Archive for November, 2010

Advent and Hanukkah

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

This is the first week of Advent, so it’s time to start Stollen production.  I updated the recipe over the weekend (The changes are more minor than in previous years, but I still see places to improve it a little.), and made sure all the ingredients are in place.  Butter was a big issue.  Our supplier who is normally very dependable, didn’t deliver butter to us two weeks in a row so I had to get an emergency shipment yesterday.  That’s ready to go now, so now I just need to get some almonds and ribbon for the packaging and we’ll be ready to go.  The first batch will be ready for pickup on Friday, and we’ll be baking them every week until Christmas.  We will do at least 2 bakes the week of Christmas.

Stollen

Stollen

For those who don’t know, Stollen is a German Christmas bread.  It is very rich and buttery, filled with dried fruits and nuts and covered with more butter and sugars.  It is one bread that truly improves with age.  Some traditionalists feel it should be a month old before eating, but I personally prefer it about a week after it its baked.  It’s not that it isn’t good the morning after it’s baked (when we start selling them), but the flavors do change and get more complex over time.  Please start getting your orders in so you don’t miss out on this special bread.

Also this Wednesday, Hanukkah starts at sundown.  We started baking Challah again on Fridays a few weeks ago and will be continuing that through the winter.  We are baking an extra batch of it this Wednesday.  Challah is braided egg bread.  It is soft and tender, golden in color and slightly sweeter than most of our breads.  It makes wonderful french toast.  It is parve, meaning it doesn’t contain any dairy or meat products, so according to Jewish dietary laws, it can be eaten with either dairy or meat dishes.

We will be adding other holiday items to our product line over the next couple weeks, so check in often to see what is new.  I’m also going to try to remember to take a few pictures add them to this post.  So check back here next weekend if you want to see what Stollen looks like.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Peter

The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Yesterday, my wife asked me if she needed to put in an order for dinner rolls for Thanksgiving.  I thought it was an odd question, but then she reminded me that last year, all we had for our dinner was a 6 pack of hot dog buns.  I’d sold everything else, and it saddened me to be turning away customers because we hadn’t baked enough.

I’m concerned that the same thing will happen this year.  Last year’s sales for the Wednesday and Thursday of Thanksgiving week were over 4 times what they were on typical days.  We’ve been getting a lot of orders in advance, but nowhere near what the total sales will probably be.  We will be baking a lot extra, but it’s just a guess at how much and what to bake.

What adds to the challenge is that because we obsess over coaxing every last bit of flavor from the doughs, all of our breads and rolls are started the day before.  That means that we set the Wednesday bake schedule on Tuesday morning and any changes after things get going really throw a wrench into the works.

Please contact us with your needs as soon as possible.  By e-mail — peter(at)marquettebaking(dot)com.  Or by telephone 228-3777.

For this week we will be open Tuesday and Wednesday normal hours: 7:30am-6pm.  Thursday we will be open only from 9am – noon, and we will be only be filling orders that have been made in advance.  Yes, we will have saffron buns!  Friday and Saturday we will be open normal hours — 7:30am – 6pm Friday, and 7:30am – 4pm Saturday.

Wednesday and Thursday we will have the following rolls available:

French Rolls
Cracked Wheat Rolls
Dark Rye Rolls
Buttermilk Biscuits
Ciabatta Rolls

As I mentioned above, we will have Saffron Buns on Thursday, too.

Wednesday, we will be baking the full line of products — all the breads and pastires and cookies.  Thursday will be dinner rolls and saffron buns only.  We might be able to do a few other things, but you need to ask.

I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving, and hopefully we’ll have dinner rolls for my family’s thanksgiving dinner too.

Peter

Holiday Season

Friday, November 12th, 2010

For our bakery, there are really two seasons. “Farmers market season” just ended with our last appearance at the Marquette Farmers market October 30th.  Now we are beginning “Holiday Season”. The first holiday of of the season isn’t nationally recognized, but around here, it’s more important than many that are nationally recognized. November 15th is the opening day of Michigan’s firearm deer season. We aren’t doing anything in particular to celebrate it, but we are expecting a lot a lot of people to stock up on bread, cinnamon rolls and other goodies to take to deer camp.  We are baking extra, but if you want to be sure to get your supplies, please call ahead and we’ll set your order aside for you.

From there to Thanksgiving is a little over a week.  It’s time to start getting in your orders for dinner rolls.  We’ll be open on thanksgiving day only from 9am until noon, and we’ll only filling orders that are placed in advance. Along with the French Rolls we bake everyday, we will also have Cracked Wheat Rolls and Dark Rye Rolls.  It also doesn’t need to be limited to rolls.  Epi Baguettes and Sun Breads are also wonderful for shared meal.  Let us know what you are looking for and we’ll do our best to make it happen.