It’s been a while since the last update; I need to get into a more regular habit of writing. A lot has happened in the last week (once again).
To start off, the bread is getting much better. I no longer have too much of an issue with the bread being too dense. Even though I knew it before hand, I had consistently been rushing the proofing, resulting in bread that doesn’t get fluffy enough. Now the biggest issue I have with my breads is the crust; I’m continually rushing the baking and not drying it out enough. The other issue I have is that I’m not developing the gluten enough, resulting in saggy dough (hard to shape tight Baguettes, hard to get a large Sourdough loaf to keep its height). But the good part is that with each batch, I can see the mistakes I’m making, and the bread continues to improve.
I’m also continuing to make really good connections with people. I went to the grand opening of Pi Bar for a really tasty pizza (ate almost an whole half a large pizza), and when I asked the waitress if I could give some bread to them, she told me that the owner had already heard about Sour Flour, and came over to our table to talk. I went to a party to watch the Blue Angels, and one of the people I met there offered to help fund raise for Sour Flour, and said she might know of a commercial space I could use.
On Friday there was a Food Cart Event. First up, people congregated at the Monkey Club, which is just down the street from the Sour Flour Bakery. It was nice because I got to talk with a lot of the Food Cart entrepreneurs, and see a few people I had met at previous events. Next, a larger group all went out by the Mission Pool. I had brought a bunch of bread for the Sexy Soup Cart, but also gave a lot away at the event. I later talked with the Pizza Hacker, who wants to start trying my sourdough as his pizza crust.
On Sunday I went to the Free Farm Stand, and made a good connection with Tree (the guy who runs it). He mentioned that he works for a non profit that might be able to get grant money to Sour Flour. After that, I went to a BBQ over at Dirty Thieves, and gave them some bread to go with the meat. I met someone else there, who has now offered to let me be a vendor at an event she helps host at 111 Minna.
Bagel Monday went well, and I made my best batch yet. They were a bit dense, and I think I used a bit too much lye in the water (resulting in a heavier browning), but they were very tasty. I delivered the usual round, but got to keep an extra 30 because Research Now didn’t pick up theirs. I was actually pretty happy about it, because I got to give those bagels out to other people. Jeff (Pizza Hacker) and Roger (Soul Cocina) came over for a bagel tasting, and it seems Roger might start up some bread training at the Sour Flour Lab.
Yesterday I baked bread for my mom’s best friend Elaine’s Book Release Party for her book, Wherever There’s a Fight. It was nice to see a lot of my parents friends, as well as listen to Elaine and her co-author Stan talk about the people who fought for civil liberties in California.
I’m getting a lot more comfortable with slightly larger batches. I now know I have a 15kg capacity in my new tub (which made me 11 1kg loaves, 2 1.5kg, and 2 2kg), and fairly comfortably put together 16 Baguettes (which I will soon to bake) today. I’m beginning to see where my bottlenecks are, and am improving the overall production process. The main thing I am still working on is a Production Schedule so I can know ahead of time what I have to bake. Right now I still don’t have a method I really like.
I’m also beginning to plan out the Sour Flour Party, which will be coming up on November 29th. This is the date I will be reaching my 1000 Free Loaves, and would like to celebrate appropriately. I’d like to get all of the people I’ve connected with to bring the different things they create to complement bread (jam, wine, cheese, butter, soup, other food, music, whatever), but primarily just have fun. I am attempting to quit my job and launch the next phase of Sour Flour after the party, but still have not quite figured out where the necessary money will come from.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to help out with Sour Flour, there are many ways to help. Come pick up some free bread, come learn to make it, help distribute it, or just come hang out. You can email me at email@example.com, or call at (415-509-3380).
Sour Flour – Enjoy Life