[Market-farming] Rosemary and oange oil
jbmckillip at mesanetworks.net
Sun Nov 8 18:29:45 EST 2009
Will you be writing a book any time soon? I'd gladly buy it, you sound very educated on bread! I bake bread, but nowhere near what you are doing!! Would you have a book recommendation for some of us less educated bakers?
Barb in CO
----- Original Message -----
From: Wyatt Jones
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 8:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Rosemary and oange oil
Orange oil is better than dried orange peel though fresh has its advantages. I'm a pretty good baker and I'm picky about bread. I never use bakers yeast and use various methods of extended fermentations. I've been making some mashed breads with 100% whole grains, makes a pretty good loaf but you need to have some active enzymes from malted grains to get an efficient starch conversion. I learned about manipulating yeast and bacteria using various methods brewing beer an such. I used to have quite a collection of yeast and bacteria, including wild ones, which I kept in agar slants. I don't do that at the moment but it taught me a lot and came in handy when I started manipulating fermentations in bread and other things. I don't know, I finds the little critters fascinating. Keeping them was kind of like having a garden in a jar or test tube.
I've thought about Mud ovens but they don't hold up as well as a masonry one long term, they don't held the heat as well either. They are a lot cheaper though and we have some pretty good clay around here, I guess it depends on how much you use the oven. I've also seem people build portable brick ovens but there is the sacrifice of mass and heat retention in favor of portability that is an issue. I like the orange slice cores the best but they are expensive. I've never been that impressed with steam injection ovens myself but they have their place. I"ve seen Flemish ovens that pretty much heat the house, one of the walls of the house IS the oven and it had various compartments used for proofing, ovens etc.. Right now my oven is a limiting factor and not having a bigger oven is costing me sleep as I have to bake all night to get enough for market.
I do get rather tired of people trying to talk me down all the time when I'm not making very much on the bread anyway, I should be raising my prices actually and a lot of people have told me that. I've been baking smaller 1 lb loaves to make them more affordable but that makes my baking time much longer and I end up losing more sleep and not having time to get it all baked so I think I'll but all but the expensive ones up to 1.5 Lbs to save some work so I can get it all to market on time, I lose customers because of that at the moment, luckily the market I've been selling at is a lot looser than some on the rules and that along with the fact that less vendors are showing up these days has averted a fuss over my tardiness. I still sell out but I think the higher price would still be ok if I got there early and exposed myself to more customers. How much do the people out there charge for bread? I guess I should be more specific, say for example a 1 or 1.5 lb loaf of French bread? A 1.5 lb sandwich loaf? I'm presently charging $3.00 for a 1 lb loaf of something that doesn't have a lot of expensive ingredients and $3.50 for one that is costlier to produce like potato Rosemary of my Blue cheese and walnut. I had to raise my prices on some and had some people throw a hissy fit. One lady keeps trying me to sell her English muffins for $2 a dozen because that's what she pays for those cheap ones at Kroger. That's about 1/3 of what the ingredients cost me because mine are bigger, have real milk, butter, pink salt etc in them. I tell those people a flat no but they insist on standing there talking my head off and blocking other customers. I've also had problems with the friends of another baker coming over and harassing me with threats because people want my bread instead of hers, pretty unbelievable how far and fanatical people get over something like bread. I find people are more likely to buy my bread if I put some in a basket to show, then I use those for samples but these people threaten to call the health dept when I do that. I have the rest in paper bags with the proper labels that are open so the crust stays good and they threaten me about that but from my take on the regulations that is perfectly legal. I've thought about calling the health department myself as I'm sure I'm up to code and this other woman isn't but I've noticed there are quite a few people not up to code and I would create a lot of enemies if I did that. This persons friends NRVER say a word to these other vendors and in fact never even go to their booths but instead target me relentlessly. I have a lot of loyal customers who I really like but I'm fed up with this treatment. I like this market, its only 10 miles away in Yellow Springs, Ohio, it doesn't have fees, I can sell there all winter, don't have to make commitments etc and most of the people there are very nice but these tight knit cliques are a real drag and ruin things like the bad apple in the barrel. If the vendor herself was directly involved and I could prove it I could get her thrown out but she stays out of it and I don't even know if she is directly involved, though I know she is aware of the situation, everybody at the market knows what is going on, how could these miss it with the stink these people make?. I doubt that would stop her friends anyway, probably make things worse. My customers beg me not to leave but I think I will if this doesn't stop. Its not a good feeling getting this treatment after working 40 hours in two days making the best product I can for $2 an hour! I need the money but it would be more fun hanging out in the woods splitting firewood by myself with the way things are
Sorry for the rant, I guess I have a lot of frustrations lately. I really like baking good bread believe it or not, I love the independence I get from farming and bread baking and I don't mind working hard at all but I really hate all this ugliness.
Breads like the one mentioned in this posting citing the recipe at mother earth news may be simpler but using bakers yeast and a quick fermentation doesn't get that great complex bread flavor you can only get from an extended, multistage fermentation with wild yeast and bacteria the way European breads are made, that's part of what sets my bread apart from the others around and why I get the customers at the market and probably why I've created such a stir at market. It takes knowledge and skill but its worth the extra effort if you really like bread. It takes a lot of big bowls, refrigeration and more time but the flavor is worlds apart from those done quickly with bakers yeast. I NEVER use Bakers yeast, it only ferments sugar, after all it is a Sachromices strain, basically a souped up beer yeast, and it causes gastric problems in many people. The Wild yeast and bacteria act in a similar manner to Yogurt in that it replenishes the good bacteria inthe gut whereas Bakers yeast try's to out compete the natural ones. I used to bake bread for several friends that were on a lot of antibiotics as their doctors recommended it. Yogurt works too but it doesn't stay in the gut as long and some people have problems with lactose.
Anyway I've been baking these for market, many I rotate in for variety and I throw in a new one once in a while to see how it is received,
French Bread, Various shapes and sizes
Walnuts and Scallions
Walnuts and Blue Cheese
Cheddar Cheese and Chive torpedoes
100% Whole wheat Potato Rosemary
Various multigrains, both pan and hearth bread using soakers and Mashes.
New York Deli Rye with Fermented Caramelized onions
Swedish Rye, with fennel, anise Cardamom and orange peel
Pane Siciliano (Semolina breads formed in an "S" shape)
Whole Wheat Raisin.
Norman Rye (Dark rye usually made with hard apply cider but I put apple juice in the biga and let it go a bit longer so it gets ferments longer and develops more flavor)
Pain de Champagne
Tuscan Bread (no salt)
I changed my farm name to "Wyatt's Way". I guess the "Inner Moon" was a little too esoteric for most people and I view the name as a marketing vehicle. Most people it would be better suited to a bath shop with all those smelly soaps LOL. It will always be the inner moon to me I guess, at least in spirit.
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