The Covid-19 pandemic has inspired a young artisan baker to create an online baking course and cookbook to teach people how to make cheap, healthy sourdough breads.
Marceau Dauboin is a 19-year-old self-taught baker who runs an artisan home bakery called The Yeastie Bois from his Flamingo Vlei home. With the help of the internet, practise and plenty of flops, Marceau has perfected his baking technique specialising in sourdough baking.
When lockdown hit, a lot of his weekly customers were not able to collect their orders, said Marceau. He decided to use this free time to create an online baking course that teaches everything from beginner breads to advanced pastries as well as making a sourdough starter from scratch. In addition to the course, Marceau also worked on a recipe book that focuses on six sourdough recipes.
Before the pandemic Marceau had no intention of making an online course mostly because he felt “uncomfortable in front of the camera”. But plenty requests from family for baking lessons before the lockdown spurred the idea of an online baking course.
After recording the course, he was inspired to put what he was explaining into words and from there the cookbook was born.
“My goal was for a true beginner to pick up my book and by the end have a comprehensive baking foundation from which they could learn any recipe. That is why I chose six recipes which gradually increased in complexity and detail, starting with a simple yet powerful two ingredient yeast starter and ending on the precise croissant,” he said.
He described the two-month production of the course and cookbook as “an extremely isolated and confined process” but said that the pandemic motivated him to achieve ideas he never thought possible.
Marceau runs and manages every aspect of his business, including baking, marketing, website development and video production for the course. Juggling it all can be difficult he said but it also means “complete creative freedom”.
While the pandemic is pushing more people to work from home, Marceau has had a year head-start with The Yeastie Bois which he started after quitting a college degree in IT.
With no professional baking experience or start-up capital to rent out a shop he said it made most sense to start from home.
“I realised that I wanted to create my own business, partially due to the independence that it brought and so I could help support my mom who was going through a difficult time financially.
“I had a great love for baking and since people always told me how much they loved my bread, opening a home bakery was a no-brainer,” he said.
He was first introduced to baking by a “failed loaf of bread” that his father had tried to make.
Even though it wasn’t a success, Marceau was “captivated” by the process that went into it.
This prompted him to do online research and after discovering how to make cultivated yeast starters, Marceau was hooked.
“When I realised I could use this method to create all sorts of baked goods that were so much better than those I could find in stores, I simply fell in love,” he said.
With a French father, Marceau has visited France every few years and says the French baguette has left an impression on him.
Describing it as a “ubiquitous part of French culture”, Marceau felt the need to make his own and has included it as one of the recipes in his cookbook. Marceau has received positive reviews for the online baking course and at the moment has over 30 students enrolled.
“Seeing people learn from something that I am so passionate about has honestly been the best experience of this entire project and I could not be more grateful for it,” he said.
For more information about the online course, go to https://www.udemy.com/course/achievesourdoughmastery and for more details on the recipe book, go to https://payhip.com/b/0brO