Baker Koki Ota traveled to a solar and wind power bakery in France to learn how to be a Paysin Boulanger, a farmer’s bakery, where they ground the flour with a large millstone and baked 800 kg of bread per day in a wood-fired kiln.
On returning to Japan, he and his wife opened Farmhouse Bread Yasakagama, a one-of-a-kind mountain town bakery in a modest folk house. There, he makes different kinds of bread with domestically-grown wheat, rye, and brown rice.
His dedication to long-practiced traditions—hand-kneading bread, fermenting naturally, and using a wood-fired oven—is clear in this meditative 41-minute Food Star video.
From a translated article in Asahi Shimbun & W:
“There are very few things in his kitchen that run on electricity (or fossil fuels, if you will). There are no mixers, no machines to control the temperature of the dough. Fermentation is left to nature.”
“The timing of warming up the wood-fired kiln and the timing of reaching the best state of fermentation are matched according to the climate conditions that change daily. It’s exactly what humans have been doing for thousands of years.”
“To Mr. Ota, farmers and bakers are the same in that they live in harmony with nature. He grows wheat without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. He takes mulch from the mountains and puts it in his fields to fertilize it. Plants, insects, animals, and microorganisms all live together in the mountains, so even without the use of pesticides, there are no diseases or pests. He is aiming for natural cultivation that reproduces the diversity of nature in the field as it is.”
Follow Farmhouse Bread Yasakagama on Instagram and Facebook.
Then watch more related videos on TKSST, including:
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• Sweet (and savory) morning buns with chef April Bloomfield and Tartine
• The Amazing Art of Bread Baking in Tajikistan
• Volcano Bread
• Amezaiku (飴細工) Japanese Candy Sculptures by Ame Yoshihara
• Koi are unusual kitchen helpers in the kabata of Harie, Japan
• Daifuku Mochi: Making Japanese rice cakes at Nakatani-dou
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