Josey Baker was an elementary school teacher. That was, until the day he made his first sourdough loaf. That day, my friends, was the day he fell in love with the yeasty little ball of goodness we call bread. Things started off slow but baking gained momentum fast. Once strangers started showing up at his doorstep after a Daily Candy article, he was like “whoah,” and decided he needed to sell it elsewhere… and probably close his blinds more often. Damn bread groupies.
Josey doesn’t have his own shop… but he has friends. Friends with bread ovens. So on different days of the week, Josey travels from restaurant to restaurant to use their fire and sell the loaves off his portable rack– a gypsy baker if I’ve ever heard of one. He may get his own brick and mortar when he feels like settling down. But for now, the life of a roaming baker suits him just peachy.
His three seed bread had a dark crusty outside and ultra-moist interior. So moist, in fact, that the pumpkin, flax, and sesameseeds it contained were almost juicy and burst in your mouth. Toasted, it becomes even nuttier. With butter, even more savory and divine. It had a mild flavor, not a developed sourness that I was anticipating, knowing he follows bakers like Dave at Outerlands or Chad at Tartine.
Rarely do you find 100% whole wheat loaves– but Josey’s got one. “I can’t share my secrets though,” he smirked. A disappointing omission, because most 100% whole wheat loaves are tough and dense. But Josey’s is light, airy, moist, and subtly sweet.
Next I tried a cinnamon date “pocket.” The dates added a caramel-like swirl and creamy texture. With the spicy cinnamon, it had amazing flavor– but it was pretty dense. If lightened up, it would be the perfect little sweet bread roll.
After a trip to Vermont, his love of Bay Area bread seems amplified. “We are so spoiled here… You don’t realize it ’till you go somewhere else and try to find good bread… you really have to seek it out. You don’t have to look hard to find great bread [here].”
I guess, as always, you have to kiss a few frogs before appreciating a good thing. And since most bread here is pretty awesome, go eat some Orowheat. Then try the likes of Josie and Tartine and get back at me with blown-mind observations. Groupies can find his bread here… NOT at his house. That’s just creepy.