i just got back from a rad breadventure up in Sonoma. snuck in about 2 hours of sleep for the night, but it was well worth it. i'd heard tales of a righteous baker man who baked delicious bread in a wood-fired oven with a bunch of whole grains... in a shipping container that he converted into a bakery.
i decided it was high time i meet the man they call "de bejkr," so i dropped him an e-mail, and asked if i could come hang. no questions there, he was super gracious, and invited me to come right on up. fast forward to last night about 10pm, i'm hopped up on the PizzaHacker's wares, powering through a headache, and rippin through a thunderstorm heading north, arriving just in time to see him mixing up his first batch of dough:
no mechanical mixer in this bakery, just a burly pair of man hands and some strong ideals.
Mike has worked in bread for upwards of 16 years, and i have the sense that he's really found his stride. he works for himself, making the types of bread he wants to make, the way he wants to make them. at this time of year he bakes once a week and sells at the Sonoma Farmer's Market, doing everything himself, mixing everything by hand, baking it all in his woodfired oven:
he bakes a handful of different breads (kracked kamut, pain de campagne, ryebatta, pain biologique, baguettes, to name a few he had today), as well as wood fired pretzels, which he bakes up right at the market. when he does the evening market he also does flatbreads with herbs and veggies from his garden. i'm sure they're just as killer as the stuff i tried.
one of his favorite flourishes is to rock a flour stencil on top of the loaf, which is mighty sexy, if i do say so myself:
if you're up that way on a Friday morning, swing through the Sonoma Farmer's Market, grab a loaf, and tell him Josey Baker sent you.
peace sweethearts, have a great weekend