain, all sourdough. 

so i was riding the BART train to the bakery this morning (if you must know i am pretty darn pumped about my new commute strategy, it's called 'run to the BART, sit on the BART, run to the bakery, repeat in reverse order to go home.' it's so nice + efficient to get in a good 8 mile run to/from work), when i said to myself, 'man, there are so many awesome things happening right now in the baking community, i wanna share and celebrate this stuff and these people!!! so i thought it might be nice to do some mini profiles on some of my favorite bakers... sound cool? LET'S DO THIS. will start out where i start out, and will do another one soon, i promise. 

LODGE BREAD - Los Angeles, CA

Alex and Or are badasses. and they are sweethearts. they are badass sweethearts and they're making totally incredible bread and pizza and sweets for the people of Los Angeles.

they make country bread that makes your taste buds scream w joy. credit: @lodgebreadco insty

they make country bread that makes your taste buds scream w joy. credit: @lodgebreadco insty

I first met Alex back when he was cooking at AQ here in SF, maybe 5 years ago (is that right Alex??). i rolled in (literally, as i was delivering all my bread by bike at that point) and our eyes met and sparks flew. later on i used to watch him sweat it out in front of the live fire cooking at TBD, but next thing I knew he'd moved down to LA and had fallen in love w baking.

alex contemplating life's mysteries. credit:&nbsp; Yasmin Alishav for LA Weekly

alex contemplating life's mysteries. credit: Yasmin Alishav for LA Weekly

Alex and I chatted a few times and it became immediately clear that he had it bad for bread. him and his buddy Or had been baking like crazy in a makeshift bakery they'd pulled together in a carport, but demand was on the rise, and they were hungry to settle into a proper brick and mortar. one day they drove through the night up to SF, and i could tell by the look in their eyes they had no intentions of stopping. 

Or massages the magic into place. credit:&nbsp; Yasmin Alishav for LA Weekly

Or massages the magic into place. credit: Yasmin Alishav for LA Weekly

a few months later they opened Lodge Bread Co. in Culver City, and the rest, as they say, is history. they're making very good bread folks, some of the best, and if you're ever down LA way, i highly recommend you drop in for a loaf or slice of toast or cookie or what the ef ever they shove in your face, because it will be good, i assure you. 

where Lodge lives. credit: &nbsp;  Wonho Frank Lee

where Lodge lives. credit: Wonho Frank Lee

word on the street is that they may have some exciting new stuff in the works too, but you didn't hear it from me. go by and tell em JB sent you, and give them a nice little pat on their rear ends.

will highlight more of my fav bakers soon, stay tuned hotties.

<3 jb

test shot by Josey Baker

is anybody out there? do people even read blogs any more? 

i've heard from a handful of folks lately that they miss my blog posts... is it true? truth be told i've mostly moved my sharing to the instagram realm... but i don't wanna leave folks hanging if people actually come here to check out what's happenin in the JBB realm... do me a favor and if you're curious for more good ol' fashioned blog posts then send up a smoke signal, shoot me a note, leave a comment here. and i'll get back in the saddle of this beast.

in the mean time, look at what i just found while perusing the archives of this here blog, all from way back in 2010 -

this is how i used to get my bread around town. and not just my bread - as you can see from the pile of stuff, i would also bring all of my bread making supplies with me. a bit of a gypsy baker if you will.

this is how i used to get my bread around town. and not just my bread - as you can see from the pile of stuff, i would also bring all of my bread making supplies with me. a bit of a gypsy baker if you will.

this was the first time that i baked a bunch of bread and tried selling it to strangers. it was at the Underground Farmer's Market in 2011, and i baked all the bread at Pizzaiolo real early in the morning. and that's my original JBB sign!! i used my totally sick graphic design microsoft word art skillz to turn that into my logo as well. awwwwww memories.

this was the first time that i baked a bunch of bread and tried selling it to strangers. it was at the Underground Farmer's Market in 2011, and i baked all the bread at Pizzaiolo real early in the morning. and that's my original JBB sign!! i used my totally sick graphic design microsoft word art skillz to turn that into my logo as well. awwwwww memories.

and my how our standards evolve... back in 2010 these were the most beautiful loaves i had ever baked. if i pulled these outta the oven today i would be pretty disappointed in myself... just growing, changing, becoming my best self. (as my sweet sweet wife likes to say.)

and my how our standards evolve... back in 2010 these were the most beautiful loaves i had ever baked. if i pulled these outta the oven today i would be pretty disappointed in myself... just growing, changing, becoming my best self. (as my sweet sweet wife likes to say.)

anyway, that is that. is anybody out here or am i yelling into the abyss? rather, who else is in the this abyss with me?

<3 jb

The Mill turns 3 !!! by Josey Baker

oh my goodness gracious me, it's true, it's true, The Mill is turning 3!!!

hard to believe right, but we've been slinging toast + coffee for three lovely years and we want to celebrate and say thank you. and what says thank you better than soup + grilled cheese?!?

so come on out and party with us Wednesday Feb 17 from 6-9pm. we'll be serving up hot grilled cheese and warm soup and there'll even be live music by our very own Madeline Kenney.

but hold the phone - did you say FREE soup + grilled cheese?!?

actually no, i didn't say "free," but you're in luck, because it IS going to be free. but just for this very special occasion. then we'll start making you trade us money for the soup + grilled cheese. because soup + grilled cheese doesn't grow on trees. at least, not on any day other than Wednesday Feb 17 from 6-9pm. 

can't thank you enough for the support everyone, means the world to me.

<3 jbb

hello new year, sayonara old dough by Josey Baker

boy oh boy, it's going to be a great year, ya know what i mean? i mean, it's gotta be a great year, and you have to have that attitude, otherwise you're just effed. and being effed is not the way you wanna be. (don't get all sexy on me now, you know what i mean.) (okay get a little sexy on me now... oh baby baby...)

speaking of babies - look at this frikkin kid!!! i am one proud papa.

the other day Cassady had his first bite of bread. it was also the first time that he fed himself. he liked it. he liked it so much that any time i tried to take the piece of bread away he let out a very high-pitched shriek until he had the bread back in his hand and mouth. that's my boy.

enough about this 'isn't my kid so cute' stuff, time for some nerdy stuff...

i've been getting a lot of e-mails from folks about our 'old dough' method that i discussed in a talk at Google last Fall. what is the 'old dough method,' you ask? just like it sounds - you can save a portion of your bread dough from Monday and mix it in to Tuesday's dough and voila, you don't need any extra yeast or sourdough or anything, as your old dough provides the new dough with everything it needs in order to become yummy bread. (if you wanna read more about old dough and other methods, check out the King Arthur website, a wonderful reference.)

when i started baking i did what most sourdough bakers do - maintain a sourdough culture, feed it regularly, use it to mix a pre-ferment which you then mix into your dough, etc. this is what most bakers do, and with good reason - it allows you control over every phase of the process, thereby allowing you to achieve your desired characteristics of sourdough culture and pre-ferment and dough... but it sure is a pain in the ass. 

so one day, must have been in the fall of 2013, we decided to hold back some of our whole wheat dough, stick it in the fridge, and then mix it in to the next day's dough. after a few days of trial and error we were making incredible bread with our old dough, and we didn't look back. until fall of 2015...

we'd been employing the old dough method for about two years, and we loved it. it's ridiculously simple and elegant. it alleviates you from the extra time and effort required to maintain a sourdough culture and mix pre-ferments and this is good news for us bakers because, come on, we spend all day toting around 50 lb bags of grain and 30 lb tubs of dough and blah blah blah, it's hard physical work and if we can find ways to increase our efficiency/cut out unnecessary steps, by god we are going to do it. however, it's a bit cavalier, a bit wild, a bit imprecise, at least how we did it, and this led to some problems over time...

ask any baker what the single hardest thing about baking is, and chances are they will list consistency in the top three. baking good bread isn't that hard; baking great bread is pretty tough; baking great bread everyday? whole grain sourdough bread, and milling the flour yourself?? it's very challenging work, even for the most experienced bakers. and it's part of what we love about baking, that it never ceases to challenge and reward. 

so our old dough method was leading to some pretty inconsistent bread quality, especially since we made the switch to a new crop of wheat. and so we took a big step back and said, 'what the heck are we doing wrong???' and once we did that, we knew the old dough method had to go. why? basically because it didn't allow us enough control over that phase of the process. for sourdough bread, your sourdough culture is your starting point - if you don't start off with this in exactly the right place, it's a real uphill battle from then on. while old dough had worked really well most of the time, we realized that we needed to really focus in on this phase and make sure that our sourdough had the precise characteristics we were looking for, and in order to do this, we had to mix it afresh, everyday. while convenient, the old dough method can be too limiting to consistently get the results you're after. not to knock it - there are plenty of bakers and bakeries out there that employ it to make delicious bread. it just didn't work for us, at least, not anymore. 


so we're back where we started - we have a sourdough culture that we feed twice a day, we use this to mix an overnight seed which we use to mix our pre-ferment, and then we mix that into the dough. is it more work than the old dough? absolutely. does it make better bread? sometimes. does it make better bread more consistently? we'll let you be the judge of that.

hope your new year is off to a great start. if it isn't, you might wanna let go of your old dough. ;)

<3 j

thanks for giving by Josey Baker


hey hey ho ho ho haaaaaaaappy Thanksgiving...??? goodness gracious me, Thanksgiving is... next week?!?!? wtf my dudes, how did that happen?? i'll tell you how it happened: the Earth rotated once every 24 hours (a tad less if you really must know) while simultaneously revolving around the Sun every 365 days (a tad more if you really must know), all while we are dancing our dances and whittling our whistles and singing our songs and baking our bread... and then *WHAM* it's time for you to gather with all of your loved ones and say how much you love them while stuffing your pretty little face with as much stuffing as you can til next year comes around and you can be surprised by it all again.

speaking of which, we are doing a new thing - we will NOT be baking any bread on Thanksgiving day. this is a new thing - for the last 5 years i've baked bread on Thanksgiving morning, because i think it a nice way to spend Thanksgiving morning, and then taken the day AFTER Thanksgiving off. however, this year we are going to try just baking bread on the days before and after Thanksgiving, and see how that goes. what do you think? do you like this? does it make you make a face like Mr. Yuk? do you even know who Mr. Yuk is? and furthermore, what are YOU going to do on Thanksgiving morning, because you most definitely will not be grabbing a loaf of bread from mine hands??? 

oh and just to clarify - The Mill will indeed be open on Thanksgiving day til 3pm, and we will have toast and coffee etc. we just won't have any loaves for sale. so please enjoy your Thanksgiving, i really hope you do, and if'n you're after some loaves, please come and get them before or after the day itself.

and while we're on the topic - we also won't be baking any bread on Christmas Day, nor New Year's Day. because even bakers need a break sometimes. this lands us at 361 days/year. not too shabby, if i do say so myself.

that's my child Cassady. he's almost half a year old now, which is hard to believe, but very true. he will be helping Santa with all of this holiday duties. or he'll just be hanging out in the garden. oh and wtf do you think of this new sexy website?!?! fancy, right??? my friend Brooke helped out a bunch, so if you like it let me know and i will tell her. if you don't like it, it's my fault, and i am sorry. but you'll be fine.

ok love you byeeeee

<3 josey

Wanna bake bread together? by Josey Baker

Short and sweet on this one kiddos, though please don’t take this to mean anything other than i am so confident in our relationship that we needn’t waste any precious time with niceties.

We’re starting back up with the bread baking classes! next one is Wednesday, October 7, 7:30-9:30pm at The Mill. wanna learn how to bake bread with us? go here and reserve your spot! i’m really excited about this class, we will get into the principles that make for delicious bread: whole/wild/wet/slow/bold. what does this all mean and how can it possibly have to do with bread??!? come hang + find out. 


i can in fact barely contain my excitement, and thus i think i may have to just do an impromptu slam right here right now, ok here goes, please read aloud and add your own emphasis, suggested by the “*” scattered throughout:

i wrote out a slam poem and then got embarrassed and deleted it. sorry, maybe next time?

and that, as they say, is that.

<3 jbb

fresh out the oven by joseybakerbread


goodness gracious, look at this lil bun fresh out the oven:

yup, Cassady Francis Baker was born into this world on June 7, 2015, and my oh my, what a joy he is. don't worry, i won't be one of those people who post tons and tons of photos of their newborn on their website.


but, i mean, come on, you've gotta agree, he is pretty frikkin cute, and his papa ain't no sack of sh*t either:


anyway, we got a lot going on at The Mill. too much to blab about in one silly and too-quickly-written post. here's a few things though, just to whet your whistle...


Ryan, known to some as "Rye Guy," has been doing tooooons of experiments lately, and i've been madly inspired by his determination and creativity. he's pushing into new frontiers, blending malted barleys and pre-ferments and sprouted ryes and molasses and polenta and creme fraiche and what-the-ef-ever else he feels like, and he's coming up with some really amazing stuff. like what you ask? like this frikkin crazy naturally leavened corn bread that's unlike any other corn bread i've ever tasted, so much so that it feels like a misnomer to even call it corn bread. one day we'll make some for you and you can tell us what to call it.


Ty, who has one of the most beautiful man manes i've ever had the pleasure of seeing, has been leading the charge on a JBB baguette. baguettes, my god, i love you and i hate you. we made baguettes way back when, and then we stopped, and we've tried a handful of times since, never quite able to recreate the baguette of our dreams. but Ty is closer than ever, and it's purely because of his beautiful man mane. no silly, it's because he's got mad skills, and he has been tinkering and exploring and inventing for months, trying to coax that dreamy baguette into our mouths. how does he do it? i can't tell you all of the secrets, nay, i can't tell you any of the secrets, but that's because there aren't any - he's using about half whole grain sonora flour, half high extraction wheat flour, a super fresh sourdough culture, overnight bulk, very gentle shaping, just shy of 500F oven... the results are magnificent when everything is aligned. keep your eyes peeled, soon my friends.


i've been working with a very talented fellow over in Oakland named Joe, who is actually an alum of Hampshire College, just like myself. Joe spends his nights down at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, smashing subatomic particles together with great force (is that what you do Joe??), but by day he works with metal, making knives and beautiful signs and as of today, grain mills. with the help of the brilliant Andrew Heyn from Elmore Mountain Bread in Vermont, we are building a new grain mill that is about twice as big as our current mill. why the new mill? because we want greater control of the granulation of our flour, and building it ourself just seems like fun. i've been grinding the millstones over the past few weeks, while Joe has been meticulously crafting the frame, and we are pretty darn close to giving it a test run. should be up and running within the next couple of months, and we are puuuuuuumped up about it.

i hung with my photographer bud Erin Kunkel a few weeks back and she snapped some pics that made me look wayyy cooler than i am, which will be used in a piece in King Arthur's new publication, Sift. we had a lot of fun, some of it looked like this:


we've been baking bread everyday for the last i-don't-even-know how long, so we are going to take a day off - Wednesday August 26 - so we can party together. it's our 3rd annual JBB Retreat and we're going to go on a camping trip the night before, then spending that Wednesday hanging out on the beach, decidedly NOT baking bread. so mark your calendars - no bread on Wed Aug 26!! The Mill will be open as usual.

what else? here's Blair watching Jess be a Rye Master:


so that maybe one day she can make bread like this:


and here's Rafi meditating in the sunset in the Trinity Alps during a backpacking trip he and I did a week ago:


and here's my child, last one, i promise:


check ya soon sweethearts

<3 j

whole / wild / wet / slow / bold by joseybakerbread

just to get a little personal here for a moment - my first child's due to be born today. this'll come as a surprise to some of you, as i tend to keep this kind of personal stuff outta here, but as you can imagine, this is one of those things that will impact every other facet of my life, and so what the heck, i decided to share the news with you all. thanks for sharing in the joy, next time you hear from me i should be a papa. IMG_7902

but enough about me, let's get back to the bread... i've been thinking a lot lately about what our guiding principles are. what are the characteristics that define good bread, both in terms of the process and the ingredients? these rules aren't hard and fast (and i'll be the first one to support a deviation in the quest of deliciousness), but i do think they're principles by which most good bread is made.


whole: whole grain i'm definitely not tied to all breads being all whole grain (there's a different bread for every occasion, and many of our breads are 50% whole grain), but the more bread i make, the more bread that i eat, the more i am drawn to breads that are mostly whole grain. i find these breads both more interesting to make, and more interesting to eat. we've been working with a bunch of different grains lately (einkorn, rye, spelt, khorasan, corn, oats, buckwheat, a bunch of different wheats such as Sonora, Cabernet, Cristalo, Bolero, Merica, etc) and i've been elated by how much i've grown as a baker, and all of the flavors, textures and aromas we're getting. and we're just scratching the surface. we've got a stone mill in the bakery so that we can control the granulation and then use the flour immediately in whatever fashion we dream up - mixing it directly into dough, or soaking it overnight, or toasting it and mixing with boiling water, or cooking it into a porridge... new possibilities present themselves everyday.


wild: wild yeast a sourdough starter is a magical little beast. it’s a combination of flour and water, along with wild yeast and bacteria that are naturally found on flour and in the environment. starters can be tricky to work with, as you need to constantly monitor their development and characteristics in order to make the bread you’re after. in order to keep your sourdough starter alive, you have to “feed” it regularly with flour and water, and by doing this you can coax the wild yeast and bacteria into the proportions that are good for bread baking. most bread is made with yeast that's made in a factory, and this yeast is created in order to make bread rise quickly and dependably. but it wasn’t always this way – the first breads ever were most definitely “sourdough” – made with a mixture of flour and water that was allowed to ferment by the power of the wild yeast that was lucky enough to find its way into the mixture. the best breads that i've ever had have been made using a sourdough culture. if used properly, a sourdough culture yields bread that tastes better, lasts longer, and is healthier for you.


wet: fully hydrated it’s a lot easier to end up with moist bread if you start out with moist dough. why don’t more people put more water in their bread doughs? because it makes for a dough that is very sticky and tricky to handle, and well, that's a pain in the ass now isn't it? this is especially true if machines are dividing the dough, or shaping it into loaves. only the sensitive human hand can handle dough like this, and even then, it takes hundreds, thousands of loaves to get the hang of shaping "high hydration" dough consistently. most breads out there have 60-70g of water for every 100g of flour. our breads have between 75-125g of water for every 100g of flour, and this totally depends on the particular flour of a given bread. we aim for a dough that is fully hydrated and yields a bread that has a moist and supple crumb.


slow: long fermented good things take time, didn't your gramma teach you that? the flavors and textures of a long-fermented loaf are just flat out better than those of a short-fermented one. the life cycle for most of our breads goes something like this: our sourdough culture hangs out for 20-24 hours before being mixed into dough, our dough relaxes for 3-4 hours before being shaped into loaves, our loaves chill out for 14-18 hours before being baked into bread. so our bread dough has matured over a couple of days before it's baked into bread, which gives the yeast and bacteria of our sourdough culture time to perform their magic: producing the perfect mix of acid, alcohol and gas to make good bread.


bold: boldly baked when a loaf goes into the oven it is the moment of truth - did we make the right decisions over the last 48 hours? and so begins the waiting game for that loaf to complete its transformation. you can't rush this phase of the process, just like every other one. we bake our breads anywhere from 30-120 minutes, depending on the size and type. regardless, we bake each loaf till it's crust is dark and substantial and its insides are fully cooked. folks occasionally point out that we burnt our bread. while i admit that our loaves are significantly darker than those from most bakeries, i also stand by the flavors and textures created by the bold bake, and encourage critics to employ their taste buds.


and that, my friends, is that. holler if ya got any thoughts on the matter.

<3 j

the next big thing in bread by joseybakerbread


happy spring, chickens

we're about a quarter of the way through 2015, ya know what they say when you've been having fun... if i do say so myself, and i do, i've been having the best year of my life. i've just been soaking up so much learning about baking and living and loving and it's landed me in a place where i'm so very aware of how much more there is to learn, how much richness there is to be sopped up out of these moments of life. is that too gushy for you? i hope so, but in a nice kinda way that makes you giggle, not think, 'jeez that baker boy has been spending too much time smelling roses or something.' anyway.

the past few weeks have been particularly inspiring, and have led me to something i'm very excited to share, something that i dare say may just be the next big thing in bread.

but hold your horses there kiddos, i can't just go cutting right to the chase, that would really spoil all the fun now wouldn't it? come along, hold my hand and i will take you on a little journey with me so you can fully appreciate my tale. i'll start at no particular starting point, and by that i mean with a trip out to see Mr. Dave Miller.


every time i hang with Dave i learn something simple and powerful. it usually involves something that we've talked about before, something he's mentioned in the past that i wasn't ready to understand, but then all of the sudden it clicks into place and i find myself saying, 'ohhhhhhhhhh, that's what you meant!! of course.'


other than taking a breather from SF life and enjoying the deep pleasure of gas station cappucinos with one of my good buds, Ms. Blair Cardigan Smith (pictured below), i was reminded of the importance of starting each and every loaf with the highest quality flour you can find, which is much more complex than i could have ever imagined. this involves sourcing your grains well, but then you also have to mill your grains well. neither of these things are easy to do. it seems like the deeper into grains and milling and bread that i get, the more there is to learn. and that's just fine by me, because if there's one thing i don't like, it's being bored.


i came back from Dave's and had a lovely week baking bread with my oh-so-very badass crew at the bakery, and then the next weekend i took a trip out to the woods with a group of dear friends, led by my dearest heartbrother Rafi. together we built a sweat lodge.

57_Lodge Building_RES
57_Lodge Building_RES

i'd never built a sweat lodge, nor sweat in a sweat lodge, but i am a full convert - it was one of the most powerful and nourishing things i've done.

80_Awaiting Lodge_RES
80_Awaiting Lodge_RES

if the opportunity presents itself, hear my voice in the back of your mind saying, 'it'll be worth it.'

back to the bakery for another week of bread baking and jogging in golden gate park and hanging out with my beautiful pregnant wife (yup, t-minus 2 months my dudes!!). and then off on another adventure, this time to the east coast. specifically, i just returned from an epic trip to North Carolina + Virginia where i visited with a handful of bakers, some of whom i have literally met in my dreams. goodness gracious, i was absolutely floored by the welcoming i received by each and every one of them.

i started out visiting Dave Bauer at Farm + Sparrow, right outside of Asheville. Dave's been milling his flour and sourcing grains direct from local farmers for about a decade, and my my my, he knows what he is doing.


he's a master of his craft, and i feel truly privileged to have been able to spend a few days in his company. can't wait to go back.

after Farm + Sparrow I head to Raleigh, where i had the pleasure of hanging out with the crew at Boulted Bread.


these boys are making some phenomenal bread + pastry, and my only regret is that i had barely 24 hours in their company.

after getting in a quick car accident i proceeded to Richmond, VA, where i spent about 16 hours in the ridiculously loving arms of Evrim Dogu and crew at Sub Rosa Bakery.


Evrim and I are quite obviously long lost brothers, and we quickly delved deep into some of life's more personal and mysterious topics, such as Peter Chang's Chinese food, the tragedy of of love long lost and the resulting flickering eye lids, and whether or not "2000" should ever be uttered following the word "pizza." i miss you already Evrim.

ok, so, enough of that trip down memory lane - are you ready for it? i'm not sure you are....

so we all know that overcooking your veggies leaches many of the most nutritious bits, while also rendering them less pleasing to your palette. for many foods, the optimum way to ingest is to avoid cooking altogether, to just eat that carrot/kale/tomato/sunflower seed raw. over the last year i have been exploring what this could look like in our bakery, and today i am ready to share some of these discoveries.

since i started baking bread i have always favored the 'bold bake,' appreciating the nuanced flavors/textures/aromas it allows you to coax from the loaf. however, as is the trend in coffee roasting, i'd become curious about what it might mean to go for a lighter bake, to let the flavors of the grain speak for themselves, instead of being overshadowed by those produced during caramelization and the maillard reaction.

we've been secretly experimenting with 'light baking' and while it's proven promising, i now believe that we have stumbled upon the true next frontier in bread. my friends, i proudly present to you here and now what is sure to be the next big thing in bakeries across the world: raw bread.


the act of baking bread dough robs it of many of its beneficial probiotic cultures, not to mention solidifying gluten into its much more abrasive form. did you know that gluten is totally harmless if it's consumed raw? also, the wild yeast and bacteria present in sourdough culture are able to thrive fully throughout the digestive process so long as they aren't exposed to the cruelty of baking temperatures, thereby lending a helping hand throughout the entirety of their journey through your digestive tract.


it is for these reasons that from here on out we will not be baking our loaves, instead opting for the more nutritious raw form of sourdough bread dough.

also, i am pleased to announce that from here on out we will no longer be toasting our bread, as we believe that consuming raw toast is the superior approach.


and you thought $4 toast was a big deal.

all my love sweethearts

<3 j

Friday Night Pizza by joseybakerbread

yo yo yo my sweet sweet sweetie pies let's get the big news outta the way so we can catch up...


pizza cornyup, Mondays have been so much fun that we're gonna start slanging pizza on Fridays too. same deal as Mondays: 6-9pm, one type of pizza per night, $3/slice or $24/whole pie (8 slices), along with salads, chocolate chip cookies, yadda yadda yadda. so come on out for the fun - the first Friday is February 6, and then you can get your pizza every Monday and/or Friday that your little heart desires.

also a couple more fun things we got coming up -

Saturday Jan 31

Screen shot 2015-01-17 at 2.09.29 PM

we're going to be hosting a couple of very talented ladies all the way from New York - Erin & Agatha, bakers and cookbook authors, will be celebrating the release of their new cookbook, Ovenly, by hanging out at The Mill all morning on Saturday 1/31 with copies of the book for sale. we'll also be running a very special one day only collaborative toast special that may or may not include a chocolate date spread w crumbled spelt cookies on top, which Erin + Agatha make just for us... come + eat some and buy their book.

Friday Feb 13 - Maria Schoettler will unveil her art at The Mill. and yes, there will be pizza too. very stoked to be surrounded by her gorgeous work, it looks like this -

Screen shot 2015-01-17 at 2.02.35 PM

and this -

Screen shot 2015-01-17 at 2.02.58 PM

hope to catch ya around for some of these fun things.

but let's get down to business, you and me - i've missed you. where the heck have you been? probably you were busy chopping down your christmas tree or lighting your menorah or meditating on bodhi day or feasting for kwanzaa...? whatever your holiday of choice, i hope it was fulfilling and rejuvenating and that your 2015 is off to a tremendous start.

mine indeed is, as i spent a couple of weeks back east in Vermont w dear family + friends doing stuff like this -


and daydreaming about stuff like this -


and looking at stuff like this -




I snapped that last pic from the top of Elmore Mountain. a funny little tangent - i drove my mom and step dad to the airport one morning at 4:30am. as i was driving home i all of the sudden was struck with a powerful idea - i'm going to hike to the top of Elmore Mountain and watch the sunrise!!! i pulled into a gas station and got a big cup of coffee and started amping myself up. i drove for 20 minutes then stopped at another gas station and picked up a liter of water and, what's that sitting next to the register just begging to be brought to the top of the mountain and eaten while the sun rises? that's right, a frikkin cadbury cream egg. yes, i'll take one of those too please. so i keep going, get to the base of the mountain, strap on my head lamp and chug the water and put my mountain top cream egg in my pocket and start off tromping. man o man this is going to be great!! but another 30 seconds and i stop - what the heck am i doing? its zero degrees and pitch black and i am all alone and i actually don't think i'm as tough as i think i am... i went home and went to bed, woke up and had french toast then hiked the mountain later in the day with my papa.

speaking of Elmore Mountain, i spent some great time hanging with my buddies Blair, Andrew & Kate at Elmore Mountain Bread, and just had so much fun.

IMG_6024they actually built their very own stone mill this past year, and they've inspired me to build our very own mill!! at least, that's the current dream. watch out though, dreams really do come true...

love to you my dear.

<3 j

bake with us; Holiday Craft Bazaar this Thursday 6-10pm; gift my cookbook??? by joseybakerbread

photo 4 alright dudes, before i get into our quest for the newest member of the JBB family, a few things of note -

Holiday Craft Bazaar, Thursday 6-10pm @ The Mill

haven't gotten that special something for that special someone for this special time of year? been putting off buying yourself that sweet, sweet coffee mug that you've been wanting to find for months? feeling jealous of my totally rad indigo tie dye shirts??? have no fear, this coming Thursday 12/18 we're having a lovely evening at The Mill in which all of your dreams will come true. members of the JBB + 4B family will be showing off their skills and making the products of said skills available for purchase to people like you and me. so come check out what we do when we're not baking your bread or making your macchiato. we're very good at stuff, ya know? like, for god's sake, look at what Ryan Lee, also known as Function & Whimsy, makes in his spare time -

photo 2

and that's just the tip of the christmas tree, if you know what i mean...

bake with us - open position starting 12/28

yup, it's that time of year as well - we need another baker to join our ranks!! is it you? it may be, if you meet the criteria below. you may be the newest JBB crew member if -

  • you love baking bread, more specifically highly hydrated, whole grain, sourdough bread
  • you've got at least 6 months experience working in a professional bakery/several years experience working in professional kitchen and a serious baking habit on the side
  • you're ready to work 3-5 days/week starting December 28
  • you can hang in an open kitchen, with curious customers always asking you things like, “what are you doing?” and then not listening to your answers
  • you have your opinions about how to do things, but you’re open to learning how to do stuff better, quicker, and in a variety of ways
  • you like working in a tight little bakery where you’re never more than 3 feet away from another person

position begins in 2 weeks, December 28, so please e-mail me a resume and explain why you're the perfect fit ASAP to

gift my cookbook???

i've been beside myself with glee to be hearing from so many people about how much joy they're getting from my book. i even made a few lists for folks' favorite cookbooks of the entire year!! that just about made me cry with joy, check it out:

don't be shy, go ahead and buy it for that buddy of yours who's always wanted to bake bread. maybe it'll change their life. just look what happened to me.

lastly, just gotta share how stoked i am about a new bread we're making -

photo 4

California Heirloom is our newest loaf, and it's made with 100% California grown organic wheat. specifically, it's made with an heirloom variety called Sonora, and it's grown by one totally badass farmer named Sally Fox, out in the Capay Valley just a couple hours outside San Francisco. i drove out to visit Sally a few weeks ago and loaded up 500 lbs in the back of my truck, and here in the bakery we've been having a blast figuring out how to turn it into the most delicious bread we can. we're only making a handful of loaves each day here, but if you're lucky enough to see it on the shelf, i suggest you grab it and give it a try. i think Sally would be proud.

peace out sweethearts, hope to catch ya Thursday. or if you know what's good for you i'll see you Monday night, for some of this -

photo 3

<3 josey

thanks for giving by joseybakerbread

ok, first things first - i just turned 32 and i am loooooving it - photo (46)

can you believe those shorts? my lady knows me so well.

but that's not the point of this - no no no. so - FIRST THINGS FIRST - this week is Thanksgiving, and i am thankful for so many things, i can't even begin to tell you. my wife, my mom + dad, my brother, my amazing team of bakers at The Mill, stuff like this:

photo 2

but come on, this is booooooring, you wanna know about BREAD. well, here's the deal my dudes:

Thanksgiving - every year (*see below*) i take great joy in baking up the bread on Thanksgiving morning, and this year is no exception. so check it out - we are OPEN on Thanksgiving at 8AM and will have a bunch of bread coming out of the oven, so don't you go worryin' your pretty little heart when you wake up Thursday morning and say, "OH CRAP I FORGOT TO GET THE BREAD." just come + get it. just come and get it by 3PM, cuz that's when we close so we can go home and party because...

Friday - The Mill is OPEN, but JBB is not baking any bread. but oh yes, we will have coffee + toast and lots of pretty people mulling about, so don't be shy, go for a Black Friday jog and finish it off w some whole wheat toast covered in pumpkin butter.

photo 1

*the see below part*

4 years ago i baked up 60 loaves of bread in my dinky little home oven on Shotwell St, and a bunch of people i didn't even know came and bought it all. i had no frikkin idea what the next 4 years would hold, but good god almighty, i am so so so thankful for it all. SO THANK YOU, each and everyone of you who've played a part in the crazy adventure.

speaking of which, i was fortunate enough to make a trip out to my bread hero Dave Miller this past weekend, and get a load of this - 100% stone ground whole grain kamut, like non i've ever seen -

photo 4

he has a way, goodness gracious he has a way.

photo 3

oh, one more  very exciting thing - on my way to Dave's i swung by to visit Sally Fox and pick up a bunch of her Sonora, and two days later i milled it up and mixed it up and baked it up -

photo 5

it's reeeeeeeal good, and after this Thanksgiving craziness has passed we're going to start making it for you too. so stay tuned honey bees.

ok ok ok, see ya on Thanksgiving, or if i don't have an amazing time and open up your heart nice and wide and do a back flip for me.

<3 j




wanna have... [ahem]... dinner w/ me? by joseybakerbread

yo buddies, long time no see, where the heck have you been??? anyway, let's cut to the chase, i don't have time for dilly dallying here...

if'n ya wanna have dinner w me (not fully formally w me, i mean, i'll be there, but we won't be, ya know, sitting down and staring into each other's eyes and playing footsies under the table), then come on out for this special evening next Monday -

Josey Baker collage for Jardiniere

what oh what is going on, you ponder? the talented folks at Jardiniere are having a special one night only menu in which they use our bread in every single dish!! what are these dishes, you so eagerly ask? i got your back, you curious little cat you -

Josey Baker with Menui rolled through last week for dinner and was really floored, it was incredibly scrumptious. hope to see ya there honey pies.

but if i don't see you there, i better hear that you were scarfing pizzas at our Monday Night Pizza party, which shall be still be raging on, as it is every Monday, from here to eternity.

oh yeah, and one more thing - we aren't baking any bread on Friday, Nov 28, nor Thursday, Dec 25, nor Thursday, January 1. cuz bakers need to rest, too.

<3 josey

bake w me (again), my first halfsy, + The Return of The Chocolate Chip Cookie by joseybakerbread

yo buuuuuuddies i got an overwhelming response to my last post about baking classes, and it ended up selling out in a couple of hours, and so now hear this - more are on the way!! how to sign up? enter your e-mail here and i will keep you up to speed -

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*please note - signing up above does NOT sign you up for a class, it just adds you to the class e-mail list, and you can sign up once i send you an e-mail with details, links to ticket site, etc.

next class is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 29 7:30-9:30, and there's a few more on the calendar as well, so please gimme your e-mail and you can sign up if ya like.

enough about that - man oh man, i just did something that i've never done before!! it wasn't easy, but it wasn't nearly as hard as i'd thought it was gonna be. i sweat nearly the whole time, but luckily i was practically naked. and it probably would have been a lot worse if i didn't have this guy with me the whole time -


that's Ira Glass, host of This American Life, and man oh man, he is just so good at what he does, and i have taken to listening to his show religiously when i go on longer runs. (and how about that new podcast, Serial?? so good right?!!? i mean, what the heck, Adnan does not sound like he could have done that... and how about that streaker!!)

but anyway - i ran an unofficial half-marathon! or, as i've taken to calling it in the last few hours to nobody but my proud self, "a halfsy." so i ran my first halfsy. feels so good to have done it, and it's got me pumped on doing more. i started running a couple of months before my wedding because, let's face it, running a bakery had turned me into a fat kid. or, as i liked to say to all the bakers, "the fattest kid in the bakery." the real turning point was when, during my bachelor party, while wearing body paint and a headdress and chasing after a bear, i realized that i was not going to catch the bear, because i had, as stated earlier, turned into the fattest kid in the bakery. and i said to myself, "if i was not at my bachelor party, but rather just out in the woods, and it was time to chase after a bear, i should be able to catch it." so i stopped eating so many chocolate chip cookies and started running a few times a week. last time i checked i'd lost a whopping 25 frikkin pounds since that pathetic bear-chasing performance. (for the record, i did catch the bear, though he definitely slowed down for me, and after that i ate his heart. but that's another story altogether, now isn't it?)

but speaking of chocolate chip cookies - tonight marks The Return of The Chocolate Chip Cookie at The Mill. yup, we've been hearing consistently from you that you're mighty pissed that we don't have that special little treat anymore, so we decided to bring it back, on Monday nights only, as a nice little after-pizza snack. so if you're angry with us about the cookies, then please come by tonight, or any other Monday night for that matter, and stuff your face with warm chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk.

this past weekend was as glorious as can be - i spent Saturday evening baking pizza in a wood fired oven -


it was part of a wonderful evening at a farm in west Marin aptly titled, "Nature Babes," in which some talented ladies showed off their art + music gifts to an attentive and appreciative little gathering of folks. after the fun was had on the farm me and some good buddies engaged in something i hadn't done since i was a child. i also had no idea how intense things would get -


good god!!! playing a good game of JENGA is one of the most exhilarating and anxiety-provoking experiences i've had in a long time. and that photo doesn't even capture where we went - soon after this two brave women pulled BOTH the left and right block out of the BOTTOM LEVEL. i was completely awed by their finesse. we had a dedicated group of about 7, and man oh man, we really gave it our all. it was a fitting end to the drama when another party-goer who wasn't engaged in the insanity accidentally whacked her booty into my buddy Rye Guy while he was delicately nudging a block out, thereby making the teetering tower topple to the ground.

ok, i need to go eat some pizza and cookies, maybe i'll see ya there?

<3 j