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It’s 2021, and the Happy Monk is Back!

Greetings, friends!

I hope all is well and that you are thriving as best you can be in these strange times.

Jennifer and I have led a quiet few weeks with no agenda, other than domestic chores, a couple of masked, sanitized, and distanced trips into Victoria. I’ve chopped some wood, built some fires to warm the house, cleaned up some fallen branches and trees, made some soups, even made a few loaves of bread.

We survived a few storms, too, as I hope all of you have. I had lots of bracing swims in the icy waters of Boundary Pass. The water is dark; the currents are a little sluggish. It’s deep winter. Each season, here on this island, is my favourite season.

But the stirrings of Spring are not far off.

And I have just emerged from my rest break as your Happy Monk baker! It suddenly seems we’ve all been apart too long: all of you, me, and the living dough. One day this past week, I awoke and felt creaky around the idea of mixing dough again and wondered if I’d forgotten the paces, all the details. I was suddenly eager to get my hands into something and baked three five-pound miches just to feel Mildrith’s fire and chase the heat of the bread-baking window. I wondered about new bread formulas, pastries, bagels, and other goods. Eager, too, to re-connect with all of you, my wonderful Pender Island friends.

I’ve had a sound slumber, and it’s time to shake off the cobwebs and get busy again. We are renewed!

Let me tell you what’s up!

One bake per week

I was so tired leading up to the Christmas break that I knew I needed more time to breathe. Three consecutive weeks of record bread orders, two early morning bakes per week, day trips to Metchosin to pick up flour and grain, managing the website and blog. You all know I love it, but there’s no getting around it. The baking life is wearing, and I’m not getting younger!

I could save myself a lot of stress by moving to one bake a week instead of two, so that’s what I’ll be doing starting this week. More time to breathe, more time to think, more time to enjoy life. More love flowing into the dough. One bake per week, Friday bread pick-up at all the usual places.

Friday bread days

Bread days will be Fridays.

This week, however, bread day will be SaturdayJennifer and I have an important medical appointment in town, Wednesday/Thursday. So I will move the bread pick-up day to Saturday for this week only. After that, it will resume on Fridays, as always.

Rest assured, I will send reminder emails about pick-up days and locations to all those with orders.

Same bread choices, alternating weeks

People tell me they love the bread choices offered by the Happy Monk. Let’s continue with that.

The schedule will be a little different, though. Mildrith can only handle 60 loaves in any given bake. I’d like to give her the space she needs to produce quality loaves.

Thus, the two standard loaves, Salish Sourdough and Seed Feast, will be available in week one, the Baker’s Choice will be available in week two. Week one, week two. Standard loaves alternate with Baker’s Choice.

The new schedule will allow me to be a little more creative with Baker’s Choice and the opportunity to roll out new products, like bagels, croissants, rolls. Lots of experimentation going on.

No more bread subscriptions

I’ve decided to stop the subscription option. While there is convenience in the four-week subscription service, only a small handful of people use it. A few customers have also had issues trying to renew their subscriptions, and in trying to fix them, I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone with tech support.

So, rather than spend more time on the phone with tech support, I’ve decided to cancel it.

If you’re in the middle of a subscription carried over from December, you’ll be credited then notified when the subscription has expired.

Payment options will continue to be credit cards if ordered online through the website, e-transfer or cash.

Farmer’s Market in the Spring

I’ve been experimenting with new breads, pastries, bagels, bialys. The logical venue for these products, I think, would be the Farmer’s Market. And after two years of order-based baking, I’ve developed a curiosity for the market this Spring.

I will keep doing the order-based business, with the usual drop-off/pick-up locations on Fridays. That’s the core of Happy Monk and always will be! The Farmer’s Market is aimed at a different group, and I won’t be there every week. We’ll see where it leads!

What bread this week?

We’ll start this week with your choice of the two standard Happy Monk loaves: the Salish Sourdough or the Seed Feast. You know them well! Let me know what you’d like for this Saturday by clicking here.

I’ll have an all-new Baker’s Choice loaf available next week. Stay tuned!

And lastly: For your listening pleasure

Mark Dyck, a podcaster and baker’s friend, caught up with me a few weeks ago and invited me on his show: Rise Up: The Baker’s Podcast!

What an honour, I’ll tell you! Mark is a recent Victoria émigré from Regina, Saskatchewan, where he used to own the Orange Boot Bakery. One of his projects, nowadays, is the Rise Up Podcast which, over the past few years, has featured a “who’s who” of baking world rock stars. Think Jeffrey Hamelman, author of Bread, A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes, the definitive book on North American bread and baking. Not to mention other great baker/authors Daniel Leader, Peter Reinhart, Josie Baker, the list goes on.

Mark thinks every baker has a story, so he mixes the rock stars with micro bakers like me! He was interested in Mildreth, the Happy Monk cob oven, and asked about how she was built and how she performs. We compare our wood-fired experiences as well as the joys of being community-oriented bakers.

Have a listen! Let me know what you think!

Click here to listen to my conversation with Mark on Rise Up: The Podcast. Or listen look it up on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify or where ever you get your podcasts. Be sure to leave a comment!


Happy Monk Tidings - May 18, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Olive Bread; UPDATE: Canal Bridge project postponed; Assume normal delivery schedule; BLOG: The Breadman's Quest for the Stanley Cup - [See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - May 18, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Olive Bread; UPDATE: Canal Bridge project postponed; Assume normal delivery schedule; BLOG: The Breadman's Quest for the Stanley Cup - [See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - May 11, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Rye-Spelt Sourdough; Blog: Road/Bridge Closure: Be Here Now - [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - May 11, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Rye-Spelt Sourdough; Blog: Road/Bridge Closure: Be Here Now - [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

33 1
Happy Monk Tidings - May 4, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Polenta and Rosemary Bread ☀︎ Blog: An Artisan Bread Manifesto ☀︎ [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - May 4, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Polenta and Rosemary Bread ☀︎ Blog: An Artisan Bread Manifesto ☀︎ [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - April 27, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Spelt Honey Sourdough; Blog: A Podcast for Pender Island [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - April 27, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Spelt Honey Sourdough; Blog: A Podcast for Pender Island [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - April 20, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Mountain Rye ; Blog: Walking with My Father [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - April 20, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Mountain Rye ; Blog: Walking with My Father [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - April 13, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Hot Cross Buns; Blog: Who's to Blame for the Hot Cross Buns Song? [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - April 13, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Hot Cross Buns; Blog: Who's to Blame for the Hot Cross Buns Song? [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

32 2
Happy Monk Tidings - April 6, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Whole-Wheat Flax Bread; Blog: The Baker's Arms [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - April 6, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Whole-Wheat Flax Bread; Blog: The Baker's Arms [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - March 30, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Oat Porridge Bread; Blog: Thanne Longen Folk ...; We're Donating to Ukraine! [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - March 30, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Oat Porridge Bread; Blog: Thanne Longen Folk ...; We're Donating to Ukraine! [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - March 16, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Spelt and Honey Sourdough; Blog: Wheat Connections to Ukraine [ See LinkTree in Bio ]

Happy Monk Tidings - March 16, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Spelt and Honey Sourdough; Blog: Wheat Connections to Ukraine [ See LinkTree in Bio ] ...

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These corn kernels are headed to the mill to make cornmeal for Anadama Bread this week. It’s a bread with origins on the east coast, but that shouldn’t stop us west coasters from enjoying it, too, godanadamit! This is organic field corn from @fieldstoneorganics of Armstrong, B.C. … and the hard red whole wheat from Metchosin, B.C. make this Happy Monk take on Anadama a bona fide west coast phenomenon! Just sayin’!
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#anadama #anadamabread #cornmeal #cornmealbread #metchosinbc #armstrongbc #stoneground #stonegroundflour #stonemilled #stonemilledflour #stonemilledbread #woodfiredovenbread #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #breadmaking #sourdough #sourdoughbread #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries

These corn kernels are headed to the mill to make cornmeal for Anadama Bread this week. It’s a bread with origins on the east coast, but that shouldn’t stop us west coasters from enjoying it, too, godanadamit! This is organic field corn from @fieldstoneorganics of Armstrong, B.C. … and the hard red whole wheat from Metchosin, B.C. make this Happy Monk take on Anadama a bona fide west coast phenomenon! Just sayin’!
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#anadama #anadamabread #cornmeal #cornmealbread #metchosinbc #armstrongbc #stoneground #stonegroundflour #stonemilled #stonemilledflour #stonemilledbread #woodfiredovenbread #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #breadmaking #sourdough #sourdoughbread #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries
...

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Happy Monk Tidings - March 9, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Anadama Bread; Blog: Salvador Dali and the Art of Bread - [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - March 9, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Anadama Bread; Blog: Salvador Dali and the Art of Bread - [ See LinkTree in Profile ] ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - March 2, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough; Blog: Have Your Been Shriven? [ See Link in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - March 2, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough; Blog: Have Your Been Shriven? [ See Link in Profile ] ...

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Morning Breadsong (volume up!) A pile of Salish Sourdoughs just out of Mildrith, the wood-fired oven. 
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#breadsinging #breadsong #woodfired #woodfiredoven #woodfiredovenbread #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bakery #bakerslife #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #breadmaking #breadmaking🍞 #sourdough #sourdoughbread #coboven #earthoven #earthenoven #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries #penderisland

Morning Breadsong (volume up!) A pile of Salish Sourdoughs just out of Mildrith, the wood-fired oven.
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#breadsinging #breadsong #woodfired #woodfiredoven #woodfiredovenbread #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bakery #bakerslife #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #breadmaking #breadmaking🍞 #sourdough #sourdoughbread #coboven #earthoven #earthenoven #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries #penderisland
...

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Happy Monk Tidings - February 23, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Danish Rye (Rugbrød); Blog: The Burned Loaf: And Offering and a Blessing - [ See link in profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - February 23, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Danish Rye (Rugbrød); Blog: The Burned Loaf: And Offering and a Blessing - [ See link in profile ] ...

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It just needed a few more minutes. That was three hours ago. Saved my best for last!  #showusyourfuckedloaves

It just needed a few more minutes. That was three hours ago. Saved my best for last! #showusyourfuckedloaves ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - February 16, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice this week: Sourdough Sandwich Loaf; Blog: Festival of Fornacalia - All hail, Fornax! Goddess of the Ovens! [ See link in Profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - February 16, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice this week: Sourdough Sandwich Loaf; Blog: Festival of Fornacalia - All hail, Fornax! Goddess of the Ovens! [ See link in Profile ] ...

51 0
John-boy’s got his arms loaded with a bunch of Happy Monk bread, one of his favourite states of being. He’s generous to a fault, though, and spread the loaves around his close circle of friends. That’s m’boy!

John-boy’s got his arms loaded with a bunch of Happy Monk bread, one of his favourite states of being. He’s generous to a fault, though, and spread the loaves around his close circle of friends. That’s m’boy! ...

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The 2kg Desem miche is out of focus, in the back ‘cause it would have drowned out the little 1kg Durum Sesame loaf in front. The miche is a monster but every bit as delish as the Durum loaf! The Desem’s coming soon! Won’t be a miche, though!

The 2kg Desem miche is out of focus, in the back ‘cause it would have drowned out the little 1kg Durum Sesame loaf in front. The miche is a monster but every bit as delish as the Durum loaf! The Desem’s coming soon! Won’t be a miche, though! ...

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Happy Monk Tidings - February 9, 2022 🍞 - It's great to be back! Baker's Choice: Durum-Sesame Sourdough; Blog: To Sleep or Not to Sleep [ See link in profile ]

Happy Monk Tidings - February 9, 2022 🍞 - It's great to be back! Baker's Choice: Durum-Sesame Sourdough; Blog: To Sleep or Not to Sleep [ See link in profile ] ...

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