Last week it was the pie contest. This week it was the family reunion!
It is amazing how families can disperse. The Davis clan (Neil’s Mom’s side) still has folks farming the same lands that their grandparents farmed. Others in the immediate family have fanned out across the southeast coastline. The newer generations have spread out from coast to coast with a few international scatterings. On Friday a core group of 40 relatives showed up at the bakery for a wood-fired oven pizza party. We dodged the rain and had a wonderful gathering. The next day we shifted locations to the Warren Wilson campus for the official reunion meal (Lulella’s BBQ). Each family was clearly defined as the sons and daughters look so much like their mothers and fathers. You could also see traits linking family to family as well. Everyone had a story to tell. There were some bad jokes, family “reports”, a focus on the new family members and the remembrances of those who have passed away. The 91 year old matriarch still attends reunions regularly with several others close behind.
Neil’s great grandmother (on his Father’s side) reached the 100 year mark in the late 1970′s. A large party of her descendants gathered to celebrate, over 120 descendants in fact–(a math lesson in exponential growth). Her life spanned traveling in wagons to seeing televised men on the moon. Such change seems difficult to fathom in one lifetime, but think of the changes from the late 1970′s to the present. Time never sits still.
Speaking of change, this has been a long month. It is still August, and school has begun. As previously stated I am not so excited about school beginning in the mid-summer. My herbs and few vegetables are still going strong! Cece’s capsicums (hot peppers) are maturing. We have been harvesting the jalapenos for a while. The skinny little Thai red chili peppers are ripening now. And several of the many hellaciously-hot habanero fruits are beginning to turn bright yellow and red. As we begin to harvest them we will either dry, freeze or preserve them in vinegar. I am looking for baking ideas but am afraid of burning customer palates. Check out the Rosemary, Walnut and Tomato Bread below….it has a touch of heat.
The photos: last week’s bake is pictured above: 5-Grain & Seed Bread and Oatmeal Bread just out of the wood-fired oven.
Pictured below: mini-cupcakes of chocolate, carrot cake and vanilla-coconut- baked for a Montford wedding yesterday….we ate the same three kinds at our reunion.
- 5-Grain & Seed Bread $7/boule or sandwich loaf whole wheat, rye, oats, sunflower and flax seeds are mixed to a moist and chewy bread
- Rosemary, Walnut and Tomato Bread $7/boule all NC grown whole wheat plus garden fresh rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes with a small amount of chili pepper to brighten the flavor (it will not be hot)…it is dense and delicious!
- Oatmeal Bread $5/sandwich loaf wheat, whole wheat, oats, honey and grapeseed oil
- Neil’s Maple-Sweetened Granola $7/lb. with dried fruit, nuts and seeds
- MWIB Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread $6/boule or sandwich loaf all wild-yeast leavened bread with a variety of freshly milled rough-cut grains (rye, buckwheat, spelt and barley)
- Rye Bread $7/sandwich loaf NC grown rye is milled in Asheville- very tasty!
- Summer Focaccia $10 fresh garden herbs with Asiago cheese
- Neil’s Maple-Sweetened Granola $7/lb.
- Apple & Fig Crostata $22 9-inch, open-face pie flavored with lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg…made with early apples and fresh figs in a flour and cornmeal pastry
Please let me know if you have any problems ordering.DEADLINE for ORDERS is Monday night…PICK-UP is on the day your goods are baked (or please arrange)
PRICES include NC Sales Tax
NOTE: please return your 9-inch Pyrex pie plates if you haven’t already…thanks!
Have a good, and summery, I hope, week!
Kids are heading back to school this week! School starts in the middle of August! It is still summer, for heavens sake!!! Both the public schools and A-B Tech both begin this week. A new harbinger of a still, distant Fall. Out the bakery window I can see the butterflies romp around the flowers. It is still hot and the mosquitoes are fat and healthy. I spend a lot of time outside performing yard work covered with long sleeves and pants, sweating! I do use bug spray from time to time. Each season has its trade offs….but, to me, the summer remains the best time of year.
Although it is not the very end of summer, it is the end of my faithful summer sidekick’s apprenticeship. Malina proved to be a very able helper, readily learning the ways of the bakery. She was a bright light to me in the early mornings! We accomplished a lot. We have introduced dog biscuits and an oatmeal loaf to our regular fare. The dog biscuits can be consumed by humans….we have sampled them.
The kids went up to Shining Rock Wilderness this weekend to check on the blueberries.
It seems the fruit has either ripened early or the volume of the fruit is down this year. They photographed this cedar waxwing bird who may have had something to do with this. The Cedar Waxwing is one of the few North American birds that specializes in eating fruit. I do not see them often since moving south, but I think they must enjoy the higher elevation spruce-fir climate along with the abundant blueberries and blackberries on the balds.
At the end of the week we scurried around to assemble our pies and tarts for the 10th Annual Swell-Erbsen Pie Party yesterday in Haw Creek. Our daughters, together made a delicious peanut butter pie (made with from-scratch chocolate wafer cookies), my sister arrived from Atlanta with a tasty sour cherry pie. I assembled a pie named it the “Roasty-Toasty Tomato-Veggie Pie” and then produced a similar tart with kalamata olives. With over 80 pies and 125 people in attendance, the pies were thoroughly tested and tasted. It is curious that there was no event in the Olympics…pie eating is a real challenge!
- NEW 5-Grain & Seed Bread $7/boule or sandwich loaf whole wheat and rye grain with oats, sunflower seeds and flax…a big new favorite of my family and customers
- Oatmeal Bread $5/sandwich loaf a combination of unbleached, whole wheat, oats and honey
- Zucchini Walnut Bread $7 with a plethora of squash this quick bread is a natural summer treat
Old Fashioned Molasses-Ginger Cookies $8/dz. Yummy back-to-school lunchbox cookie
- Neil’s Granola $7/ lb. bag Maple-sweetened rolled oats with fruit, nuts and seeds
- MWIB Multi-Grain Sourdough $6/boule/batard or sandwich loaf
- Garden Herb Focaccia $10 pesto-filled, with garlic, tomatoes and cheese…the works! (almonds in this pesto)
- Old Fashioned Molasses-Ginger Cookies $8/dz. crispy/chewy cookies with a spicy zing
- Neil’s Granola $7/lb. bag
DEADLINE for ORDERING is Monday evening….PICK-UP is on the day your items are baked from 4-6pm (or please arrange)
PRICES include NC sales tax
have a good week,
Culinary creativity, curiosity and exploration are only one part of the picture. There are the daily mechanics to consider. Charcoal is a common byproduct of the wood fired oven. We fire the oven the day before baking (Tuesday and Thursday). Once the appropriate temperature is reached within the oven mass ( we take an average of 3 temperature reading from thermocouples located at different locations within the mass), we close the door and shut off the oxygen. The following morning, before baking, we clean out the oven of the ash and charcoal. If our timing is good we will have less charcoal. However, we burn a variety of wood species, the size of the logs varies, the moisture content varies, so our timing of the burn is not a precise science. We often create charcoal. There is only so much of the ash and charcoal that you can put in the garden. For a short while we considered the charcoal a waste product. Then we began using the larger pieces back in the oven when heating. Recently we built a charcoal-dryer prototype and we have been able to capture a lot of the charcoal for reuse. We can package the charcoal in the used flour bags, thus recycling the bags and saving the charcoal.
Why are we drying the charcoal? Why not use it again in our grill! When the charcoal comes out of the oven some of it is still burning–red hot. We have to wet it down very well to stop the burn. Charcoal is also very porous and will hold a lot of water. On a nice hot day it will dry pretty quickly if it is spread across a metal screen with good air flow. The ash will drop through the mesh and the larger pieces can be saved. Next time you are over I will show you the process. Bradley Barret, who designed and crafted the metal hand rail at the bakery (pie crust motif), is welding a production version of the charcoal dryer. It should be in place within another week. Remind me and I will show you the dryer. The process is still evolving. This is Neil’s pet project.
Dog and Cat Biscuits
In Montford, many of my customers pets. If you walk around the neighborhood you will meet numerous dogs and cats of every stripe, color, size, bark and meow. Several of you are accompanied by your dogs when you come to pick up your bread. I will be testing out simple dog biscuits this week. There will be cat treats in the near future. Of course my first focus is always on the bread, but your pets like treats too. Bring your dog- I will have a biscuit to try this week. My helper, Malina is looking forward to cutting out the biscuits! NOTE: Pie customers…please remember to return your pie plates…you can bring them back with you when you pick up your next order…thanks!
- New 5-Grain Seeded Bread $7/loaf wild and cultivated yeast leaven this grainy-seedy bread (wheat, rye, flax, sunflower seeds and oats)
- New Oatmeal Bread $5/sandwich loaf good for sandwiches and toast
- Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies $9/dz “The classic peanut butter cookie with the magnificent taste of bittersweet chocolate”, says Malina, apprentice extraordinaire, who dreams of cookies!
- MWIB Multi-Grain Sourdough $6/boule or sandwich loaf wild yeast creates a mild sour flavor with a great crust and substantial chewy texture…freshly ground and soaked rye, buckwheat, barley and spelt grains
- Roasted Onion and Asiago Focaccia $10 sweet onions and salty Asiago cheese with fresh chives mixed in the dough
- Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies $9/dz these cookies are delicious! “Who doesn’t love the taste of the most awesome flavor combination ever- peanut butter and chocolate” that is Malina, again!
- Pizza Dough To-Go $6/2-lbs. Freshly made dough is useful for 3 days….ready to go!
DEADLINE for ORDERS is on Monday evening…PICK-UP on the day your items are baked (or please arrange)
PRICES include NC state sales tax
Have a great week.
Local, local, local…it is in season! The garden is flourishing. This is a great time to make breads with a well-stocked herb garden. We certainly cannot let the herbs go to waste. I make a lot of fresh pestos from the garden herbs. It was a major flavor in last week’s focaccia. My freezer is stocked with numerous pesto varieties. Officially, pesto means a combination of fresh herbs chopped up in a food processor (or traditionally in a mortar and pestle) with olive oil (plus garlic and nuts, if desired). Favorite combinations beyond the usual basil is parsley, oregano and lemon thyme…sometimes marjoram.Around here we have had a goodly amount rain. We have maintained a reasonable amount of humidity. These are the dog days of summer; 40 days of heat and humidity beginning July 3rd….the Romans attributed the extreme heat of summer, the dog days, to Sirius in the constellation Canus Major…..causing people and yes, dogs, to go crazy!
Clouds of pesky insects, that nasty Anopheles, are numerous this summer. We are on a seek and destroy mission to remove mosquito breeding puddles. On occasion I wonder about our decision to convert the screened porch into a bakery–but not too often. Neil’s legs have turned into a hamburger factory for those thirsty blood suckers. This is not all bad, because it keeps the mosquitoes off of everyone else. Hot and sticky air, red whelps on the skin.
More about insects. See if you can find a really likable garden insect in any of the photos to the right. If you correctly identify this critter and are the first to respond, you will win a free bag of Neil’s Granola. By the way, people always ask if Neil makes Neil’s Maple-Sweetened Granola. The recipe was his creation many years ago and he does make it for the bakery from time to time. If I run out of this granola, he can be found heating up the oven and preparing another batch of this favorite food. We both like it because it is not too sweet. A handful or two makes a good pick-me-up snack.
Oh, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. Our London kids, our daughter Mariah and husband, Nick landed in Boston yesterday to escape the melee of the Olympics. We will see them in a week! Can’t wait. The real reason they are coming to NC is to enter their new pie ideas in Barbara Swell & Wayne Erbsen’s annual pie contest. Barb, pie queen of all pie queens, holds an pie contest every August. Last year several prizes were taken back to the UK.
The pie event certainly rivals anything at the Olympics. Olympic pie-eating! Actually, if you look at the Olympic logo you will notice that it contains 2 rows of pies; 3 on top and 2 below, 5 in all. There will likely be a number of Olympic theme pies entered in this year’s contest, but only one will win the gold! Nick won a prize last year for his traditional English Meat Pie. This is one of several pies to be featured in the August edition of the WNC Magazine in an article about Barbara’s Annual Pie Parties.
Now back to summer and all things food-ish….try the fruit crostatas, the open-face “rustic” pies….and the NEW Country Oatmeal Loaf.
- Whole Wheat Multi-Grain Bread $6/sandwich loaf NC grown and milled whole wheat plus a flavorful mix of oats, millet, cracked wheat and corn
- Roasted Potato & Garlic-Rosemary Bread $7/batard yummy combination of flavors…roasted potatoes and garlic are the best!
- Neil’s Maple-Sweetened Granola $7/1 lb. dried fruit, nuts and seeds with rolled oats and cinnamon
- MWIB Multi-Grain Sourdough $6/boule or sandwich loaf leavened entirely with wild yeast culture with the addition of freshly milled barley, buckwheat and rye
- NEW Country Oatmeal Loaf $5 unbleached bread flour, whole wheat flour and rolled oats combine with a touch of honey
- Garden Herb Focaccia $10 a big chunk of flatbread full of summer’s bounty…plus onions, tomatoes and garlic…herb pesto folded into the bread dough
- Neil’s Maple-Sweetened Granola $7/lb. dried fruits, nuts and seeds with the toasted rolled oats
- Rustic Summer Fruit Crostata $22/9-inch a simple, open-face peach, nectarines & plum pie with some berries sprinkled in
- NEW Pizza Dough to Go! $6/2 lbs. makes approximately two large or 8- 4 oz. personal size pizzas
DEADLINE for orders is Monday night…PICK-UP is on the day your items are baked (or please arrange)
Prices include NC state sales tax
Have a lovely week,
It is almost the middle of the summer! Where has the time gone? The burgeoning herb garden that can no longer be ignored as the weeds from the summer rain are numerous. I literally planted myself in the middle garden and radiated my weeding out toward the borders. Even for a small garden, the herb output has been prolific. The focaccias have enjoyed the addition of pestos concocted from the the garden herbs–basil, parsley, summer savory and oregano.
If you have been to the bakery recently you may have encountered Malina Japp working diligently on some bakery item. Malina is an 11 year old from Montford Hills who is very interested in baking. She is an avid cookie baker at home and a successful junior apprentice in the bakeshop.The cookies this week are her inspiration, a pairing chocolate and mint together in a vegan sandwich cookie. We will be using a bit of fresh mint from the garden.
Speaking of vegan (or even vegetarian), many of my breads are naturally vegan….never have had eggs, milk, butter or cheese in them. They are considered “lean” breads. Other breads with animal-based ingredients are considered to be “enriched” breads. Much of other sweet baked goods do contain dairy and/or egg products but sometimes they don’t. Please ask if you have any questions. I will try to remember to mark vegan products in the future.
Pizza Dough to Go! 2 lbs. Makes 8 personal pizzas (or more) or a very large one. See below for details.
- MWIB Multi-Grain Whole Wheat $6 sandwich loaf of NC grown and milled whole wheat plus a mix of other grains that provide good flavors
- Sunflower Seed Sourdough Rye $7/boule toasted sunflower seeds, rye flour (also NC grown and milled) with some un-bleached bread flour
- Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cream-Filled Sandwich Cookies $10/dz “This is a modern twist on the classic chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookie that nobody can resist. With a delicate peppermint filling that melts in your mouth, plus vegans can enjoy these lovely cookies, too” (says Malina)
- Neil’s Maple-Sweetened Granola $7/lb fruits, nuts, and seeds, plus toasted rolled oats.
- MWIB Multi-Grain Sourdough $6/boule or sandwich loaf wild-yeast leavened with freshly milled and soaked grain mix (barley, buckwheat, oat groats and rye)
- Greek Inspired Focaccia $10 greens, feta cheese, olive oil, marjoram, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, and cherry tomatoes…the “kitchen sink” of Mediterranean flavors!
- Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cream-Filling sandwich cookies $10/dz These sandwich cookies aren’t just for children, they’re for adults, too!
- Neil’s Maple-Sweetened Granola $7/lb fruits, nuts, and seeds, plus rolled oats
- New Pizza Dough to Go! $6/2 lbs. makes approximately one large or 8- 4 oz. personal size pizzasORDER
DEADLINE for orders is Tuesday noon…PICK-UP on the day your goods are baked (or please arrange)
Prices include NC state sales tax.
Happy week to you!
Construction chaos persists but it is well organized. Everything is moving along and all of us are dreaming about bakery calm and focus. Thanks to a sweet visiting sister this weekend, my garden patch has been liberated from the overgrown, too-bitter greens of last summer….that was a labor of love!
The Bakery will be Closed the week of Sunday May 6th the MWIB to avoid the home repair chaos. My sincere apologies.
Baking in London:
Mariah (our eldest daughter) and her mother-in-law had an opportunity to attend an all day workshop in bread baking at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London. The artisan bread revival in the UK is as exciting as the bread scene here in Asheville. Mariah is on her own bread quest. Send us a loaf Mariah. (photo below)!
Deborah Madison, for those of you who remember the 1960′s and ’70′s was and still is a strong voice in the local foods movement. She made a public appearance at Warren Wilson College (WWC) this week. With a dry wit she chronicled the local foods movement since the 1960’s. In front of a primarily older audience and a small group of Warren Wilson students, she spoke humorously about the “grains, grits and groats”, the “health” foods of 40 years ago. Deborah spoke of the journey to our current awareness and what has become our ubiquitous food mantra…”fresh, seasonal and local.” She also addressed the timely issues of a new generation of farmers. Today’s farmers are certainly more knowledgeable and have better resources in agriculture. Please check out Deborah Madison’s books. Her cookbooks are full of imaginative recipes that are vegetable centered. She certainly makes cooking and eating fun.
Carolina Ground Mill
The Carolina Ground Mill is now producing locally grown and locally milled flour. I picked up my my first 10# bag of locally grown hard Turkey wheat flour from the Mill this week. Baking with locally grown and ground flour is a very exciting. The Whole Wheat Multi-Grain sandwich bread I made included the turkey wheat and was certainly delicious. I will be testing the local flours in numerous bread recipes over the next few months. My goal is to incorporate the wheat and rye flours into most of my breads.
Jennifer Lapidus is the miller of Carolina Ground Mill, has a long history of bread making, herself. She apprenticed under Alan Scott (Bread Baker and Wood Oven Designer). As owner of Natural Bridge Bakery she produced her own line of breads baking in a wood fired oven. She has worked relentlessly to promote locally grown, locally milled and locally baked bread products in the Asheville area. Congratulations Jen and the entire group of bakeries for making this happen. The bread scene in Asheville just keeps getting better.
This week from the oven:
- Whole Wheat Multi-Grain $6/sandwich loaf
- Rye Flax Bread $7/loaf
- MWIB Multi-Grain $6/boule or sandwich loaf wild-yeast leavened with a freshly ground mix of assorted grains
- Spring Onion, Herb and Asiago Cheese Focaccia $10/flat bread fresh green onions, chives, parsley, lemon thyme and oregano along with salty Asiago cheese…cut a wedge or slice horizontally to make a zippy sandwich
DEADLINE for ORDERS is Tuesday at noon…PICK-UP is on the day your breads are baked, 4-6pm (or please arrange for pick-up that works for you)
PRICES include NC state sales tax
tra-la, it’s almost May….the garden awaits me today!
From the same vintage, Deborah Madison is going to be at Warren Wilson College on Thursday night, 7pm at the Chapel. Check her out if you are not familiar with her cookbooks and writings. I think of her as one of the modern day pioneers of delicious vegetarian cooking and also the local foods movement. She has had a major impact on my cooking. My husband gave me The Greens Cookbook decades ago which started my bedtime cookbook reading habit. The Greens Cookbook is still one of my favorite recipe books. What a delight! Reading the recipes was both entertaining, mouthwatering and educational. Our meals became tastier and my interest in cooking expanded as a result of Madison’s cookbooks. The co-author of this book is Edward Espe Brown, author of the Tassajara Bread Book. This book was, incidentally published in 1970 and an early inspiration for Neil’s baking.
Saturday afternoon Neil and I headed out to The NC Arboretum in Bent Creek. We hiked to the National Native Azalea Repository down by Bent Creek. On the way down we encountering Indian Paintbrush and Showy Orchids blooming. Many of the azalea varieties were in full bloom. Azaleas and rhododendron are in the heath family (Ericacea). Almost all of these plants are acid loving plants, great for the depleted, acid soils of western NC. Our daughter lives in the UK which has very limey soils. In order to grow any of these plants in their garden, they have to create “acid beds.” We have a number of native Flame azaleas in the yard. They grow very tall. We are seriously thinking of collecting a few of the other native western NC azalea varieties for the yard along with a few redbuds. Blueberries are also part of the heath family. And in spite of the weird spring weather, it looks like the blueberries will do very well this year. Blueberries make for great muffins!
The bakeshop space is moving along as you can see when you come to pick up your baked goods. The framing is up and you can basically see what the kitchen will look like….lots of windows to look out on the trees, the distant mountains and the sunset in the winter.
This week I will be baking more delicious breads:
- Whole Wheat Multi-Grain Bread $6/sandwich loaf a mixture of millet, cornmeal, oatmeal and cracked wheat are added to the whole wheat and unbleached flour dough mix…makes great sandwich bread…the whole wheat flour comes from the new mill across the river that is selling locally grown wheat
- Olive Levain $7/batard naturally leavened with wild-cultured yeast and kalamata olives
- Neil’s Granola $7/lb. a baker’s generous pound of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and maple-sweetened oats
- MWIB Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread $6/boule or sandwich loaf the original MWIB bread leavened with naturally cultivated wild yeast and a variety of grains freshly ground (rye, kamut, spelt, buckwheat and barley)
- Orange Currant Rye $7/loaf hand-made, preserved oranges and orange liqueur-soaked currants with wheat and rye…a delicious rye bread recipe from local cookbook author and good friend, Barb Swell
- Spring Herb & Tomato Foccacia $10 onions, fresh garden herbs and sun-dried tomatoes….a little bit of everything thing in a chewy flatbread…eat the bread as is or slice it to make a sandwich (grilled cheese is good)
DEADLINE for ORDERS is Tuesday at noon (or close to that….please call or e-mail me if you miss…I can probably fit you in)…PICK-UP is on the day your items are baked…or please arrange
Prices include NC state sales tax
Have a good week!
Some spring found in the yard today (above): Blueberries, rhubarb, figs and flame azaleas
The Buncombe County Greenway master planning effort is in full swing. The final plan will come out in early summer (2012)…not far off. There are numerous benefits of greenways, recreation is only one of many. I am particularly interested in the benefits related to “health and wellness” and “food security” issues. The Buncombe Master Plan indirectly incorporates greenway networks of the various municipalities and the public lands in the county (USFS, Parkway, etc.) as is reflected in the name “Connect Buncombe.” And of course you have seen and heard a lot about our city greenway effort here in Montford: Reed Creek along Broadway.
There is a reason I included “Walk-In”in the name of my bakery. Being able to “walk-in” to the bakery from a reasonable radius is a major part of the bakery’s neighborhood concept. The walking radius defines a large part of my baking community. And, of course I do appreciate my regulars from Knoxville, TN and Florence, SC, rural Uganda, and South Asheville! Greenways, safe streets, and great walking environments are important to us all. My husband, Neil is on the Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and
Recreation Advisory Board and walks to work regularly — a 4 mile round trip. He is very excited about the Connect Buncombe initiative.
For the month of March, Ultimate Ice Cream supported the Connect Buncombe’s GREENWAYS, PLEASE initiative, developed a new ice cream flavor, “I scream for Greenways!” It was yummy….chocolate rocky road ice cream!
Dynamite Roasting Company of Black Mountain is gearing up for a coffee campaign for the Greenway in June. . We like their dark roasted coffee a lot….they are dynamite!
Montford Walk-In Bakery is contributing to the Connect Buncombe Greenway effort as well. The MWIB is doing 3 things.
- First, MWIB is sponsoring (along with other businesses) a 4 minute video that Connect Buncombe is developing to highlight the need for additional greenways, trails and pathways to connect our county. This will be shown at numerous venues around the county to explain and support the greenway effort.
- Second I am developing a MWIB bread for June to be sold specifically to support Greenway efforts. All profits will go to Connect Buncombe.
- Third, we continue to encourage those of us in Montford to make use of our local greenway along the creek. It keeps our bodies moving!
Just last weekend my daughter and I took a lovely walk down the three sections of the Reed Creek greenway along Broadway. The woodsy paved trail follows the creek which has been cleaned up. It was nice to see people using the trail and sitting in the little created niches along the creek. It is hard to imagine that there was a warehouse at the turn of the last century for locally grown medicinal herbs (Pennick Herbs. ) Located at the bottom end of the trail, the herbs were quite a vital industry until the 30′s, I believe, when demand from the drug companies declined.
More on the greenway effort in the future!
If you have ideas for naming the greenway breads, let me know.
- Whole Wheat Multi-Grain $6/sandwich loaf good, healthy sandwich and toasting bread
- Savory Carrot-Herb Bread $7/sandwich loaf Unbleached bread flour, whole grains and carrots plus fresh herbs from our garden
- Neil’s Granola $7/lb. mixed fruit, nut and seeds are added to lightly sweetened oats (maple syrup) and a light sprinkling of cinnamon
- MWIB Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread $6/boule or sandwich loaf a mild, wild-yeast leavened bread with freshly ground grains (rye, buckwheat, kamut, oat groats and barley)…my original bakery bread
- Rye-Walnut Bread $7/batard (a football shape) just delicious….rye and toasted walnuts…another good rye breadChocolate-Almond Biscotti $8/10 cookie sticks
- Neil’s Granola $7/lb. chock-full of fruit, nuts and seeds
New Ordering DEADLINE is Tuesday at noon…PICK-UP is on the day your bread is baked, 4-6 (or please arrange)
Prices include NC state sales tax.
Have a good week.
Spring is a riot of color….who says nature is demur when red-bud trees clash with emerging orange maples and eye-popping spring greens. Oh Mother Nature, she is such a welcome gaudy lady! At any rate we are settling into the warm and cool of spring with lots of rain and birds taking up residence in the yard. We spied a bluebird for several days last week.
The 8th Asheville Bread Festival on Saturday was energizing! We saw a handful of bakery customers at the festival who looked like they were enjoying themselves! The focus of this years festival was “Local Grain, Local Flour, and Local Bread.” One of the key takeaway thoughts for me was that high protein wheat (bread baking wheat) can be grown locally in the southeast. Steven Jones (world-renowned wheat geneticist and breeder from Washington State University) had just come from the Sandhills of NC, an area he claims would be an ideal environment to grow hard red wheat. Jones stated that many of the agricultural arguments for not growing hard red wheat are that “we can’t grow it because we don’t grow it.” Of course the red clay soils in the mountains and our steep slopes are problems for this agriculture around western NC, but perhaps not insurmountable as I had initially thought–at least on a small scale.
Another takeaway idea from the festival was the “role of the miller in the flavor of the grain products.” Local grains have their own specific flavors which are dependent on the environmental conditions in and around the fields. Every region is different. On top of this, the miller adds her/his own set of flavors by blending the grains to match the needs of the bakers. Local grains and grain mixes will generate unique flavors. Currently I create my own flavors through my recipes, and not with a specific miller. This is a very interesting concept and I hope to work with The Carolina Ground Flour Mill products which will be producing flour soon.
There was a reception after the festival at Annies’ Bakery for the participating bakers and lecturers. Jennifer Lapidus was showing off The Carolina Ground Flour Mill’s new mill which is located within Annies’ Bakery facility (part of the old Square-D facility). The Austrian made mill is a beautifully crafted wooden mill with stones to grind the grains. It was shipped from Tasmania where it was used by Alan Scott, the “father” of the artisan wood-fired oven bread revival. There were dozens and dozens of huge bags of locally grown turkey wheat ready for milling. I cannot wait to try the new flour.
The artisan bread baking family, in Asheville and across the region, is a great bunch of people. Each baker takes a different approach to their baking and their bakery. Flour, yeast, salt and water, is the common thread, but the permutations are unlimited. There is an artisan bread revival happening in this country and Asheville is one of the centers of this revival. The festival brings some of the best bread bakers in the world to Asheville. And it is an incredible experience to be a part of the festival. Kudos to Steve Bardwell, Jennifer Lapidus, David Bauer and others for making the festival happen.
One last comment about the festival. The dinner was catered by the ABCCM Veteran’s culinary program. The program is linked to AB Tech’s culinary program and provides veterans with a culinary certificate upon completion of the program. Chef Eric Cox runs the program for AB Tech. ABCCM has been very successful placing its graduates. The graduates are sticking with their jobs–a very successful program. I had the opportunity to work with Chef Cox as a volunteer at the ABCCM facility some years ago. It is great to see his continuing success with this important program.
From inspirations and aspirations the bakeshop is moving along…slowly. More weekly reports will come as the porch becomes a bakeshop.
- Whole Wheat Multi-Grain $6/sandwich the wholesome standby bread..sandwiches, toast
- Rye Flax Bread $7/boule another delicious rye bread with flax seeds
- Neil’s Granola $7/ lb. bag full of fruit, nuts and seeds and lightly sweetened with maple syrup
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies $9/dz. whole grain cookies made with all organic ingredients (oats, sprouted whole wheat flour, raisins and butter)
- MWIB Multi-Grain Sourdough $6/boule or sandwich loaf wild-yeast leavened sourdough (mild) with a variety of freshly milled grains added for flavor and nutrition
- Roasted Red Pepper and Caramelized Onion Focaccia $10 the herb flat-bread is back…eat as a wedge accompanying soup or sliced horizontally and made into a sandwich
- Neil’s Granola $7/lb. bag
DEADLINE for orders is MONDAY evening and PICK-UP is on the day your items are baked. If you miss the deadline please call…252-6816.
PRICES include NC state sales tax.
I enjoyed a short break this week with my daughter which was great fun and invigorating….back in the kitchen and inspired.More March Madness! Team USA (baking team) won a silver medal in the International Coupe du Monde in Paris, France! The Team USA score was sandwiched in between Japan and Taiwan. The Euro-centric image of old world artisan baking now has a strong Asian flavor!
. 1st: Japan
. 2nd: USA
. 3rd: Taiwan
Over the past several years I have had the pleasure of meeting several USA Team members at the Asheville Bread Festivals. I have had the good fortune of taking classes with Jeff Yankellow, a member of gold medal winning Bread Bakers Guild Team USA 2005, at the 2009 Asheville Bread Festival. Lionel Vatinet, French-trained and owner of La Farm Bakery in Cary, NC was a member of Team USA’s gold metal effort in the 1999 Coupe du Monde. He was at the Asheville Bread Festival last year and will be back this year teaching “the Old World methods for some of the best tasting Italian breads, including a Ciabatta.” Didier Rosada, also French-trained, was a coach for the 1999 Coupe du Monde for Team USA’s same gold medal effort. Didier taught a class on baking with non-wheat flours at the 2011 Asheville Bread Festival.
The Asheville Bread Festival is not a competition. It will be focused on Local Grain, Local Flour, and Local Bread this year. It is very exciting that the Asheville Bread Festival draws some of the best bakers in the world to Asheville. Here I need to mention Jeffrey Hamelman from King Arthur Flour and Peter Reinhart (a regular at the festival). These two have been particularly influential to me and are responsible for many recipes I have adopted in my bakery!
Kudos to Steve Bardwell, Jennifer Lapidus and others for making these festival events happen. MWIB is a sponsor of the Festival.
Going Green- another meaning:I grew up celebrating every holiday imaginable…my family was just like that! So I like holidays, especially the fall and winter ones. They help break up the in-between winter doldrums. Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, half- birthdays…you name it. I like the change of pace and I like the different flavors of each of the holidays. It adds a little more color in my life and to my table! My husband is not much of a holiday person. “Everyday is a celebration,” he says! He is right, I guess, but I like the variety and the pizazz of these different celebrations!! So let’s go green this week and pretend we are Irish whether we are or not. I asked my new Brit son-in-law, Nick, yesterday what happens in London on March 17th. He said, “Not much, but maybe a few Northern Irish blokes go to the pub and party….what is the big deal?” Well it is a big “across the pond,” as they say. Asheville and a number of other cities jump into a frenzy of green foods and beer on St. Patrick’s Day.
I did check with the family historian, my loving sister, Meredith about our Irish heritage. Sure enough in 1822 a young man named Cochran from Inch Parish, County Downpatrick, immigrated through Ellis Island and married into the maternal side of the family. But then there are bloodlines from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. Didn’t my mother say that there was an Italian queen in our lineage (so much for the city-states)? Given the expanding gene pool, I feel comfortable adopting whatever identity suits the occasion. So this week it is the Irish green!
There are some great bakery items to focus on this St. Patrick’s Day. Check out the Irish Oatmeal Bread (With Cinnamon and Raisins) and the Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with the green frosting (no commercial dye…just green from veggies). Rye Breads are certainly northern European in origin,too. Shamrock sugar cookies are always fun…Cece is the bakery’s cookie-decorating leprechaun!
I started looking at bread ovens…oh my, oh my! Planning out the bakeshop keeps getting a little more complicated, — of course. With a big pinch of Irish luck we will get there. Stay tuned to another ongoing kitchen saga!
- Whole Wheat Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread $6/sandwich loaf the weekly healthy grain bread
- Walnut Rye Bread $7/boule the rye quest is back on track….this naturally leavened rye bread has walnuts, adding a different flavor to rye and most delicious!
- Neil’s Granola $7/a pound oatmeal, fruit, nuts and seeds, lightly sweetened with maple syrup
- Montford Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread $6/boule or sandwich loaf wild-yeast leavened
- Irish Oatmeal Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins $7/loaf oat bread with a swirl of spice and fruit
- Little Green Shamrock Cookies $10/1½ dz. decorated lemon sugar cookies from the wee folk of Westover
- Chocolate Stout Cupcakes $2 each cupcake rich, bittersweet chocolate and stout cupcakes with pistachio-green butter cream frosting (natural green food coloring from plants)
- Neil’s Granola $7/lb. full of lucky charms (fruit, nuts and seeds)
DEADLINE for ORDERS is Monday evening….PICK-UP is on the day your goods are baked (please call or e-mail me if you miss the deadline…I am mostly flexible)
PRICES include NC state sales tax
Have a good week and go catch a leprechaun!