Hello all. Jed here.
I write this from a chair I pulled up in front of the bread oven. The oven was fired up all day yesterday, after which we cooked pizza. This morning, around 6 am I got up to start the fire fresh again. The oven was still warm, so it didn’t take as long to bring the heat up. There are a lot of unknowns for me at this point with the firing and the baking. It’s hard to know how hot the outer masonry needs to be to keep the heat consistent for baking. I’m going to have to experiment quite a bit to understand how this oven will work.
Truth be told, this is a significant learning journey for me. While I have a year’s experience working at an artisan bakery, and am confident mixing and shaping bread, when it comes to the baking and the proofing, and the working of the oven I'm in a realm I do not have much experience with. I’m thankful for your participation in this process. Those of you buying the bread get to experience this process in a direct way.
11:30 am Monday
The first loaves have come out of the oven. I’ve been doing a bit of dancing back and forth between writing this and checking on the bread. It’s exciting, and a little nerve-racking for me. I love doing this though. The play of the oven and the dough, which combine to make the bread. And the bread isn’t perfect. The timing was not quite right on the proofing, and almost all the loaves are overproofed. The oven is still hard for me to gauge, and they aren’t all coming out how I hoped.
However, they mark my progress. They bear the marks of my hands, and I’ve imparted part of myself into them. Bread is like that. Each loaf shows where it’s been and who’s handled it and gotten it to the place it is.
12:45 pm Monday
Now, as I finish up this post, I’m eating a slice of it. It’s not the best bread I’ve ever eaten. I’ve had some very good bread that I would like to emulate eventually. But it’s bread I mixed, shaped and put into this oven I’ve made, and I am happy to share this bread with all of you.