Susanne Mattison is going to Haiti on August 2nd. Below is a recent memo she received regarding the baking of bread using bread fruit “flour.” It is an exciting time and a lot of effort has gone into making it practical for the conditions in Haiti. We wish Susanne and her team luck as they travel to Haiti in August!
Hi Dave & Susanne & everyone else,
We tried the first two recipes today- cake & mollases cookies in a gas oven. They both turned out delicious. Everyone at the bakery gave them a thumbs up. We have nice samples to give to USAid and the other bakery run by jphro tomorrow.
Unfortunately there is no grid electricity in Port-au-Prince between 10 and 8 pm, so if the bakery wants to use the convection oven it can only during the night (3rd shift). It draws a lot of power (24kW per half!!) don’t think a generator will be practical or affordable. Brulan had someone from Benin there today who installs solar for an estimate…I know alot about PV and a system that could power that convection oven will be prohibitive (you would need at 50kW system!!), but I didn’t get involved.
We’ve had three people sifting the (bread fruit) flour all day for three days and they have only gone through about 1/3 of the flour. I don’t think the CTI grinder is practical for the quantities that a business would need. Tomorrow we are going to see if there are any other mills in PaP that can mill to bakery quality and see how much they will charge to re-mill the remaining sacs. Only about 1/2 of the hammermill ground flour from Les Cayes passes through the #25 sieve which leaves a lot of bf flour that needs to be re-milled! Natalie arrived today (Stu was never planning to come, so you must have misunderstood that) but the kiosk suitcase didn’t arrive (with the C-clamps). Brulan didn’t bring the small mixer (don’t know why) so Inette just bought another small mixer.
Thank you so much for the pans and stuff. Believe me it was quite the conversion exercise today to make the cake & cookies with the hardware on hand. I had to improvise in all kinds of clever ways. Our culture is so used to baking that it is interesting to see how unfamiliar everything is to other people. For example, I pre-heated the oven only to find that all the racks were put in upside down. Or the idea that we measure dry goods and liquids differently. Or even the idea of careful measurement or process control. However there are about 1/2 dozen people here earnestly watching what I’m doing. Everyone has a smile and is willing to learn.
I’ve seen cookies on the street for 40 gourdes, sugar crepes for 85 gourdes. I’ve seen bread vendors (still need to get price). Natalie brought down my crepe pan, so we’ll try that next week in the kiosk. I’ve started the economic spreadsheets and hopefully will have a good first look at pricing soon. I am optimistic that breadfruit flour can be used in a small business.