do what works, not what’s been done

whoa whoa WHOA dudes


i met some super duper rad folks today doing things in a supremely awesome way.

they’re blair and andrew of elmore mountain bread and they are not effing around.


and this is the real elmore mountain:

here is where blair and andrew live:


and they have a killer humongous custom built wood fired oven that they bake hundreds of loaves in a day, and a new fandangled custom built conveyor belt loader:


dudes – folks don’t use conveyor belt loaders on wood-fired ovens. why? because they ain’t as badass as these two, that’s why. but for real, because most wood-fired ovens aren’t built to work with conveyor belts – they typically have a single small opening in the front, and you’d be damned if you tried to get a conveyor belt in there. so they just designed their own oven, and designed their own conveyor belt. what the hell, right?

cuz if it ain’t broke don’t fix it… but if it might as well be broke then you better damn well build a new one that kicks ass.

oh yeah, and it’s just the two of them. no big whoop.

BIG WHOOP.

i woke up about 8, showered and coffeed myself, and drove out past lake elmore to “the only red mailbox” on hardwood flats. i showed up about 9 o clock, and they were scaling and shaping dough:


very warm and welcoming they were. i watched them shape the loaves, we chatted while the loaves proofed, then blair slashed the hell out hundreds of loaves:


and then they loaded those puppies in, 24 at a time:


they were so warm and welcoming that i couldn’t leave really, and ended up staying a while… for about 5 hours to be exact. they gave me coffee and a sh*t ton of A M A Z I N G honey oat bread:



they also shared their awesome opinions and experiences running their bread bakery, and then andrew disappeared for a bit and returned with turkey, avocado, bacon sandwiches on their focaccia bread:


are you kidding me???

nope, no kidding here ya’ll, just straight up old fashioned heinie kicking.

their bakery is filled with custom built tools and methods they’ve devised to bake more bread in less time. they figure out a problem, think of the best solution (which oftentimes means making it up, with inspiration from here and there), and make it happen.

they are free-thinking, do-it-yourself, badass emmer effers. and their bread beats the $hit out of you.

blair and andrew, i salute you.

<3josey

snow is good and so is mansfield bread at harvest market

man o man the snow be fallin outside these days, and it is so nice and warm and cozy inside.

this morning i skidded my way to stowe to visit the mansfield bread boys over at harvest market.
they’re pumping some great breads out of their brick wood-fired oven, and they were kind enough to let me hang out for a couple hours, chatting, munching bread, and snapping a bunch of photos.
quite the remarkable coincidence – gerard rubaud designed their oven. (i visited gerard at his bakery a week ago.)
special thanks to Bill and Ian for keeping their cool while i danced around, dodging their peels and boards full of bread.
check out the scene ya’ll…
ian folds the canvas between shaped baguettes:


Ian slashes a loaf before loading it in the oven:
Bill gives a triple slash to one of their soon-to-be crunchy baguettes:


take a peak at some crispy crunchy cheesy goodies:


and the full spread of their breads:


tomorrow i’m off to elmore mountain bread… wish me luck dudes.

<3josey

missin you sf, lovin you vt

this is what we do in vermont and i love it:


and i also love this crazy frikkin bread that i ate half a loaf of as soon as i got alone with it:

where’d i get the bread? this guy:

gerard rubaud runs a one man wood fired bakery in the hills of westford, vermont. it’s just him, all the way, five days a week.

here are his loaves, just before he starts loading them into the oven, one at a time:

i’d heard rumors of gerard and his amazing bread on various bread sites, and knew that he did his thing a half hour from my house, so i made him my first stop, my first morning in vermont. he was casually doing his thing, loading the puffy dough into the hot oven.

he is fully awesome. he does his thing his way and he does it right. just grains, water, and salt in his breads. he grinds rye and spelt in a manual grinder right before he adds it to his dough.
here’s some of his tools – boards on the left, and pieces of fabric that the dough sits in while it rises on the right (they’re hanging to dry now):
during the two hours i hung with him, various folks from town stopped by to pick up bread. some of them wanted bread for themselves, others as gifts, and one kind girl picked up bread for her farm because it’s part of their CSA. (sound familiar?)
gerard told me that he thinks you can do bread artisan style, or you can do bread industrial style, but you can’t mix and match. for instance, you simply can’t make artisan bread in mass quantities. also, he thinks that bread, by its very nature, is meant to be produced and consumed on a local level.
goodness gerard, you are on top of your sh*t and it makes me feel good about stuff.
look at these gorgeous chubby beauties in the oven, just getting all hot and excited:


i held off on biting into the bread until i was in my car. i think i was a little nervous about eating it in front of him or something. but i literally started groaning and moaning while i ate it in his driveway. i ate half the loaf right there – and it weighed 26 oz. (that’s just under a pound of bread, fatso.)

what can i say, there’s something addictive about real good bread.
even the dogs think so:


see ya soon cutie pies,

<3josey

give that special someone a holiday gift that will make them want you oh so bad

mmmm-hmmmm. let them eat josey baker bread.

i’m serious. sign up your crush for bread, as a totally sweet gift. come february, you, or they, will be able to get bread Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

i mean, how many times have you thought to yourself-

gee whiz, i really wish i could give someone a gift that was

* crafted with love and care
* made by someone who actually lives in my town
* was totally, totally delicious
* helped support josey baker live up to his name

ya know???
i know! so don’t be bashful, be bold. be wild. be the lover/brother/sister/mother you’ve always wanted to be.
see?
hearts and rainbows,
josey
p.s. if you don’t feel like doing that, then just do this:

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

i came up with this first so when everybody starts saying it, say to them "josey baker came up with that first"

i’m very excited for two thousand and elevain. if you don’t get this, don’t feel bad. just click on the link and feel good.

people have been sending me photos and it’s making me crazy with glee. check this one out from my buddy elizabeth:


and this gorgeous lunch shot from megan:

and look at what happened when pam brought home her first loaf to her hubby:


ya’ll are the sweetest kids on the block.

<3 josey

don’t let the man get you down

hidy ho you holiday sweater wearin hotties

jeezum crow this whole bread thing is really gettin outta control, ain’t it?!? friggin awesome.

hey, here’s a quick story – it’s the day before thanksgiving. i am mixing up all of my doughs, getting in a good little work out:


everything’s going well, i’m feeling very cheery, like i’m david slowly and surely slaying goliath, or maybe i’m kanye west, or i can do a back flip from a standstill, or something, and then i get to the cranberry walnut whole wheat levain dough:


its so totally sexy, right? i know! i plunge my man hand in, and while it makes me all hot and bothered to look at, things just don’t really feel right… the dough isn’t feeling the way i like it to feel. but i decide everything is fine, and keep rubbing down all the other doughs.

when it comes time to shape the dough into loaves, i’m in a good mood. i’m like whoa mama i can’t believe i’m about to shape 60 loaves, this so so much i don’t know if i can do it all. but i just start in, and am doing it and doing it and doing it… and then i get to that cranberry walnut whole wheat levain dough. and that friggin dough just does not feel good. i go about my business, but now it’s starting to bum me out. i’m thinking aw man, i knew this was too much. what the heck am i doing, trying to bake 60 loaves tomorrow morning?? ugh ugh ugh i’m in a very bad mood and sleep sounds so stupid but i’m going to do it anyway because it’s late and i’m tired and i have to get up at 3:30 in the morning to start baking. i go to bed all pissed off about that cranberry walnut whole wheat levain dough.

i wake up a few hours later and start baking. i put some loaves of the cranberry walnut whole wheat levain in first, and start brainstorming what i’m going to tell people when it comes out looking and tasting like poo.

but what the hell, i bake em up, and this is what i pull out:


and all was well with the world.

so don’t worry kids – even when stuff feels all weird and wrong and like you’re going to ef it all up, things end up being just fine. tell em joseybaker said so.

see you sooooooooon

<3 josey

p.s. i will be out of town from dec 18-jan 3. that means NO BREAD for the weeks of 12/20 and 12/27. i’m sorry, but i’ll bake you some crazy sh*t when i get back, i promise you.