Sunday, July 6, 2008

News and Order Info for the July 24-25 Bake

Dreams do come true sometimes. The picture to the left is of the new bakery at 4423 Chestnut at Kaffa Crossing. Click here to see more pictures. From dreaming it, to planning it, to constructing it, to the never ending task of completing and perfecting it, I have found a new home for Four Worlds Bakery.

Last week was intensely and joyously insane on so many levels; parts of the week hardly felt real; yet the drive and determination what flowed through me to get the bakery up and running was quite a unique experience I will not soon forget. I found energy within me that sprang from nowhere; and by Friday my hands were so swollen and tired, I could not even close my fist.

Sunday we moved the bakery (there are some pictures of the bicycle move in the above link to pictures of the new bakery), then I was sucked into the flurry of unpacking, arranging, cleaning and shopping to prepare for the health inspection on Tuesday morning (I passed!). Then I moved right into prep for the weekly bake and working with the new space.

The week was full of adventures. The funniest story involved the new mixer. My electrician didn't know which way to set the phase on the electrical hookups so he guessed on which way the mixer was supposed to turn. He asked me and I said it was right. But I was wrong; the dough hook was spinning the wrong way. So when I loaded the mixer with 40 pounds of dough, the mixer eventually started to push all the dough up and out of the bowl (instead of pushing it down into the bowl to knead it). That was shocker. But it's fixed now.

The greatest challenge has been working with the new ovens. They are much more complicated and I found myself starting the bakes at 1am to give myself plenty of time for "redos" if necessary before the deliveries went out. On Thursday, I burned the bottoms of 8 challahs and had to make more. I'm frantically searching for the appropriate settings to get the tops and the bottoms the right color with the proper inside crumb. It will take time, so you might notice wild inconsistencies in the breads in the following weeks. The ovens are made specifically for bread baking; designed for the utmost control of all aspects of the bake. So I have much to learn which can only happen through experimentation and learning the nuances and subtle quirks in the ovens. I figure it will take a year to really master these ovens.

Some important changes to note. Please read the pickup times carefully this week in your order confirmations (or check on the web page). The times for pickup for West Philly (Walton Ave), Italian Market, Center City has changed.

On the order form, you can now select to pickup and pay for your orders at the bakery at 4423 Chestnut until 9pm when the cafe closes.

This week, I will start offering the "extra" bread at the bakery which you can just walk in, select, and buy right at the retail counter. I will no longer be putting out extras at the Walton Ave pickup site; although you can still select to pick up your pre-orders there. Feel free to call on bake days and I can sell any extras to you over the phone and deliver to whatever pickup site you want.

More changes are coming as this evolves, including a real web page to consolidate all the menu, ordering, and pickup info into one place. So please stay tuned. And your feedback is desperately needed. Check out the new pictures of some of the breads in the menu below.

Mariposa Members Take Note. Mariposa (West Philly members-only coop grocery store) will be selling some of my products beginning this week. I will be delivering the products fresh to Mariposa on Thursdays afternoons around 1pm. Let the staff know if you have any requests for which products to stock there. We walk a fine line with this experiment because both Four Worlds and Mariposa are retailing these products. You will notice a slightly higher price on the shelf at Mariposa that if you order directly from me: Mariposa has to take a "slice" to cover their costs.

Save the Date: Soft Opening. We are planning a "soft" opening on Monday August 4 in the evening. The event will be in conjunction with the annual Lama festival which is a celebration of bread. For fun, I am planning to bake a limited amount of spelt pizza and I will have some Four Worlds products available to sample and buy (hopefully including some test batches of my new croissant); also Kaffa will be offering it's now famous Ethiopian cuisine which is highly praised in the Inquirer Food section. More details in the email next week.

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