Posts Tagged 'Holidays'

Mid-December

 

alana-packing It is hard to believe how fast the holidays fly by.  From Thanksgiving through New Years goes in a flash when you are busy.   For us at the bakery it is a wonderful time of the year.   You cannot help but get into the spirit with a little help from our customers and some holiday music.  This is our season.   The weather is perfect to be in bakery, the heat from the ovens feels great.  People are so happy.  As we pack up our gift packages we hope we can send a bit of what we are feeling here to the people who are receiving the gifts.  

We also love this time of year because we can decorate the outside of the bakery!  We love our holiday decorations, thanks to Bowman Dahl.

holiday-bench

More Celebrations and Good Times……

Once again, we celebrated a very special birthday at the bakery this week. Connie, who is one of the owners of this great place, celebrated her birthday Friday. mmm-cake-time

lauren-connie

 

 

 

 

 

As we ate her delicious birthday cake and sang happy birthday, we also were preparing for one of our busy pre- holiday weekends.

 

We do this by making extra batches of cookies as we await all the holiday shoppers to stop in for a snack and refuel. We also will be expecting lots of tourists who will come by for a cup of our delicious valhrona hot chocolate and a yummy cookie. What a great way to spend the weekend!

 

Our Christmas lights are up (they are so beautiful), the Christmas music is playing and we are ready and very cheery about the upcoming holidays.

Eleven more days…….

lauren-alexis-gina

Singing the praises of Foccacia

Foccacia is one of my favorite breads for several reasons.  Firstly, it was the first bread that I made on my own because of its simplicity.  At the time of my maiden bread baking voyage, I was still not the most accomplished of shapers, so foccacia offered an easy, yet beautiful alternative to the shaped loaf.  Secondly, I love that although the basic recipe and procedure for foccacia can remain the same, the possibilities as to what you can create from that core recipe are only limited by your imagination.

 

So, here is a good basic foccacia recipe:

 

2C warm water

1 package dry active (or 2oz. fresh yeast if you can find)

1/2C extra virgin olive oil

4C all purpose flour

1T salt (kosher, the coarseness of this salt is much more flavorful)

 

Combine water, yeast and oil, mix for a moment.  Add Flour and salt.

 

This should be a very wet dough.  It should not form a ball or pull away from sides of bowl.

 

Work the dough for about 5 minutes in mixer.  Turn dough out onto a half sheet pan that has been greased and lined with wax paper or parchment.  Let rest for about 1/2 hour then add a drizzle or two more oil and begin to spread the dough to fill the pan.  Use fingertips to maneuver the dough and more oil if needed.  The fat in the oil will loosen the strands of gluten and make it easier to work.  

 

Now your creativity can really takeover!  I have used toppings that are as simple as garlic and black pepper to caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan and so many more.  Whatever you do choose to use, don’t forget to include a little more kosher salt. 

 

So try to make a foccacia dough to practice your bread mixing techniques, then go wild with the toppings!  Make it savory, make it sweet….just make it!

 

I would love to read about your topping ideas.  Have fun!

Celebrations

hollys-birthday

 

This week marked the beginning of the holiday season. A time to celebrate, have fun and spend time with family and friends. At the bakery, the holidays for me mean a little more baking, maybe a longer day at work and spending lots of extra time with my great staff.

 

Along with enjoying the holiday season together, we always make sure to take the time to celebrate our birthdays. It is always great to gather around, sing happy birthday as loud as we can and cut a delicious cake. What can be better than a slice of cake and a delicious cup of our Illy coffee in the middle of the afternoon?

 

This past week, one of the newest members of our staff, Holly, celebrated her birthday. Unaware of our birthday rituals, she quietly mentioned to me that it was her birthday. It took about an hour of preparation, but soon enough, out came the cake covered in candles. As the staff sang happy birthday, she seemed to be a bit overwhelmed but happy.

 

It was official …..She was part of our great team.


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