At Baseline Creative, we bake care into everything we do. You may be thinking, what does bread have to do with a full-service marketing company? Our founder, Nathan Williams, has been working to perfect the craft of fresh baked bread since founding Baseline Creative in 2006.
“When I started, I literally worked out of my home. Our small staff would meet there around my kitchen table with laptops to work. Clients would come to my house for meetings and sit around the same kitchen table. Sometimes I would have made fresh bread for all to enjoy.”
Creating the Right Culture
We no longer work around that same kitchen table, but we still break bread together. Clients, friends, and team members alike have experienced the joy of Nathan’s fresh-baked bread. This culture and inviting spirit are what helped Baseline Creative earn the title of Best Place to Work for Small Business in 2021. In honor of Baseline Bread and National Sourdough Day, we asked Nathan to share some tips and insights on the bread-making process.
Nathan’s Sourdough Tips
- It’s more important to pay attention to your dough than any recipe you’ll ever read when you’re working with sourdough.
- Stretch and fold is the most beneficial technique for kneading, but mix it up and try a gravity-based knead, too! Grab your dough and allow half of it to slowly fall. Turn it and stretch (almost like taffy).
- Pain Paladin is a wonderful alternative to standard sourdough. Just add 1/4 cup or so of olive oil to your dough. It will be more elastic and the surface will retain more of the gases while the bread rises.
- Your starter is the most important ingredient in sourdough bread. Feed it a variety of different flour types to increase its resilience. It will reward you with more vigorous fermentation than a monofed base.
- The starter is designed to thrive in harsh conditions, so remember that occasional culture stress actually improves its ability to adapt.
- Using a Dutch oven creates an ideal environment for baking and attaining the “pro level” crust and rise. Preheat the cast iron for 30-45 minutes, then add a drop of oil or cornmeal and then your bread. Make sure you score it with a knife or lamé (a razor blade on a stick) so it has a place to vent all that glorious steam. Bake covered for the first 15-20 minutes or so, then finish uncovered. Make it as tan, brown, or black as you like.
Baked with Care for Our Clients
Good business is like a good bread recipe. You must have just the right ingredients, and the right amount of kneading and work to make it rise to be a successful bake. It takes time, attention, and focus to be successful in baking as in business. It doesn’t hurt to bring actual bread into the workplace either. We love to celebrate success with old and new friends and hope you have as much fun baking your own bread as Nathan does! Ready to get baking? Contact us!