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CanuckJim 08-13-2007 12:29 PM

Doors Open Ontario
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I must admit, at 5 am on Saturday, after I fired the oven and stacked a six foot long table with breads of various kinds, I had a sinking feeling. What would I do with something like a hundred and fifty pounds of baked bread if nobody showed up for the provincially sponsored Doors Open Ontario 2007 event at Mary G's Artisan Breads?

Turned out I didn't bake near enough. At a rough estimate, some 200 people visited during the day, and we were sold out by noon. Even the few loaves I had prepared to bake during the day for demonstration purposes ended up with a line up for them. Fortunately, the weather was glorious. I got a bad case of chin wag from explaining the workings of the oven and artisan bread baking. Not a bad place to be.

Both our local township and the Province of Ontario did a good job of organizing, supporting and providing volunteers. Wendy, as always, was a staunch ally with a sunburn. Alfredo of forum fame and his daughter Felicia were a fine addition, too.

Next year, I'll have to bake a lot more bread. The photo shows me explaining things to a smallish group. At times, there were twenty people around the oven for the same explanation.


james 08-13-2007 01:14 PM

Re: Doors Open Ontario
Way to go Jim,

Are you going to need a bigger oven? :-)

How much bread can you make in a 12-hour period if you were baking at full speed?


CanuckJim 08-13-2007 01:54 PM

Re: Doors Open Ontario

Volume; you put your finger right on it. There are several facets to this: refrigeration space, oven space, storage. Yep, I will need a bigger oven in a dedicated facility with a walk in cooler and BIGGER mixer (fork) if I'm going to up my production levels significantly from where I am now.

In the fourteen hours leading up to the event I made 48 retarded 1 kilo sourdoughs of four different sorts, something like 2 dozen baguette, a bunch of straight dough one-day breads and 48 Kaisers and other stuff. That's about as fast as I can go right now, with only two arms and one head. The real drawback is lack of refrigeration space for retardation, although the oven deck seems to be shrinking, too. I tried to keep the line-up fairly simple, but, still, I was comatose on Sunday.

I forgot to mention that the event started at 10, so we were sold out in two hours. It's tough to know what to do when you do something like this for the first time. The good thing is that the people understood that I make a high end, limited production product, so price did not seem to be an obstacle.

Better yet, I've been getting orders from new customers since Sunday morning, so it looks like my weeks will be pretty busy from now on. Add to that there are several FB oven installations coming up soon, and I won't know what to do with my proverbial JE "copious spare time."


telehort 08-13-2007 05:15 PM

Re: Doors Open Ontario
Congrats on selling out!
As the summer winds down I look forward to beginning to have the time to start truly trying to learn how to bake bread. I have read mosts of your posts as it relates to your baking and I am very envious.
This is completely off topic, but my mom and I actually had a brief debate on something today and I am wondering your thoughts. If you were to bake an herb bread with basil, would you use fresh or dried? She and I had the funniest "round and round" conversation on this and I ended it by saying "there is a guy on a pizza forum I belong to who bakes and I am going to ask him" so as the "virtual resident expert", any thoughts you had would be appreciated.
thanks Jim

CanuckJim 08-14-2007 07:15 AM

Re: Doors Open Ontario

No contest, I'd use fresh, and a fair bit of it. The dried herb would only be appealing in mid-winter when fresh was too hard to get.


jengineer 08-14-2007 07:15 AM

Re: Doors Open Ontario
Fresh is Best, especially if you can go out into your herb garden and pull off the leaves yourself

JE - the man with Copious Free Time (CFT)

telehort 08-14-2007 03:59 PM

Re: Doors Open Ontario
I thank you both for the replies, I do fresh on pizzas and such, but my mom thought fresh would be too potent in bread.

CanuckJim 08-14-2007 05:11 PM

Re: Doors Open Ontario

No, it won't be too potent. Think of it more as an aromatic. Bread done this way, heated, will make your head spin with the aroma of the basil oil in the bread. Give it a shot.


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