Monday, November 30, 2009

my baby's sick

I spent yesterday afternoon walking around the Christkindl market, downtown Chicago. Gotta say, a little disappointed. Dinkels bakery from Chicago had excellent merchandise. Stollen was delicious. We bought an apple and cheese strudel that was also very good. Hot chocolate, in a cute little ceramic boot, store bought marshmallows, real whip creme, not as good as Bennison's.

Now, the pretzels, not Dinkels, I think "Pitiful", is a compliment. I was all excited, when I heard there was going to be a pretzel vendor there. What a let down! Frozen dough nonsense, allegedly from Germany. Don't think so. I think you'll spend a lot of time, walking the streets of Darmstadt, before you'll find a jalapeno pretzel. Loads of lebkuchen, assorted gingerbread, all mass produced. You know, the stuff with no personality. Maybe next year.....maybe next year.

Came back to the bakery last night, to find, our deck oven wouldn't start. Pulled out lot's of volt meters, and testers, determined that we have a direct short in the circulating fan motor. We baked all of our bread in our rack oven last night. I was here walking the floors until almost 9pm. At which point I gave up. I'll start again this morning. There's a new motor in Cleveland. Might involve a lot of driving today. I got a great story explaining why I would bother to do that.

Cornell Gorham, works here at night. Not a baker, a very good bakers helper. Thru the summer, he sorts and packs all the bread that goes to the farmer's markets. He can load an unload the oven, mix scones, run the divider,etc. He works on Sunday nights. I explained to him how to bake bread using a rack oven, on perforated screens. I got here this morning, didn't sleep all night, you know how it is with a sick child. I knew what I would find, supermarket looking bread. Pale, squishy, bumps on the bottom. Gotta say, what's here, better than I expected. Cornell says, word for word "That brick stove makes that much difference? Bread looks like the bread at Jewel". A defining moment.

Gotta get upstairs, get the day started. Gonna be lots of fighting for oven space this morning. It's difficult to understand how guys with years of experience, don't realize that yeasted product has the right of way to the oven. Oh well. Gonna gather up my screwdrivers and wrenches. No, I don't trust any local serviceman to work on my baby, ever. Although, this is the first time it's ever been sick for this long.

2 Comments:

Blogger Pat said...

Hi Jory I'm a big fan of your Bakery, (although I've never been there) your Blog and the web cam. I got my certification the year after you did. Infact you finished your's up in Charlston the same time I did. I run a bakery in a restaurant in Marshall Michigan called Schulers. Your comments on your deck oven and the rack oven you had to use really struck a cord. I've been trying to get my owner to get me a deck oven for a long time but to no avail. My bread from the rack oven is OK but nothing like a deck. I worked at Zingermans in Ann Arbor for a while and their ovens are first rate. Oh well I guess that's the burden I'll have to bear.
I hope you have a great Holiday season, and I hope I can make it there sometime it really looks like you're doing things right.

Patrick Dulaney C.M.B.
prdulaney@ameritech.net

November 30, 2009 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Jory Downer said...

patrick, i think we met, taking the certification exam in hyde park, new york? i never baked at the charleston, j&w campus. seems like you were working at schuler's when we met? ya know, i'm getting older, memory and eye sight are slippin'.

deck oven, very, very important.

good luck to you.

November 30, 2009 at 12:28 PM  

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