Thursday, October 9, 2014

Enjoy the Show!

BakeHouse Team: Wade & Jodi Richardson, Jolan Conan, Tom and Kathy Hester

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hey BakeHouse . . . what's for lunch!

If only I could post Aroma Blogs . . . now THAT would be amazing! Wednesday morning I roasted the Pork Loin made German Potato Salad and cooked up the Sauerkraut. The aroma reminded me of being at my Aunt Elsie and Uncle Paul's house as a kid. Even though we're Hungarian, many of these basic recipes are common throughout Europe. I've decided to include them at the end of this blog in case you wish to create your own amazing lunch :) I do know that you can purchase Vollkornbrot at any fine grocer, and on the East Coast you can get loaves at ShopRite and also Aldi. Aldi being my first choice since they are a German Grocery Chain and import the bread from Germany:) I wish there were an Aldi here in Las Cruces!

Cutting the very first slice of Vollkornbrot was like opening my very first gift on Christmas morning - the one with the biggest bow of course.

The crumb was dense and just moist enough. The loaf weighs 3 1/4lbs!
I did end up making a second loaf on Thursday since it was obvious the first loaf was going to disappear by the end of the week.

It's so dense that it's very easy to slice it very thin with a bread knife.
And then I assembled my sandwich . . .

Sliced Vollkornbrot, a slather (my Grandmother always used this word) of German Mustard, Havarti Cheese,
Sauerkraut (just warm enough to soften the cheese) and sliced Pork Loin.
To balance out my meal, I added 4 fresh figs from our fig tree (these are Celeste Figs) and
finished it off with a serving of German Potato Salad.
I filled my glass with Peach Ice Tea and headed out to our little dining sanctuary  . . .

Located right outside the BakeHouse Oven building
I closed my eyes and took my first bite and  . . . . .visions of Nienburg danced in my head . . . opps, there it goes again, what is the deal . . . . . . anyway, THIS my friends is what fuels my passion for the breads I bake. I love the way food can literally transport you to some wonderful place and for a moment, even if only a brief moment, you take a deep breath, and as you savor the food, you let out a long breath and all the troubles and stresses of the day just melt away . . . 

Ich werde nach Nienburg Deutschland gehen, um zu lernen, wie man authentische Roggenbrot zu machen.

Wait - what the heck is going on with this blog?
Stay tuned friends, stay tuned :)


Sauerkraut is my own concoction:
1 15oz can of Sauerkraut - rinsed and drained really well.
1 medium Red Onion - or white Onion - the Red makes it sweeter
1 large clove of Garlic minced
2 TBSP Butter and 1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 Cup of dry white wine
Melt the butter with the Olive Oil and sautée the onions until they are softened.
Add the minced Garlic and stir in the pot for a few minutes with the onions. Don't let the Garlic brown.
Add white wine and then the Sauerkraut. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
Put on very low heat and cook for about an hour or more. You'll need to add little amounts of water along the way so that the mix doesn't burn. The goal here is to cook it on low heat for a long time to soften the sauerkraut. A crock pot would do the trick too, just make a larger amount unless you have one of those mini crock pots!

Monday, August 4, 2014

A few of my favorite things . . . .

I get the same question almost every Saturday when BakeHouse is at the market, "which bread is your favorite?"

It's one of the questions that I sometimes find hard to give a straight answer to. So basically I share that it depends on the rest of the meal. I know, it's a rather vague answer, but it does allow me to ask a question back, "what are you thinking of serving with your bread?".

We sure love to talk about what we like to eat don't we! I enjoy how excited our customers get when they plan a meal around one of our loaves of bread. When they arrive at the market to make their purchase, we get to hear all about it. And this time of year, they usually have their tote bags and arms filled with amazing fresh produce to go along with their menu!

Today was my day off and I had fun making my favorite bread, Vollkornbrot. We don't currently make this bread to sell at the market, so it's a real treat. This bread is 100% Sourdough Rye. It's very dense, dark and extremely aromatic. And now that it's baked, I have to wait two more days before I can slice into it! It's pure torture, but worth the wait. After it cools I'll wrap it in a linen and put it aside to let it continue to mature and develop layers of flavor, almost like a fine wine.

I'm going to roast a small pork loin, purchase some Havarti and German Mustard, and on Thursday I'm going to make my sandwich, close my eyes and take that first bite and find myself transported to Nienburg Germany in March 2015 . . . ohhhh yum. Opps! Wait, what did I just say?

Vollkronbrot is 100% Rye. Rye sour; Rye Chops & Rye Meal.
Sunflower Seeds are traditionally added.

The dough is very dense and sticky!

It proofs up in the pan for about an hour before it goes into the oven.

Total bake time, one hour and fifteen minutes.
I'll revisit this post on Thursday when I'm making my sandwich . . . maybe post a picture of my sandwich . . . . that's sorta cruel isn't it?

What is the deal with this blog . . . these photos, they keep popping up?

All I can say is stay tuned my friends, stay tuned :) Thoughtfully ~ Kath

Monday, February 17, 2014


It happened on New Year's Eve! When we went to a friends house to join their family and celebrate bringing in the New Year. A wonderful dinner was planned around a loaf of bread. But not BakeHouse bread (it's rare that the bread baker goes to a party without bringing bread). It was to be a loaf of bread that had traveled all the way from Paris, France!

For me it was like meeting a celebrity of sorts. Everyone and anyone who loves true sourdough bread and Paris will speak of the famous Poiláne Bakery and the giant Miche that is shipped around the world.

It had taken a beating getting to Las Cruces, New Mexico wrapped in its double, Kraft paper bag. Our friends had received the loaf as a gift from a dear friend who has a great appreciation for culinary delights.

Once it arrived it was quickly wrapped in foil and put in the freezer. On New Year's Eve morning it was taken out of the freezer and left on the counter to thaw. When the time came to cut the loaf into thin slices for Tartines, it had only thawed about an inch in from the outside crust with the rest of the 4 lb loaf still frozen! Since the sharks were circling from hunger, the loaf was then put into a 350° oven to at least get enough of the loaf thawed so more slices could be made. The slices were then put on a grill for the Tartines. Whew . . . by this time I'm thinking "Yikes, if this poor loaf of bread holds up to this abuse, it will be amazing"!

Tom was in charge of cutting the loaf of partially frozen bread.

Tom then helped our hostess assemble the Tartines.

We made Smoked Salmon Tartines along with Roast Beef Tartines

It was a wonderful evening experiencing this loaf of bread. As I savored it's flavor I imagined the journey it had made starting from kernels of Wheat in Europe, to a loaf of bread and arriving in New Mexico!

A few days into the New Year I found that I couldn't stop thinking about this bread. The artist in me just had to make it! The thought of being able to capture the essence of this famous bread challenged me. I started doing a lot of research. Everything seemed so complicated, and it frustrated me. It seemed that the biggest hurdle I was going to have to overcome was the need for what's called High Extraction Whole Wheat Flour. I was not happy with the thought of having to track down a  flour supplier again, but I wasn't happy with the solutions that were offered in any of my reading material either. In researching suppliers for High Extraction Flour I stumbled across a baker that used White Whole Wheat Flour grown and milled in the high elevations of Montana. This flour is a Hard White Spring Wheat variety.

From Left to Right. High Gluten Unbleached White Flour,
White Whole Wheat Flour (in the middle) and Course Ground Whole Wheat Flour.
After reading about this White Wheat variety, and seeing the specs for the milled flour, I had a gut feeling that is was going to be my solution. I made the Poiláne style loaf just the way I make our big Whole Wheat Miche. As I handled the dough throughout the morning, I couldn't get over the color of the dough. Think of a Golden Palomino Horse - it was brilliant. And the dough was so incredibly soft, like tender skin but extremely strong. It was a pleasure to work with. I made my loaves into 2 lb mini miches. Once they came out of the oven, they had such a delicate sweet aroma - it was . . . . captivating! I couldn't wait to cut into one of the loaves on Saturday morning to see what the characteristics of the bread would be. And to my amazement - when I put my loaf along side the little bit of the authentic Poiláne loaf that had been given to me, it was a thrilling moment!

The original Poiláne is the smaller slice on the Left. The BakeHouse's bread is on the Right.
The flavor was so similar I found myself in disbelief! Could it be? It was so wonderful to actually have a piece of the real Poiláne left so we could taste test one against the other.

The real test came when we brought the loaves to the market. We named our version The Rustic Peasant Loaf. They sold out immediately.

I'm looking forward to making Tartines again, but this time on a fresh loaf made right here in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Thoughtfully - Kath