Gabriel Blondin

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since Dec 14, 2021
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Recent posts by Gabriel Blondin

    I never expected to be a baker, but for the last four years I've been baking organic fresh milled sourdough for the small island community where I live.  We started out at the farmers market during the summer months, and people loved it so much we just kept doing it.  I have weekly subscribers and I delivery to their mailboxes at the end of my bake day.  We live somewhat remotely, so people really love getting fresh bred at their doorstep!

 I use 2 ovens, a industrial propane beast, and also the beautiful wood fired  (  independantly designed) masonry  heater.  Which unfortunately only 3 loaves at a time, because the quality is way higher with the masonry stove.
This is right in our home, so bake day is a hot day at home!

I don't use any industrial mixers or anything, I'm only making 50-80 per bake, so everything is pretty custom, including people's orders ( I send out a mass text with options for some, others I get to choose what variety they get that week).

I really love the sense of connection this gives me to my community.  I know everyone I'm baking for, often I can guess what people will order if they forget to make an order.

I really love working with fresh milled grains. I find the sourdough is much more responsive than with older flour. I get all my grain  from this great guy who goes to farmers is the prairies and drives all back over the Rockies.  He supplies alot of the small bakeries in my area.  Really awesome service and product.

I wrote a bit about what my process is like if anyone is interested . It's posted in the "sourdough" section.

Like I said I never expected to be a baker, and it has been such a wonderful surprise and boon to my whole family.  Such a great thing for kids to be around.

Happy baking (:  Gabriel
2 years ago
             Sourdough! It can be so easy.
I've been baking fresh ground organic sourdough for my small off grid island community for the last 4 years.  We do a delivery service, operating roughly on a CSA model. People love getting fresh bread in their mailboxes.  I bake about 50 - 80 loaves a week, all mixed by hand. The bread is all custom ordered, from a choice of 4 or 5 varieties (which is probably the most complicated part of what I do).
Here are a few things that have helped me along the way, simplifying the process and having consistent wonderful results.
 1. Feeding the starter half whole grain half white ( by weight) and then equal weight of water ( non chlorinated if you can). It really likes this half/half feeding

2. Feed your starter for a few days in a row, and then about 12 hours before you mix your dough give it a really good feeding , ( this developes younger more active sweeter Smelling yeasts).  This should get you to pass the fabled float test.
3. If you can use at least some fresh ground flour in your recipes, there will be more wild yeasts available.

4. I mix, let sit half an hour for autolease and then do a pretty simple knead right in my mixing bowl ( kneading by pulling the edges to the middle like wrapping a parcel) . And that's it! No repeated kneads every few hours, no long knead.  Way easier than many recipes.  I couver with a damp linen for about 12 hours (depending on your house temp). Wait til it has gotten noticeably bigger.

5. When the dough is ready, I tuck them into tight balls  (like wrapping a package) on a lightly flowered marble (wood works fine). Pop them into lightly oiled bread pans, let sit one hour. Bake at 475.  

6. I make a fairly wet but workable dough.
For 2 loaves 1000 gram flour 200 gram starter 750 gram water

Happy baking! (:
Gabriel
2 years ago