Week 6: Survey results, and some changes

This week I’ll be making a change or two at Pannier.

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First, I am delighted to have been hired to help teach Intensive Academic English at the University of Toronto for two weeks in May.  I love everything about this job except that it means I will not be able to bake for you on May 1 and May 8.  I really appreciate your support of this decision!  I will be sure to credit or, if you wish, refund your accounts for these two weeks.
This is a great opportunity to check out some of the other amazing bakers in the city.  Take Simon Blackwell, for example, who creates gorgeous breads in a gorgeous space in the back of Soma chocolate shop.  Simon has been something of a mentor for me, so I’m delighted to bake with him at the park this coming Wednesday. Here are some of his beautiful breads at Sanagan’s Meat Locker in Kensington Market.
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The second thing that’s changing is that I am transitioning my packaging away from paper wrapping to re-usable cotton bags starting this week.  There are lots of reasons for this, but it is mostly an issue of time.  There is a lot that I love about the paper, and if I had four sets of hands, I would totally keep it up, but as it is, I barely make my delivery schedule each week, which leaves no room for me to grow.
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I first spotted my future bags at the Guelph Organic Conference this winter and fell in love with them. Thanks to your support, I can now afford to order 70 new bags from Nadine at Envirothreads, who makes them by hand in Lindsay, Ontario out of organic cotton.  I’m in the process of updating my website to explain how the bags will work, but the short version is that every member will get two bags.  I will ask you to pay a $10 refundable deposit for the bags while you are a Pannier member, but you can also opt to keep them once your share expires. I will charge the deposit only when you renew your share, which means that I’m trusting you to hang onto them in the meantime!
The last thing that’s changing is that, because I am phasing out the paper, I can now deliver earlier to the University and to LGA.  This is in response to several of you who have requested earlier delivery. I’m going to aim for between 3-4 pm!
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Thank you to the 45% of my members who responded to my survey last week!  Here are the average results:

  1. You like my bread! 4.6 out of 5
  2. Your delivery or pickup option is working out! 4 out of 5
  3. I am communicating well! 4.9 out of 5
  4. You think my prices are right on! 2.7 out of 5
  5. You have had a marvellous overall experience! 4.6 out of 5

Thank you all, this is really great to hear!

Your favourite breads have been (out of 14 responders):

  • Little seedy buns (8)
  • Fougasse (7)
  • Mini-baguettes (6)
  • Multigrain and demi-baguettes (5)
  • Miche (4)
  • 100% spelt sour (3)

It is so interesting to see what people end up liking! For example, I thought the miche and the multigrain were totally awesome, while the fougasse and mini-baguettes were a little disappointing.  Shows you what I know!  Actually, it justifies my goal of baking all different kinds of breads, because everyone likes different things.

Infant seedy buns

Infant seedy buns

Your least favourite breads have been:

  • 100% spelt sour (3)
  • Little seedy buns and mini-baguettes (1)

Even Stephen on the spelt sour!  This is another one that I think I can do better, but I wasn’t sure whether I should try it again.  I’m encouraged that some people liked it well enough to mention it (and even request it), so I’ll definitely try it again.  One complaint about the little breads was that they were too hard–its true, the little breads don’t last as long as the larger ones, so its probably best to eat them first or freeze them right away.

A third of you like the idea of seeing favourite breads show up in rotation (with the fougasse and spelt getting special mention), while the rest are fine either way.

I love that you are all so supportive of me trying out new breads!  This was a big question in my mind when I started up Pannier, whether my members would embrace the experimentation, but you have!  And its awesome.

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Three people mentioned they would like to see more breads with additions, with rosemary being a clear favourite, and one person requested a rye or other dark bread.

Duly noted!  As the land wakes up and starts to produce delicious things, I will be incorporating that produce into my breads, like the rosemary in last week’s corn sourdough. As for a rye, I’m working on that too.  This was my first attempt and it was positively delicious, but to make it I have to organize small pans. And I have to get you all to promise not to slice it until the next day!  Breads like this take time for the crumb to set and for the taste to mature.  Totally different from most breads we are familiar with!