Hello Bread Eaters,
I have a new goal: I'm going to start writing regular newsletters. Actually, this is an old aspiration, but I've decided it's time to move it along from idea to execution.
So, here goes:
Returning to the kitchen this spring I've had an easy transition back into market production and, as so often happens, discovered that I absorbed far more on my winter bread tour than I realized at the time. All those bakery visits, watching other bakers move through their kitchens and routines, made me more confident and efficient in my own kitchen. I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing, and when things go wrong, I (usually) know the what and why of the problem. It's pretty great!
Since I was starting to feel mildly competent, I decided it was time to add a new challenge: no more white flour! White flour was a useful ally last year while I was still sorting out the vagaries of sourdough because it's more predictable and has more strength than whole grain flour, making it much easier to work with, but why bake with less flavorful, less nutritious white flour when I can get fresh-milled whole grains right down the road at Fairhaven Mills? There's no reason at all. So, Raven Breads is now an entirely whole grain bakery. Huzzah!
As a result, I've made some menu changes. If you haven't yet visited the market (shame on you!) here's the current lineup:
Hard Red – the simplest sourdough, made with hard red wheat flour, water, and sea salt.
Polenta – the best toast bread, with a dense, creamy crumb from the toasted corn porridge.
Ancient Grains – or more accurately ancient wheats: a whole spelt bread with sprouted einkorn and emmer.
Smoky Vollkornbrot – dense, smoky rye.
Mountain Rye – the seedy, caraway & coriander scented landbrot that will make you want to pick up your lederhosen (or dirndl) and head for the hills.
I have some other breads I'd like to introduce to the market lineup on a rotating basis: an oatmeal bread (oat porridge, a little honey, and you have a seriously kick ass breakfast/snack bread), a farmhouse bread (I'm picturing a crackle crusted half wheat, half rye, with a bit of cider vinegar), and, come pressing season, a scrumpy bread, perhaps with a cinnamon raisin swirl? Yum! The problem is choosing which of the current lineup to let go in order to bring new breads in.
In the meantime, I'll save my experiments for the pastry case. If you have an overabundance of rhubarb (or, later in the season, berries or tree fruit) I would love to glean the surplus in exchange for market credit and my immense gratitude. I've been collecting fruit gleaning sites since moving to Bellingham, but I can always use more!
All right. That's it for now.
See you tomorrow.
Owner | Baker