Paris Baking Trip Blog, 2012


I went searching for a specific photo to show someone a couple of days ago and realized I had not transferred the series of blog entries I had written from our class trip to Paris taken while I attended the Baking course at VIU. These entries, from around March of 2012, are a re-blogging of the posts I did for the VIU website which has revamped its pages and the blog has been lost somewhere (there are still links but they don’t go anywhere). 

I therefore offer it here, again (with some minor editing for data corrections and a few typos) in order to both have my own version on this blog and hopefully, share the amazing experience and maybe inspire someone out there to consider baking as a serious hobby or profession.

Please enjoy and feel free to comment, even though this is actually a rather old series of blog posts.

Note: TONS of photos; they all can be seen larger (as most pics on the site) if you click on them.

Paris Blog: Intro

Continue reading “Paris Baking Trip Blog, 2012”

Bagels: For the fine Redditors

4 - Batch Baked

Recently, I made a batch of bagels and posted a bit about them over on Reddit, here’s the much more expanded version, with recipe!


It’s out of BREAD by Jeffrey Hamelman. These are regular yeast based; Instant Dry Yeast here, specifically.

Hamelman's BREAD

I also make sourdough bagels which I like better but I didn’t have my sourdough prepped in time. That recipe is here, should anyone want to give them a try.

So, here we go… Continue reading “Bagels: For the fine Redditors”

What is Artisan Bread? asks Zak the Baker

A nifty, hopefully inspirational video post today.

Zak The Baker Wynwood Bakery & Cafe is located in Miami, Fla. The video shows owner Zak preparing numerous artisan breads for a day’s sales which include not just the café but wholesale to a dozen or more outlets and local shops.

He also does numerous Farmers Markets throughout the week. I’m betting there is quite a good sized (and unseen) crew that works here as well.

It’s a somewhat low tech operations from the looks of it. In the video, he has an old Blodgett oven that he pumps steam in from a sprayer, uses metal garbage cans as flour storage, seems to be mixing his doughs by hand, etc.. Well, you’ll see when you watch the video. Photos on the website seem to indicate he’s upped the quality of the equipment a bit in the 2+ years since it was shot.

This lets us know that even though he may have started low tech, he’s since been able to up the game. Which is very good to know.

What is Artisan Bread? from Matt Degreff on Vimeo.

So… What is artisan bread?

Slow built and well fermented, basic formulas that generally contain just flour, water, salt and yeast – in this case, sourdough starter. It’s natural, it’s traditional. It’s real. And damn, if it doesn’t taste good too.

Cinnamon Buns, Oh My!

Cinnamon Buns: glazed and iced

I’ve been pumping out a small batch of cinnamon buns at work every day for the last couple of weeks. Thought I’d just pop a shot of them here and I’ve included the recipe below.

I’ve been making these same cinnie buns at the last two places I’ve worked and they are a hit, pretty well selling out each day. Shown below is the cinnamon-raisin version but I’ve switched out the fillings to other combinations as well, sometimes adding nuts, sometimes using cranberries, sometimes switching out the brown sugar for pastry cream.

For the Sweet Dough, I’m using a recipe that can be found in Ciril Hitz’s book, “Baking Artisan Pastries & Breads” on page 120.

Here’s the recipe, which I’ve slightly modified. Continue reading “Cinnamon Buns, Oh My!”