Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Durham Attractions

A friend recently came into town and in the process of brainstorming good spots, I realized the multitude of choices that now exist for the food and beverage enthusiast. Here at the tail end of 2015, with more construction and openings slated for 2016, I would like to set up a brief catalog of our favorite downtown establishments, incidentally none of which existed 5 years ago (save Bull Mccabes).  I was also reminded of this post made all the way back in 2013 when Durham really started to turn the heat up on new construction.

Bull City Burger
Pizzeria Toro
Bull Mccabes
Bar Lusconi
Atomic Fern
Surf Club
The Durham
Alley 26
Bar Virgile

Monday, December 14, 2015

Best of 2015

- Found Food Literature, Excerpt:  Proust

- Found Food Literature, Book: American Fried

- Foodie Magazine: Lucky Peach

- Insider Foodie Story: Marian Bull on Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen (Lucky Peach, Issue 17)

- New NSB Pastry Item: Southern Coconut Cake

- Artisan Bakery: Boulted Bread

- Bar Menu: Criterion

- Anticipated Opening: Cocoa Cinnamon Dos

- Foodie Web Series: Munchies

- Beer for Refreshment: AVBC Blood Orange Gose

- Beer for Delight: Unibroue Blanche de Chambly

- Session Beer: Stone Go-to IPA

- Restaurant: Tower Indian Restaurant, Morrisville

- Comic Video of a Jewish Culinary Tradition: High Maintenance Seder

- Local Tee Shirt: DOOM DURM

- NSB In-House Pandora Station: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

*In Memoriam: As we close out 2015, we would be remiss not to recognize the passing of Mike Driver, owner of Speedeeque.  Mike had been a fixture in the Durham business community for decades and the printer of all of Ninth Street Bakery's package labeling.  Mike was a mensch and will be sorely missed.  Mike was an ardent motorcycle enthusiast and was able to attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally the Summer before he passed.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

In Which Case Bartleby and I Become Indistinguishable

He lives, then, on ginger-nuts, thought I; never eats a dinner, properly speaking; he must be a vegetarian then; but no; he never eats even vegetables, he eats nothing but ginger-nuts. My mind then ran on in reveries concerning the probable effects upon the human constitution of living entirely on ginger-nuts. Ginger-nuts are so called because they contain ginger as one of their peculiar constituents, and the final flavoring one. Now what was ginger? A hot, spicy thing. Was Bartleby hot and spicy? Not at all. Ginger, then, had no effect upon Bartleby. Probably he preferred it should have none.

-Herman Melville, "Bartleby, the Scrivener"

Monday, October 12, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bar Review: Criterion

I've followed Ben Fletcher's moves pretty closely ever since he helped open up Surf Club in 2011.  Now a co-owner of Criterion (opened 2014), Ben has held fast to his own vision of good beer and the results are coming in.  Often characterized as "weird, hoppy, and flavored", his buying selections at first were a little too weird for me.  Because it is easy to disguise bad or mediocre craft beer with a high ABV, a small pour (8-10oz), and a selected fruit (or chocolate, or coffee), those buyers that tend to want to try the newest can sometimes fall prey to stuff that just doesn't come off the back of the palate with any actual intensity.  But now a full year out from opening, Ben and the bar seem to have found their stride, and the drafts mix a great variety of international, local, and seasonal, with price ranges from $3-$10 for every sized wallet.  Being across the street from the Bakery, I always look forward to the next thing that Ben puts up on the big chalkboard, because I'm sure it's going to be something worth talking about.

Monday, September 14, 2015

On Henry Perry, the Originator of Kansas City Barbeque circa 1908

"He was the greatest barbeque man in the world," [Arthur] Bryant said, "but he was a mean outfit." Perry used to enjoy watching his customers take their first bite of a sauce that he made too hot for any human being to eat without eight or ten years of working up to it.  What Bryant said about Henry Perry, the master, only corroborated my theory that a good barbeque man is likely to tend toward the sullen--a theory I had felt wilting a bit in the face of Bryant's friendliness.  (A man who tends briskets over a hickory fire all night, I figure, is bound to stir up some dark thoughts by morning.)

From American Fried by Calvin Trillin

Hunt Street Market Wrapup

I am pleased to announce our Customer of the Week! Erik and his son Soren.  Erik and Soren live in Durham and enjoy baking Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Brownies together at home.  After they’ve cleaned up the kitchen they are fond of spending time at The North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Durham Bulls games, and Soren’s favorite slide at Mt. Merrill.  Soren’s favorite item at our stand is the blueberry muffin.  I sent these gentlemen home with a loaf of our Chocolate Babka on the house.

The sky threatened rain again this weekend, but we, luckily stayed cool and dry.  The first hour of the day was slow, though refreshing.  It gave us time to get organized and catch up with our market neighbors.  

Before heading down to the market I got to work alongside Joel this week for more donut training.  Together we made Cocoa/Coconut, Curry, Cinnamon/Cardamon, Sugar and Old Fashioned Cake Style Donuts.  Joel made the Brioche donuts; tossed them with sugar and filled them with Vietnamese Coffee Custard.
The big hit of the week was our Round Challah.  We had two varieties on hand, with and without raisins.   

Samples for tasting this week included:  Vegan Cranberry Chocolate Chip Hand Pie, Double Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie and Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars.

I’m looking forward to next Saturday.  Weather Forecasters are promising a high of 87 with sunshine!  Comment below if you know what “National Day” will be celebrated next Saturday, September 19th!  


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Hunt Street Farmer's Market Wrapup

Despite dark skies and momentary bouts of mist, we had another fabulous turn out at the Hunt Street Market once again. 

As the calendar ticks forward into autumn, I’m hearing more and more requests for PUMPKIN.  This week we sold out of our Pumpkin Muffins and Vegan/Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars quite early.  Customers also delighted over the Vegan Salted Chocolate Hand Pies, Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, and Bear Claws.

Joel fried up Chocolate/Coconut, Cinnamon/Cardamom, Curry, Sugar and Old Fashioned Cake Style Donuts.  Additionally he fried and filled the Brioche Donuts with Christmas Cream.  Unfilled Brioche Donuts were also available with Vietnamese Coffee Dipping Sauce. 

Samples for tasting included: Chocolate Babka, Vegan Thai Curry Hand pies, and Cranberry Scone.

I’m very excited to announce our Customer of the Week!  Pictured below is Joe R. of Durham.  Joe is a General Manager for a company in the RTP, in his free time he enjoys, eating at Ninth Street Bakery, going to the Farmer’s Market, golfing and spending time with his family.  Joe’s favorite items from Ninth Street Bakery are our cream filled doughnuts.  Joe explained to me that, “They remind me of the Homemade Cannoli my Mom and Aunt Ann used to make when I was a boy, growing up outside of Pittsburgh.”  We sent Joe and his Daughter, Karen home with a free loaf of our Chocolate Babka.

I hope to see you and your Grandma & Grandpa out at the Market next Saturday in celebration of National Grandparents Day!  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Taxonomy of Mouthfeel

  • Cohesiveness: Degree to which the sample deforms before rupturing when biting with molars.
  • Density: Compactness of cross section of the sample after biting completely through with the molars.
  • Dryness: Degree to which the sample feels dry in the mouth.
  • Fracturability: Force with which the sample crumbles, cracks or shatters. Fracturability encompasses crumbliness, crispiness, crunchiness and brittleness.
  • Graininess: Degree to which a sample contains small grainy particles.
  • Gumminess: Energy required to disintegrate a semi-solid food to a state ready for swallowing.
  • Hardness: Force required to deform the product to given distance, i.e., force to compress between molars, bite through with incisors, compress between tongue and palate.
  • Heaviness: Weight of product perceived when first placed on tongue.
  • Moisture absorption: Amount of saliva absorbed by product.
  • Moisture release: Amount of wetness/juiciness released from sample.
  • Mouthcoating: Type and degree of coating in the mouth after mastication (for example, fat/oil).
  • Roughness: Degree of abrasiveness of product's surface perceived by the tongue.
  • Slipperiness: Degree to which the product slides over the tongue.
  • Smoothness: Absence of any particles, lumps, bumps, etc., in the product.
  • Uniformity: Degree to which the sample is even throughout; homogeneity.
  • Uniformity of Bite: Evenness of force through bite.
  • Uniformity of Chew: Degree to which the chewing characteristics of the product are even throughout mastication.
  • Viscosity: Force required to draw a liquid from a spoon over the tongue.
  • Wetness: Amount of moisture perceived on product's surface.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hunt Street Farmer's Market Wrapup

Hunt Street Market Patrons let us know, in no uncertain terms this past Saturday morning: MORE BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE DANISHES PLEASE!  Before 10AM, these moist, tangy, sweet and juicy blueberry treats were completely gone from our table and into the hands of our guests.  

Favorites this week also included our Pumpkin, Cranberry/Orange, Carrot, and Blueberry Muffins, Brownies with Walnuts, Chocolate Swirl Buns, Almond Croissants, Ham and Cheese Croissants, Butter Croissants, and Chocolate Croissants.  

What about the donuts, Becky?  What about the Donuts?!  Joel was on vacation and it was looking like we might not have have donuts at the Market once again.  Ari asked if I would like to come in and learn how to mix, roll, cut and fry donuts.  How could I say no?!  Putting donuts in hands and smiles on faces is one of the best parts of my Saturday morning.

And so that is just what I did.  Working alongside Ari, I learned that making donuts is not complicated work, but it does require dedicated attention to detail and precision care. We fried up four Cake Style Donuts; Curry, Cinnamon Sugar, Cardamon/Nutmeg/Cinnamon, Old Fashioned.  I also cut Brioche Donuts that Ari later fried and filled with Cannoli cream, which were sensational!  I cut a couple up for sampling and tried one myself, and the rest left in paper bags or gripped between a sheet of wax paper with happy market goers.  

We will be out at Hunt & Foster street again, from 8AM to noon, for the first Saturday in September!  Stop by and say "Hi", and try a bite of something new.


Lisa Sorg Fired

Lisa Sorg, editor of the Indyweek and longtime friend of the Bakery, was fired from her post August 12th without notice or warning.  Apparently, the new owners of the Indyweek were unhappy with controversial issues such as "You Lost.  Get Over It." (re: Confederate Flag judgement) and wanted an editor more in touch with mainstream Raleigh, which sounds to me like a bad case of the blahs.  The Indyweek was exciting under Sorg's tenure precisely because it was controversial and challenging.  To dumb it down and make it into the type of toilet paper that passes for a weekly in other cities is to do a disservice to our little speck of blue in the otherwise red state of North Carolina.

I'm saddened for Lisa to lose her platform to raise issues of racism, inequality, injustice, and corporate and governmental malfeasance in the Triangle.  When I faced tough days over the past two years at the Bakery, I could always look at the Indyweek display near our entrance, and whether it chronicled the latest hit restaurant or Duke Energy fiasco, I would literally say, "Thank God for Lisa Sorg, at least someone out there is saying the truth and calling it right."

You can find Lisa's writing now at Bull City Rising.  Feel free to express your displeasure to Indyweek Publisher Susan Harper: sharper@indyweek.com.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Cajun parishes of Louisiana constitute just about the only section of the United States in which good food is taken as the norm in any kitchen, private or public. Before my first trip to Iberia Parish, I asked a serious New Orleans eater where I should eat while I was there.  I prepared to take notes on secret routes to secret cafes or the names of local collaborators who might risk divulging to a hungry traveling man where the decent restaurants were.  "Eat anywhere," he said.

From American Fried, by Calvin Trillin

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Baker's Life in 1860

Through the first half of the nineteenth century, most of the city's bakers were Scottish and Irish, but that began to change in the 1850's, as Germans flowed into New York. By the end of the decade, responsibility for baking the city's bread had passed into German hands.

The typical German bakery, housed in a tenement cellar, was a low-ceilinged room with a dirt floor and no running water. The "boss baker" often lived upstairs with his family and a handful of employees who shared the apartment as boarders. Many times, though, employees slept in the cellar next to the ovens, a sack of flour for their bed. Some slept in the dough vats. Economic survival for the small-time baker depended on every member of the family. The children worked as apprentices, while the baker's wife was in charge of the boarders, for whom she cooked and did laundry. On the most densely populated blocks in the German wards, a cellar bakery was found in every third or fourth building.

Prior to the widespread use of steam power beginning in 1882, industry in New York ran on muscle power, most of it supplied by immigrants. In a city of shipbuilders, ironworkers, and stonecutters, the baker's life was especially harsh. His shift started late in the afternoon and lasted until early morning, which meant a fourteen-hour workday or sometimes more. At the end of the long, hot night (temperatures in the bakery could easily reach one hundred degrees), the bakers hauled their goods up to the street and loaded up the delivery wagons. Now, finally, it was time to rest, just as the sun was coming up over the East River. Faces caked with flour, the bakers slept while the rest of the city went about its business. It was a topsy-turvy existence and a lonely one, too. For all his sweaty work, the journeyman baker earned between eight and eighteen dollars a week, hardly enough to support a family. The consequences were plain. More than any other tradesman, many New York bakers were consigned to a life of bachelorhood.

From 97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman.  Via Jbowman.

Hunt Street Farmer's Market Wrapup

Joel charmed our market patrons again Saturdwith SIX varieties of Handmade Cake Style Donuts including; Chocolate/Coconut, Cardamon/Cinnamon/Nutmeg, Curry, Sugar and Old Fashioned. Not to mention a SELL-OUT Vanilla Custard Filled Brioche Donut!  I can't wait to see what he has for us next week!  

We also had piles of our other fan favorites such as Vegan Savory Indian Curry Hand Pies, Vegan Sweet Cowboy Hand Pies, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars, Gluten-Free Banana Coconut Cookies, Scones, 3 varieties of Croissants, Muffins, Bread, Biscotti, Cookies, and the always crowd pleasing Cinnamon Roll.

Looking forward to next Saturdayweather.com is promising another beautiful North Carolina weekend.  We can expect a high in the mid 80s and partly cloudy.  Stop by and say Hi.  We'll be at the corner of Hunt & Foster St. from 8 a.m.- Noon.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Employee Profile: John and Herbert

John and Herbert

John and Herbert (pronounced ERR-ber) make up our distinguished two-man cleaning crew team at the Bakery.  Every employee does some cleaning, but ultimately, John and Herbert are responsible for making sure our 4,000 sq ft facility is as clean as your mom's kitchen floor.  John is a NC native, and a disabled ex-Marine.  He has been with the Bakery since 2010.  Hebert, a native of Peru, has been with the Bakery since early 2015.  Initially, I was unsure how these two teammates would work together, but have been amazed at how they have overcome language and cultural barriers to be great working partners, helping each other out and strategizing on the many dirty and difficult jobs the Bakery can hold, and even becoming friends along the way.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Channeling Bialystok

Instructions: To channel one's Bialystok roots, sift wholegrain flour by hand and incorporate into naturally risen starter.  Allow four ounce rounds to rise 5 hours, then press, dimple center, and fill with onions, poppies, or as you like.  Bake at 450 for 24 minutes.

Kossar's Bialy Recipe: 100 pounds flour, 7 gallons water, 2 pounds salt, 1 pound yeast.  Yield: 70-80 dozen bialys (3 ounces each).  Via Mimi Sheraton

Crunch, Crack, and Crumb

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Production and Process

Behind every great product lies a great process.  Like this video which shows the process of Sriracha-making or this article about the production process of bagels at Sadelle's, you can see that making a great product is more than about finding the right ingredient, or utilizing a good preparation technique.  For complex processes (like those that involve fermentation), key decision points need to be formalized and made consistent.

One of the things that has impressed me is that though many herald Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread as a Great Leap Forward in breadmaking, few bakeries and fewer home baker's have instituted his methods wholesale with similarly fantastic results.  Even the loaf that was brought back to me from his bakery was very good, though not as jaw-dropping as I had imagined it (it had also flown 2000 miles).

For Robertson's bread, there are several key components that I will detail here that make the very best naturally risen bread difficult to produce on a large (or small) scale: 1) Yeast activity of the starter.  The natural yeast used must be fed and maintained on a schedule so that it is active enough to give the bread a good rise.  Else, the artisan loaves are quite dense.  2) Levain timing.  The levain, or starter that is used reaches a certain ripeness between 8 and 12 hours after is is mixed.  Too short, and the bread will not have good sour notes.  Too long, and the bread will not have any sweet notes.  3) Overnight timing. Because the levain takes 8 to 12 hours to ripen, and the bulk rising time can be about four hours, this bread really needs 16 to 20 hours of attention.  Because most baker's shifts are not longer than 10 to 12 hours, part of the work needs to be done by one set of bakers, and part done by another set.  Anytime one is dividing the work on one product between two teams over multiple shifts, communication and process formalization is of the utmost importance.  The other option is to refrigerate during part of the process, which is not preferred as refrigerated naturally-risen doughs tend to produce more lactic acid (sour flavor) and tend to wipe out the acetic acids (sweet flavor). 4) The mess. Many bakeries and home bakers steer clear of complex artisan recipes because natural starters usually rely on hydration (water content) values greater than 66%.  What this means is that at least 15% and maybe as much as 30% of the flour and water one is working with is somewhere in consistency between a sticky liquid and a paste.  There's a reason why they call it wheat paste - it adheres to everything (including your skin) and is time-consuming to clean.  So just from a logistical standpoint, using rising buckets or tubs that are coated in sticky, soon to be dried bits of hardened flour presents the baking team potentially with hours more work just in clean-up.  So the difference in flavor of the artisan bread better be well worth it!

Read more on Tartine's bread here: http://blog.berenbaums.com/2012/10/deconstructing-chad.html




Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Zach's Visit

Zach is a cousin of mine who was interested in baking so he came and visited for a week from New Jersey while on Summer vacation.  He is eleven, and did a fantastic job working with our staff.  Here is his story:


I got interested in baking because of its many interesting aspects. It seemed enjoyable, but something I would have to put effort into doing. Making food for the public was something I'd never done before, so I tried it at the Ninth Street Bakery, where my cousin works.

Since I've got here I've done a lot at the bakery. I've learned how to form croissants, and other pastries. I made and bagged chocolate cookies. I put stickers and labels on bags, folded and made cake boxes, helped make sour dough bread, made biscotti, formed bagels before they went onto the stove to boil, made dog treats, I helped make fourth of July cookies, helped make cinnamon rolls, made bear claws (another pastry), and helped make a lemon cake. 

I'm motivated to bake because of baking's many fascinating aspects: Baking things, the smells of the food, the taste of the food when it comes out, the way you can fold, or mess with the ingredients to make the food better or more interesting, and the amount of different, and good tasting things you can make with a simple set of ingredients.

What We're Working On

I think it's always nice to keep our customers informed of new product drops and testing.  Most of these items are either available Downtown or soon to be available:

Artisan Bread: We are testing natural starter yeasts for activity multiple times a week, putting out small batches of artisan breads, baguettes, bagels, and bialys.

Sriracha: We are brining red jalapenos in vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices, then cooking them down and pureeing into a ruby red fresh sriracha.

Italian Butter Cookies: We now have for sale every day Italian Shortbread Sprinkle Butter Cookies.  Intensely delectable.

Double Chocolate Morsels: We are taking the best qualities of our double chocolate cookies and reducing them into a bite-sized morsel of textured buttery chocolate that will be available in a twelve ounce tin.

Sandwich Specials: We are excited by the popularity of our rotating sandwich specials, including the Italian, the Heirloom Tomato, the Curried Chicken Salad, and the Pimento Cheese.

Ketchup from Scratch: We are procuring local tomatoes, brining them in vinegar, water, salt, and spices, then cooking down and pureeing into a local fresh ketchup.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bonus Reading:  How April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig passed Mario Batali's 15-second interview test:
           Friedman called. Neither he nor Batali had ever tasted Bloomfield’s cooking, but Batali said that if he met her he’d be able to tell in fifteen seconds whether she was right for the job. (Friedman and Batali are at least as good at mythmaking as they are at spotting talent.) So, in the spring of 2003, Bloomfield flew to New York for a job interview that turned out to be something between a fraternity rush and a competitive eating event: tuna burgers at Union Square Café, dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai, lobster rolls at Pearl Oyster Bar, pastrami sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli, apple cider at the Greenmarket in Union Square. Friedman’s pièce de résistance was a blowout feast—“this ten-hour, like, eating fest” at Lupa, which Batali partly owns—that only Bloomfield seems to recall. “We had spaghetti with eels, which I’d never had before,” she said. “There was headcheese, on a slightly warm plate, so that when you picked it up it dripped off your fork. Then we went to Babbo and ate there, too—lifeboat squid with caperberries, beef-cheek ravioli, stuffed quail.” Bloomfield was in: “I’d never seen a quail tunnel-boned. It totally blew my mind.” Thanks to a missing fingernail and some scars on her forearms, she had passed the fifteen-second test. Friedman recalled, “Mario said, ‘It means she’ll sacrifice her body. She’s a star. I can tell.’ ”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

From Marie Antoinette

On Proust's Olfactory Sense

Much has been made of Proust's madaleine, but in this example, we see his union of language and smell intersect in a way that proves that the olfactory and the brain must be conjoined in a manner of exceedingly powerful sensitivity.  This is the narrator describing the rooms of his Aunt Leonie's house:

The air of those rooms was saturated with the fine bouquet of a silence so nourishing, so succulent that I could not enter them without a sort of greedy enjoyment, particularly on those first mornings, chilly still, of the Easter holidays, when I could taste it more fully, because I had just arrived then at Combray: before I went in to wish my aunt good day I would be kept waiting a little time in the outer room, where the sun, a wintry sun still, had crept in to warm itself before the fire, lighted already between its two brick sides and plastering all the room and everything in it with a smell of soot, making the room like one of those great open hearths which one finds in the country, or one of the canopied mantelpieces in old castles under which one sits hoping that in the world outside it is raining or snowing, hoping almost for a catastrophic deluge to add the romance of shelter and security to the comfort of a snug retreat; I would turn to and fro between the prayer-desk and the stamped velvet armchairs, each one always draped in its crocheted antimacassar, while the fire, baking like a pie the appetising smells with which the air of the room, was thickly clotted, which the dewy and sunny freshness of the morning had already 'raised' and started to 'set,' puffed them and glazed them and fluted them and swelled them into an invisible though not impalpable country cake, an immense puff-pastry, in which, barely waiting to savour the crustier, more delicate, more respectable, but also drier smells of the cupboard, the chest-of-drawers, and the patterned wall-paper I always returned with an unconfessed gluttony to bury myself in the nondescript, resinous, dull, indigestible, and fruity smell of the flowered quilt.
- From: Swann's Way, Vol. I

From what I understand of our sensations is that if sight has the capacity to detect depth via parallax, and hearing can detect sound via the varying pressure of air against the cilia in our eardrums, then the olfactory must be some kind of mashup of these senses.  It must have the capacity to enfold memory in a way that is inherently "brain-like", by which I mean it is multidimensional.  Perhaps the olfactory bulb was the first model for the brain in the evolutionary spectrum, before specialized senses like hearing and sight were even possible.

Monday, June 1, 2015

"You better hide that because homegirl will snatch a baked good"


A New Food Truck and Craft Market Thrives on Hunt Street

It's so amazing how the Hunt Street Market has taken off.

Once deemed a threat to the Durham Farmer's Market, the Hunt Street Market is now drawing more and more visitors each weekend. 

I remember back in the Winter of 2011 when we were the only ones setting up there (OnlyBurger would join us occasionally), and then BikeCoffee came, then PiePushers, then Monuts, until the line of trucks stretched down the length of Hunt Street. 

It's a wonderful feeling to wake early in the morning and bring the families and individuals of Durham fresh-baked organic breads, pastries, and donuts. 

Thanks to all of our customers for supporting local business and helping a local market to grow!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Product Review: Heinz Sriracha Ketchup

In the wake of the multitude of Sriracha-themed products entering the market comes Heinz' Sriracha ketchup.  A good idea poorly executed, I was saddened to read the small print when I returned home from market -- there is no actual Sriracha in this ketchup, Sriracha "flavoring" only.

What does it taste like?  Ketchup mixed with dehydrated barbecue sauce.  It's not even spicy (I would grade it a one or two out of ten).  There is very little red chili flavor, almost no sour flavor, and the salt is muted by the sweet molasses and tomato flavors.  Sriracha lovers should pass.  The only question I have is what I should do with the rest of this bottle.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Lots of good stuff going on at the bakery - worthy of an update:

- Crocuses and daffodils are up, magnolias are budding - Spring is officially here.

- Made some amazing Irish Soda Breads for St. Patricks Day.  We use 90% wholegrain wheat flour, just like the Irish used to do before white flour became widely available.  White flour was the flour of the rich back in the day.  Buttermilk was also used historically because it was a byproduct of butter churning and would otherwise be a waste product.

- Two weeks ago we baked some delicious crumb donuts and bagels.  These are coming back Saturday thanks to our new collaboration with Noah R-B, previously of Bread Uprising.

- Noah is also putting together a vegan brunch menu for this Sunday - not to be missed!

Track of the week:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Going Back to My Roots

This past weekend at Farmer's Market and Downtown, we brought out some chocolate, old fashioned, and sugar-raised crumb donuts.  They were delectable.  They very first day I operated a solo bakestand (in 2011), we had red velvet donuts and Irish soda bread, so it felt like a return of sorts to make donuts again after a long hiatus.  Be on the lookout for more donuts coming in the next couple of weeks.  Many thanks to Noah R. for helping with the bake, as well as with the Durham Water Bagels we sent to market.  Lastly, big ups to our dedicated market sellers, Brian and Michael, and to our enthusiastic market regulars.

Thursday, February 19, 2015