This first part of the Baking Studio story is made in partnership with my friends at Ballingslöv Falkenberg.
About two months after baking my first sourdough loaf, I decided that this craft was something I’d be doing for the rest of my days. I find such joy and passion on the creation of bread and other goods and even more in sharing it with others. The thought has grown in to something more than a hobby over the last years, and the need to build a career from a passion.
About 6 months ago now, I announced on my Instagram channel that I’d be transforming my garage and adjacent rooms in to a baking studio. From here I will explore the depths of all things made from dough, using sustainable methods and ingredients.
Looking in to our garage. Winter 2018 – before the wheels started spinning!
I will produce and sell a dynamic theme based and exclusive line of bread products, locally sourced and for pick up at the studio.
From here I will teach my insights of the craft on site to those hungry students willing to learn. The very best bread that’s not only a pleasure to watch, but also healthy for you and our planet. My mission and drive are to inspire people on this planet to change their view on bread consumption and the choices that comes with making it. Now I needed a suitable locale to support this call!
Finding the right partner
From the start it became clear to me that the studio itself needed to be as inspiring and lust bearing as the mission and products. I needed it to become as grand as my ambitions! A conceptual baking showroom mixed with a design kitchen and learning center. Pretty soon I realized that I would need help achieving this from those who can put dreams to paper and paper to reality made of wood, stone and electronics (and I’m sure a lot of other material).
I believe in a sustainable approach when it comes to doing business, and one part of this is finding a way to partner up to the local suppliers with shared values. When teamed up the businesses becomes something greater for the community! I contacted a local supplier of kitchen and storage solutions whose quality in products would match that of my own. Mats and Ingemar at Ballingslöv in Falkenberg, responded to my request and we started planning the Baking Studio together at their shop just a 5 minutes bike ride from our house (could it get more local?).
Mats drew up the plans after taking measurements during a Christmas visit. Just before this we had finished tiling a new floor from Italian stone, and a breathtaking white tiled wall with a French bistro feel to it, by the old garage windows. Also, we put up new inner walls and repainted the ceiling. A lot of hard and rewarding work!
The first version of the drawings for the studio.
3D-perspective drawing. This actually helped me visualize the Studio at a degree where I wasn’t surprised or chocked when it started forming in real life!
A look in to the Studio after renovation of walls, floor/wall tiling and roof was completed. In the corner the mixer will reside, under the windows a working area with storage underneath (and a wine cooler of course) and to the right a cooler/freezer.
During the coming months, we (my wife Caroline and I) had several meetings at Ballingslöv, and with other partners, to choose the right solutions for the cause and solve problems.
I’m very happy to say that in May, the first shipment of carpentry arrived. Mats also wanted to see it through completely, and being a trained carpenter at origin, he led the installments on site. These pictures show you the progress half way and where we’re at as I write. The craftsmanship of this carpentry is just something else. Robust and elegant. Practical with high quality and easy to clean (Which I’ll probably do thoroughly each day)!
Early morning delivery! A lot of carpentry to set up. Mats getting ready on the left!
The first carpentry being lifted inside. Two problem solvers doing their magic work! I’m really glad to have help with this part since during this time I was all up in being a full time dad to two little kids, starting a business and of course baking.
Mats aligning the embryo of the oven furniture!
This is the water area for the studio. Here I’ll get the water needed for the dough, do the dishes and launder all the linen and aprons! The sink will be in the furniture to the left.
A lot of renovation work was put in during the spring of 2019 by team Larsson (me and my fantastic and supportive wife Caroline – and the kids of course). This is the water area before new tilings and wall surfaces.
And here you see the after shot. I’ll be having a work bench here as well, under the window, and full sized freezer and fridge in the corners!
You can really feel the Studio taking its form at this stage. In to far left corner I’ll be having a fridge/freezer with the front surface that of a black chalk board (that you can write on using chalk) , how cool is that?
Another shot of how the Studio looked before, right after tiling work and new inner walls (and ceiling).
And after! From those windows I’ll have a long view over the garden, our neighbours horses and a vast farm field. Not a bad motive for early morning mixes. To the top right I’ll be using the same type of fridge/freezer as mentioned earlier, and in the left corner there will eventually be a mixer.
The next big steps are finishing electrical work, installing the storage at the entrance, putting in the ovens, coolers, freezers, slab, and finally the stone work surfaces.
I’ll begin wrapping up this first part of this series with a quick walk through of my choices in machinery. As the plans and pictures might have already spoiled, I’ll be using six high end electrical home ovens in this studio. The aim is to produce a limited line of exclusive goods, and these ovens will absolutely fill that need and more! Also, I’m so looking forward to the genuine and exclusive home environment feeling it brings to the studio, for the upcoming courses and educational videos.
My take is this: If you can bake great bread in a home oven, you can master it in any type of commercial oven. So, these courses will be for the pros as well. Mats even drew this unique furniture to hold the 6 ovens, which will make it look like one sublime unit in the end.
For this very same reason I’m choosing to work with a line of domestic coolers and freezers. For the surfaces I’ve chosen a very versatile and premium feeling composite stone. And finally, when it comes to the mixer… I haven’t quite been able to find the right one. Or afford the one I really wish to acquire – The twin arm mixer. It seems as though I might be able to loan a table mixer of the same type of engineering (Miss Baker) during this summer.
In part 2 of this series I’ll show you these machines installed and talk more about those choices! Also, here’s finally a picture of my partners at Ballingslöv in Falkenberg, holding my bread. Among them they have over 60 years of experience in the business so I’m in safe hands listening to their recommendations and solutions. Without their passion, interest and faith, a studio of this unique kind would not have been possible! They also introduced me to other partnerships significant to build this dream studio, which I’ll tell you more about shortly.
Link to Ballingslöv Falkenberg (swedish)
Link to Ballingslöv central site (Swedish)
Ingemar and Mats striking a pose with my bread. The partnership is sealed!