fresh out the oven

goodness gracious, look at this lil bun fresh out the oven:


yup, Cassady Francis Baker was born into this world on June 7, 2015, and my oh my, what a joy he is. don’t worry, i won’t be one of those people who post tons and tons of photos of their newborn on their website.

but, i mean, come on, you’ve gotta agree, he is pretty frikkin cute, and his papa ain’t no sack of sh*t either:


anyway, we got a lot going on at The Mill. too much to blab about in one silly and too-quickly-written post. here’s a few things though, just to whet your whistle…


Ryan, known to some as “Rye Guy,” has been doing tooooons of experiments lately, and i’ve been madly inspired by his determination and creativity. he’s pushing into new frontiers, blending malted barleys and pre-ferments and sprouted ryes and molasses and polenta and creme fraiche and what-the-ef-ever else he feels like, and he’s coming up with some really amazing stuff. like what you ask? like this frikkin crazy naturally leavened corn bread that’s unlike any other corn bread i’ve ever tasted, so much so that it feels like a misnomer to even call it corn bread. one day we’ll make some for you and you can tell us what to call it.


Ty, who has one of the most beautiful man manes i’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing, has been leading the charge on a JBB baguette. baguettes, my god, i love you and i hate you. we made baguettes way back when, and then we stopped, and we’ve tried a handful of times since, never quite able to recreate the baguette of our dreams. but Ty is closer than ever, and it’s purely because of his beautiful man mane. no silly, it’s because he’s got mad skills, and he has been tinkering and exploring and inventing for months, trying to coax that dreamy baguette into our mouths. how does he do it? i can’t tell you all of the secrets, nay, i can’t tell you any of the secrets, but that’s because there aren’t any – he’s using about half whole grain sonora flour, half high extraction wheat flour, a super fresh sourdough culture, overnight bulk, very gentle shaping, just shy of 500F oven… the results are magnificent when everything is aligned. keep your eyes peeled, soon my friends.


i’ve been working with a very talented fellow over in Oakland named Joe, who is actually an alum of Hampshire College, just like myself. Joe spends his nights down at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, smashing subatomic particles together with great force (is that what you do Joe??), but by day he works with metal, making knives and beautiful signs and as of today, grain mills. with the help of the brilliant Andrew Heyn from Elmore Mountain Bread in Vermont, we are building a new grain mill that is about twice as big as our current mill. why the new mill? because we want greater control of the granulation of our flour, and building it ourself just seems like fun. i’ve been grinding the millstones over the past few weeks, while Joe has been meticulously crafting the frame, and we are pretty darn close to giving it a test run. should be up and running within the next couple of months, and we are puuuuuuumped up about it.

i hung with my photographer bud Erin Kunkel a few weeks back and she snapped some pics that made me look wayyy cooler than i am, which will be used in a piece in King Arthur’s new publication, Sift. we had a lot of fun, some of it looked like this:


we’ve been baking bread everyday for the last i-don’t-even-know how long, so we are going to take a day off – Wednesday August 26 – so we can party together. it’s our 3rd annual JBB Retreat and we’re going to go on a camping trip the night before, then spending that Wednesday hanging out on the beach, decidedly NOT baking bread. so mark your calendars – no bread on Wed Aug 26!! The Mill will be open as usual.

what else? here’s Blair teaching Jess how to be the next Rye Master:


so that she can make bread like this:


and here’s Rafi meditating in the sunset in the Trinity Alps during a backpacking trip he and I did a week ago:


and here’s my child, last one, i promise:


check ya soon sweethearts

❤ j