Before I start I'd just like to say that we recently turned 2 years old, and I'd like to thank everyone who has ever bought a loaf, tart, sandwich or drink or anything else we've ever done. We're nothing without the support of our customers, thank you so so much.
It's been a while since my last bakers blog so what I'd like to talk about is the evolution of our bread. When I started the bakery I thought I knew how to bake bread, and to be fair I probably knew more than your average man on the streets. However, I really had no idea what I was doing, looking back at the bread and how its changed over the last 2 years really emphasises this point. From its appearance, flavour, texture and consistency all our bread, particularly the Baltic Wild, has improved greatly.
The reason its has got so much better is simply repetition, its the one tool of the pro baker that you can't really replicate baking at home. We've baked a minimum of 30 baltic wild a day, 6 days a week for 2 years. We can make anywhere up to 160 a day on busy weekends. Very roughly it is over 25,000 loaves of Baltic Wild, the majority of which I have shaped myself. It's this large number that helps you get things right, baking good bread takes a lot of practice. It's many many small changes noting the difference in the final product and then trying something new.
No home baker could ever replicate our numbers or even a fraction of what we make, but If I'd give one tip to someone who really wants to improve their home baked bread it would be bake as much as you can. Preferably every day, you can read all the books out there and spend many hours on the Fresh Loaf blog, but spending time with your hands in the dough is invaluable.
It's this tweeking that makes the bread quite different to what we started baking, and different to what we were baking 12 months ago. I'm also certain that the Baltic Wild will continue to change, I think a touch of wholegrain will be the next step while still trying to maintain the original idea of what the bread is. Good bread, by that I mean bread that is made by people who care about it and want to make the best bread they can, should be constantly changing. The baker should be trying to make it better every bake. Trying to the make bread exactly the same every time only leads to one outcome, and that isn't good bread.