Archive for October, 2008

Open 5 Days a Week

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Sorry for a bit of repeat from the last post, but I want to make sure everyone knows our new hours:

7:30am-6pm Tues-Friday
7:30am-4pm on Saturday.

That is starting Tuesday – election day.  Tomorrow, we will be open from 9am-6pm — the last day of the 2 day a week schedule.

Nothing too much new tomorrow.  We’ll have the Chocolate Bread again that we introduced last week. I made a math error that pushed a couple of the sourdoughs into early morning hours tomorrow, so the 3-Seed and the Walnut-Raisin will be out a little later this morning — around 11am or so.  Baguettes should be out around the time we open at 9am, and the Ciabatta around 10am.

The past couple weeks we’ve had a cornucopia, made entirely from bread, on display.  Over the next several weeks we will be adding to the decorative breads we have on display to give you an idea of the sorts of display pieces we can make.  Tomorrow’s new piece is a plaque woven from two colors of dough.  You have to see to believe it, and it 100% edible!

We are getting several requests a day for gluten-free products.  I’ve been planning on starting a project to develop a line breads with my ultimate goal of baking a gluten-free, yeast-free sourdough.  It’s definitely doable, but will require some research and experimentation.  Since we are getting so many requests, I plan to fast track some of that work and get something started sooner than later.  I will let you know as I get closer to trying something.

That’s it for tonight.  I have a very early morning tomorrow, so I need to get some sleep.  I hope all of you get a chance to stop by tomorrow.  Or if not then, sometime next week.  Thanks for all the support!

Peter

New Hours Next Week!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Starting on Election Day, we’ll finally be open five days per week.  The hours will be:

Tuesday-Friday 7:30am – 6:00pm and Saturday 7:30am – 4:00pm

Swing by and get a treat on your way to the polls!

I’m still working out what will be available at opening in the mornings.  The plan right now is to have all pastries out at 7:30am.   On Tuesdays, breads will be rolling out starting with baguettes at 9am and continuing through the early afternoon.  Wednesday through Saturday, there will be a full selection of breads by 10am.

Thank you to everyone for your support, encouragement and for spreading the word.  Please continue to give feedback.  We’ll be open tomorrow 9am – 6pm with a full selection of the usual items including new savory scones.  We did try to get the savory scones out on Saturday but were thwarted by a salt error.

See you tomorrow,

Peter

Baking Schedule

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I just added those of you that signed onto the mailing list at the bakery.  Welcome!  And thank you for coming by.  Hopefully I got everything entered correctly.  If you decide you don’t want to be on the list, please let me know.  I will remove you promptly.

Let me tell you a story about our new shortbread cookies:

My wife and I (before children) were visiting friends in  Seattle and stopped by a bakery for a treats.  We bought a few things and shared them around.  One of those things was a chocolate dipped shortbread cookie.  It was shockingly better than I expected and world’s better than any other shortbread cookie I’d ever eaten.  I came back from Seattle and played around with shortbread for a while, but never was able to figure it out.  That was over 5 years ago.

Then this past February I was out in San Francisco taking a baking class.  One day I met a woman who had stopped by the school and discovered that she owned the bakery in Seattle that made that shortbread cookie.  Needless to say, I told her about the cookie’s lasting impression … and got her recipe.  Stop by and see what you think.

We’re making our first attempt at a chocolate bread tomorrow morning.  It is made from a lightly sweetened yeast dough made with milk instead of water so it is quite tender.  The crumb is chocolate and it also has chocolate chips added to the mix as well.  If you love chocolate, you should give it a try.  Since it’s the first time, we are only baking 6 loaves and at least one of those will be cut up into samples.  With luck, they will be coming out of the oven around the time we open.  If you try it, please let me know what you think.

Peter

Banana Bread & Cream Scones

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Some changes in the pastries today — Banana Bread and Cream Scones are replacing the quiches and tarts we’ve been making the past couple weeks.  Unfortunately the quiches and tarts, as we currently make them, are costing significantly more to make than what we were selling them for.  I do want to make them, but we need to find a way to do it that is cost effective.

Saturday we had a cornucopia made from bread displayed in the middle of the bread rack.  It was just an example of the sorts of decorative breads we are able to offer.  The cornucopia would make a great thanksgiving dinner centerpiece, but we can also make wreaths, plaques, animals, baskets and pretty much anything else you can imagine.  They are all completely edible, but you can also save them by letting them dry out.  They will get brittle, but can be kept for years.  I have several breads in my “hall of fame” on top of my kitchen cupboards that have been there for years.  I’ve also had a couple of them fall to the floor and shatter, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.  If you are interested in a decorative bread, please let me know.  They are made to order and we can look through books full of examples for what is possible.

Please come visit today.  We are still keeping our Wednesdays and Saturdays hours for this week, and probably next.  I think that once November hits, we’ll be open 5 days a week — Tuesday-Saturday.  Oh, you need to see our new neon sign.  It arrived Monday and I hung it window Monday night.  We also got approved for a sign on Baraga, so once it’s up, we’ll be a little easier to find.

Peter

Coffee and Bostock!

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

We’re trying to get a few new things done each week.  This week we focused on getting more tables and chairs, and this morning we are set up to serve coffee.  We’re keeping it simple – A carafe of coffee (from Dead River Coffee) with cream, sugar spoons and mugs.  We’ll see how this works.

We are also introducing a new pastry today — Bostock.  Bostock comes from eastern France and it consists of a brioche (high butter content sweet bread) loaf that is sliced, dried, soaked in rum syrup, covered with almond frangipane and some sliced almonds before being baked a second time and dusted with powdered sugar.  I’d never heard of it before the first time I tried it and it instantly became a favorite.

Have a good day and I look forward to seeing you at the bakery!

Peter

First Wednesday

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Saturday was fun!  Thank you to everyone that came down.  It was a busy and exciting day.  It was also a great day for a block party.  I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

As I mentioned in my last post, and hopefully to most of our customers on Saturday, we are going to be open only on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a little while.  We need to experiment a with production schedules and techniques so we can both sleep, and get product out relatively early in the day.  For Saturday, we just gutted it out and slept on Sunday, but when the shop is open 5 days a week, that won’t be possible.  Eventually we plan to be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, and depending on how things go tomorrow, it may just be another week until we can start doing that.

For tomorrow (Wednesday) we won’t have as wide a range of  breads as Saturday, but we will have the stunningly delicious hazelnut raisin bread along with many of the standards.  The cinnamon rolls will be back, but bigger, and with a slightly different filling.  We will have a wide range of sweet and savory tarts to try.  We are experimenting with a lot of new products in that range.  Give them a try and tell us what you think.

The hours tomorrow are 9:00am-6:00pm.

See you there!

Peter

Opening Day!

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Today’s the day!  Around 8:30 or 9am we’ll turn on the neon “open” sign (yet another eBay find) and that will be it.  Marquette Baking Company will be open for business at 117 W Baraga in the Children’s Museum courtyard!   A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to make this happen and I am grateful to all of you.  Thank you, thank you for all the help.

We are going to limit the open days at the bakery to Saturdays and Wednesdays for now.  If you make it down today, you’ll see that there are still a lot of loose ends.  Eventually we plan to have a few tables, fresh coffee and a self service beverage refrigerator in the retail area.  None of that is there yet.  (In fact, if you know where I can find tables, chairs and a refrigerator, please let me know.  I have a coffee machine … if it works.)  We also need to work on the pastry side of things.  I have a sheeter that doesn’t work yet, but once it does, you’ll start seeing croissants, Danishes and other laminated dough products.  There’ll be other things as we develop the recipes and figure out how to schedule them along with everything else.  Oh, we need to get some signs and update the website too.

For today there will be the usual breads, and cookies we have had at the farmers market.  In addition, we are baking cinnamon rolls, and a few tarts — both sweet and savory.  Try one and let us know what you think.  There will also be a few surprises – wonderful little treats, samples and some celebratory breads.  We’re baking a boatload of bread, but I expect a very busy day with the festival going on right outside our door.  I hope it’s enough, but if not, there’s always Wednesday.

It’s going to be a fun day!  Please stop by.

Peter

PS: Unfortunately, we won’t be at the farmers market any more this season.   I love being at the farmers market, but it’s just too hard to manage both sales locations.  Next year however …

One Week Away!

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

It’s only one more week before we finally open the doors on the bakery!  October 11th is the opening day, and also the day of fall neighborhood festival that will be held just outside our doors in the Childrens Museum Courtyard.  We are madly finishing the trim in the retail area and building the display shelves and sales counter.  Just today it went from, “This is insane.  We’ll just have to set up the farmers market stand inside a half completed room.” to “Not only could we pull this off, but this is beautiful!”

I’m still not sure if we are actually going to hop right into regular business hour 5 days a week, or have a period of being open limited days and hours.  There are still a lot of kinks to work out and there won’t be any time to work on them if we’re baking all the time.  Stay tuned.   I should have a plan next week.

For today, I dropped back a little on the the number of types of bread we’re bringing to the market.  Last season I was content to have 9 different types each week, but this year we’ve been baking 13 or more.  That’s a lot of extra work when there is so much to do to get the bakery open.  This week is the first time that I can remember NOT baking Walnut-Raisin or some other version of nut/fruit bread.   I also didn’t bake the Mild Rye.  But we did do most of the rest.  Here’s the list:

Baguette
Fougasse
Tordu (Twist Bread)
Vollkornbrot (100% Whole Rye)
Semolina Bread
Pain Poilane
Kalamata Olive Levain
3 Seed Sourdough
Ciabatta
Cracked Wheat
Apple Harvest
Chocolate Chip – Walnut Cookies
Toasted Oatmeal Cookies

Oh, I should mention that we’ve been struggling with the ciabatta lately.  It’s been good, but it hasn’t have the volume it should have.  Last night we finally got it right and I”m very happy with how it turned out.  The problem was a scheduling thing where the oven was full when the ciabatta was ready to go in.  By the time the oven opened up, the bread was starting to deflate so they came out flat.  Baking is not a simple.

Hope to see you at the market.  It should be a cool but lovely fall day!

Peter