Mildrith’s Body of Miracles

Mildrith’s weekly body of miracles

Mildrith, the wood-fired oven, welcomed her first load of bread when the morning was still dark. It’s dawn now, three batches later, and I’m opening the oven doors on what may be the last one of the day. Sunlight is beginning to wink at me through the fence.

There’s a bit of warm colour on the loaves closest to the doors, deeper brown on the loaves in the back.… Continue reading

Rye Bread: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Rye and Spelt Sourdough Loaf – A Happy Monk fave!

Last week’s Rye and Spelt Loaf scratched a need for me — the taste of rye, that unusual grain that bakes and tastes so differently than wheat. I’m rarely over-the-moon about my bread, as many customers are, but this loaf was beautiful!

The coarse rye flour in this loaf was highlighted by the milder tasting spelt flour, and I tasted that big earthy flavour I love so much about this under-appreciated grain.… Continue reading

A Hard-Earned Homecoming

Feb. 13, 2:45 am. Air temperature: -3.8ºC (25ºF). Mildrith internal temperature: 977ºF (525ºC)!

For days, I’d been keeping an eye on the weather forecasts.

An arctic outflow was making its way south, they said, bringing lower than seasonal temperatures. And that, combined with windy conditions, could produce wind chills of up to -20ºF. Snow was expected in coastal locations.… Continue reading

Mildrith’s Heat Takes it’s Toll

Mildrith springs to life with a breath of air, after I open the oven door plug. A spark, a blue flame, and orange one, then poof! she’s roaring!

A few weeks back, I posted this video on Instagram. It shows Mildrith’s magical ability of springing to life in the morning when it’s time to bake bread.… Continue reading

Mildrith Springs to Life!

Two o’clock in the morning.

I’m still a little bleary-eyed, having slipped out of bed only a few minutes before.

Mildrith is warm. I’d fired her the previous evening for a few hours. The fire was still going when I sealed her off for the night. I’d closed the damper, inserted the fire door and shut the steel gates.… Continue reading