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.


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.


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,