I’m a day and a half late sending this out, I know, but I’m likely the only one keeping track. We spent Friday forgetting the sun, driving from the fresh snow and dazzling blue skies of Mazama down below cloud cover, along the river through bare winter hills, and up over the passes to the West Side and rain. Yesterday I headed south early to Olympia for the Cascadia Grains Conference, a full day of workshops and conversation with farmers, millers, bakers, maltsters, and distillers, returning to Seattle well after midnight, my mind buzzing with thoughts of dryland farming, crop rotations, small grain systems west of the Cascades, and infrastructure gaps.
The conference marked the end of my winter break. After four weeks of running, skiing, walking, and cycling, of extravagant dinners, of home baking just for fun, of books and sleep, it’s time to return to Bellingham and to work. The WINTER BREAD SUBSCRIPTION starts this week (order by tonight if you’d like bread Wednesday). Those long deferred bakery plans need tending to. There’s real estate, equipment, and financing to research, permits, paperwork, and pictures to sort, all those worthy books on management, accounting, business, and small grain farming to read: more than enough to keep me busy through the winter when I’m not baking your bread.
Mel Darbyshire, the head baker at Grand Central and a champion for local agriculture, and I will be teaching a class at The Bread Lab in early March on baking with local grains. It’s currently only open to Guild members, but should open to the general public within the next week or so.
And that’s the update, folks.
See you back in north country.
Owner | Baker
The WINTER BREAD SUBSCRIPTION starts January 22 and runs for 10 weeks through March 25.
Pickup in Birchwood (the front step), Downtown (Cafe Velo), or in Fairhaven (Shirlee Bird Cafe).
Sign up ONLINE.
RED & WHITE subscription ($70)
MOUNTAIN RYE subscription ($70)
BAKER's CHOICE subscription ($80)
BAKER's CHOICE menu: all rye all winter long!
Jan 22: Rugbrod
Jan 29: Ring Rye
Feb 5: Apple Rye
Feb 12: Harvest Miche 1
Feb 19: Harvest Miche 2
Feb 26: Black Bread
March 4: Alpine Spice Rye
March 11: Rye & Oat
March 18: Korn Rye or Corn Rye??
March 25: Westphalian Pumpernickel!
Start Where You Are: Using & Troubleshooting Local Grain
Instructors: Mel Darbyshire & Sophie Williams
Come learn tools for assessing, baking with, and troubleshooting local whole grains. Leaving the commodity market to support local farms and mills often means dealing with grains that vary from field to field, farm to farm, and harvest to harvest.
In this class we’ll bake with wheat and rye flours of variable quality, using sensory evaluation and the batch specs to choose products and adapt formulas to best suit our grain. We’ll talk about how growing conditions effect grain quality, how grain quality effects baking properties, and what to do with a bad harvest.
March 5-6, 2020
Thursday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday 9 am - 4:00 pm
The Bread Lab
11768 Westar Lane - Burlington, WA 98233
Registration Deadline: Sunday, March 1st
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced