Monday, April 28, 2008

What $1700 worth of flour looks like

We took delivery of our first ever pallet of flour on friday...we saved about $4 a bag ($200)

Update on flour prices...I know I'm going on about this, but, I finally looked farther into it than the main media coverage and it looks like quite a combination of factors have led up to this huge increase, a 'perfect storm' , if you will, of high fuel prices, high demand overseas, and the demand that many states have to meet quotas imposed by the government to produce more bio fuels. Incentives to farmers have favored corn and's all so complicated it'll make your head spin! The good news, so the wheat council says, is that in coming wheat crops will exeed any past records of production, provided that the wheat growing areas are not hit with drought.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring News...

It is coming fast and furious...spring in homer is a dizzying affair. One minute it is snowing, the next its raining. It makes driving treacherous and me mad at my husband that he took the studs off my car so soon! We are seeing the signs of life that come first in the spring rush...daffodils and tulips are showing buds and I bet if I sneak over to the old house where Raspberry Lane preschool used to be there is a big patch of crocuses blooming brightly under the porch. I should go and dig up just one and bring it to the bakery own little gem. The pussy willows,too, are just popping and the rhubarb looks like the alien is ready to give birth! We are saving our coffee grounds and spreading them for compost on the gardens. It seems like it will help counter all the salt in the soil from being so close to the ocean. Gardening here has proved to be a huge challenge! We all were excited to have a yard here at the new building, but our proximity to the onshore winds and constant people, dog and MOOSE (they mowed down the roses!) traffic really test both our plants and our patience. When the wildflowers bloom...yarrow, tiny violas and the regal and spectacular fireweed, I wonder why I think I can plant a more beautiful garden than mother nature...left to her own devices, she does a spectacular job! The shorebirds are coming...Both the Shore bird and Wooden Boat festivals begin May 8th and we have Bruce Cockburn coming to town to kick things off! He'll be staying with us upstairs...We try to accommodate as many of the visiting musicians as possible...we trade for tickets to shows and in turn we give them a nice cozy room, beautiful views, great food and a authentic 'local' experience. Plus, we get to meet them! It's one of the fun parts of the job, for sure!
The Bakery itself is coming together, though we are still waiting on the refridgerator that needs to be installed before we can bring in the first pallet of's always something!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Our Websight is temporarily down!

I didn't know it could happen like this...they say they are working on it, but it's been 24 hrs already! How do websights get broken anyway? We are bakers, not techies, so we'll keep baking bread and all those other yummy things...while they wrench away in cyber space! With luck it won't be too long, but if you are looking for info on the Bakery like room rates or reservations, or catering and cake menus, just call us and we'll take care of your needs...we are there from 3am to 7pm every day.
The phone number is (907)235-2280. Otherwise, keep checking back...I'm sure those nice people over at Value Web will have us up and running real soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Birthdays and Espresso Machines...

We were so sure we wanted to buy a new espresso machine...remembering last summer when the coffees backed up and the poor Astoria couldn't quite keep up...(and then there was the 'Andrew incident' when the lever popped up and sent him to the emergency room with a cut brow!...BUT, after pricing new ones and looking at some old ones, suddenly this little beauty looks pretty good! We think with a little work and better training of the people using it, it should work just fine! Best of all IT'S PAID FOR!

Sharon, Kate, Carmen, Rachel, Celeste, Randy, Sarah, Sydney
Rosemary, Darren, Jane...have I forgotten anybody?
oh yeah, ME! ;-)Carri!

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's not social's just bread

White Trash Bread...the story is when the bakery first opened way back in 1993, we took on one wholesale customer, a local restaurant that was also revamping an old space. We made their desserts and developed a bread for them. In the process of finding out what it was they were exactly looking for in a bread,one of them said, "you know, like that trashy white bread you get in Texas." We thought," OK, we get it"...and when he picked it up we told him," Here's your white trash bread!"...and that was it, no judgements or social commentary...just soft, flavorful, slightly chewy white bread...silky in texture and a little bit sweet (just like the Texans we know!). It is by far our most asked for recipe...

White Trash dough

mix together in a measuring cup and 'proof' to test the liveliness of the yeast
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 T(ablespoon) sugar
1 cup very warm water (not hot)

when this bubbles and looks healthy...hopefully in 5 minutes or so, transfer to a mixing bowl.
and add:
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1/2 cup milk-whole fat
1 T olive oil (melted butter would be great, also)
1T Honey
5 cups unbleached white flour
mix this by hand or in a mixer until it just barely comes together..
.then cover and let rest for 20 minutes or so...this is referred to
as an 'autolyse' and it allows the flour to absorb the moisture without
the salt hampering the process. After time is up, stir in...
1 T salt and another cup of flour
the dough should be coming together now and may need the addition
of up to 2 more cups of flour.It should be a medium soft dough that
stands up to kneading but is not too firm. Knead until silky in texture
and thin bands form when pulling it apart.
Let rise, covered, until double in bulk.
You may now either form it into loaves to rise again and slash and
bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until internal temp is 195.
OR you can make dinner rolls or bread sticks...
this is also the perfect dough for STICKY BUNS!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I'm flaunting the oven, I know...I can't help it, though it has been slow to make a place in my heart, I can say it: I love this oven! The paint came out beautifully and we fired it back up again last night to bake in today. We hardly turn on the propane oven on days like this, and now that propane has gone up like everything else, it is finally more economical to fire the wood oven. A big part of this is the fact that my husband, bless him, has taken on the job of finding us birch trees that have already fallen or need to be thinned. (Birch and alder are our main fuels) He bucks it up hauls it to our house where the kids use the wood splitter to chunk it's a family affair! Some families play monopoly, we split wood. It has paid off, in many ways, not the least of which is the consant operation of this a sustainable and affordable way.