North Saskatchewan River, AB - Todd Barraclough

My Watermark is the North Saskatchewan River, Alberta.

I am an artisan bread baker; I own a local company here in Edmonton called Brio Bakery. I've been baking for about 8 years. I went down to San Francisco to learn how to bake at San Francisco baking institute and they taught us purely how to do bread.

This is a traditional artisan way of preparing and creating bread. This one is flour, water and salt for all my breads. Without water, any aspect of bread would an impossibility. We scale out the flour, add our water, (and) I put in my lalvin, which is similar to yeast that I create myself. We mix it all, we let it naturally rise, which takes about 3 hours before it's ready to be divided. We divide it up.

All the water that we have is a luxury of using city water that is drawn out of the North Saskatchewan. It being a clean water source is absolute crucial for us to have really nice water: it isn't swampy, doesn't have a bad taste, (and) doesn't make people sick. This is so important to me and right now I'm quite pleased that it is clean and I can use it because I'm not sure what I'd do otherwise.

All the bread now is proofed and ready to be baked. We bake them all in this stone-deck oven; it bakes on the stone surface and it gives it a really nice crust and a nice, light crispy bread with a tender crumb inside. Once I get these loaded in, it's really crucial for the bread to be successful to give it a blast of a steam.

I have a waterline running into this deck oven that will give it 2 seconds of steam that coats the top of the loaves and allows them to get a nice brown crust, open up, and rise to give it a scoring mark. The steam is a crucial part of the process. Once agin the North Saskatchewan River. Without the water, I'm pretty much out of luck.

Doug Copping
Todd Barraclough

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