Humility

The bread recipe formula says let the dough ferment four hours. The dough says nuh-uh! I’m almost done! The dough doesn’t care about the recipe!

Let me tell you something: The dough wins. Always.

There’s no point in cursing the dough. No point in cursing the recipe. The dough just wins. Period. And all you can do is accept this … with humility.… Continue reading

High Drama: The Early Morning Shift

There was still 400ºF plus heat inside of Mildrith when I went to light the fire for this morning’s bake. Starting from a cold oven, it can take upwards of 20 minutes to set the wood and tinder, but this morning I laid down a few pieces of wood and paper and she started up quickly.… Continue reading

In Gratitude – First Happy Monk Delivery

It’s a quiet place, Pender Island. People live their lives here, they fall in love and raise families. They work, shop, commute, they keep themselves entertained with friends, culture and arts and enjoying the great outdoors. Natural beauty abounds. But it’s a quiet place, as places go. And as with any community, there are times when it all seems to come together.… Continue reading

Tinkering with the oven

Mildrith, the oven, has been confounding, these past few weeks. She gives me enough heat for a single load of bread, but once that’s done, there’s nothing left. No heat left over for the next load! I need to build a second fire to get it up to temperature for the next bake, and that can take up to two hours until I can lay in another load of bread to bake.… Continue reading

How I built my wood-fired cob oven

Sure, let’s just get a bunch of clay and sand, maybe some straw, and build a wood-fired cob oven! I’m not afraid of a little hard work, the YouTube videos make it look like a snap. We’ll be baking by the weekend! And pizzas!

Not that simple. In this case, there was a ton of manual labour, delays with building supplies, schedules and agonizing decisions.… Continue reading