Holy Week and Easter

April 18th, 2011

Only six days until Easter and I am finally getting around to my annual posting to tell you about all the special things we are baking this week.

Lamb Cake
Lamb Cake

Lamb Cakes are a tradition that is probably strongest in eastern Europe.  Our lamb is made from lemon zest butter cake, decorated with Swiss butter cream flavored with flecks of vanilla bean, and sitting on a bed of coconut “grass”.  One cake will serve 10 to 12 people.  Most people will be picking them up on Saturday, but we should be able to accommodate you any day this week.  They must be ordered in advance and the number we can make is limited.  We will sell out.

Chocolate Easter Egg Cake

Chocolate Easter Egg Cake

If you don’t need a full size cake, we will also be baking Chocolate Easter Egg Cakes sized to serve 1 or 2.  They are layered with vanilla bean butter cream and covered with brightly colored and decorated marzipan.  They will be available Wed – Saturday.  They are really cute, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Cardamom Easter Bread

Cardamom Easter Bread

Following the precedent we’ve set for other holidays, we will be baking a celebratory holiday bread that is spectacular!  Our Cardamom Easter Bread is made from cardamom spiced sweet dough heavily enriched with eggs, butter and brandy soaked golden raisins.  Strands of the dough are twisted into a ring and 3 colored Easter eggs are nested amongst the strands and baked right into the bread.  (The picture shows one made with 4 eggs.)  It tastes as good as it looks, and will serve 10 to 12 people.  The cardamom Easter bread will be available Saturday 23 April.

In addition to the Cardamom Easter Bread, we will be baking our “normal” Cardamom Bread this week, too.  It is not as sweet and rich as the Easter version, and doesn’t have the brandy soaked raisins, but it is still something special.  Look for it on Thursday.

Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns

Throughout lent, we have been baking Hot Cross Buns every Wednesday.  We will continue that during holy week, and also bake one final batch on Good Friday (April 22nd) — the day most associated with hot cross buns.   The buns are spiced with allspice and contain currants and golden raisins.  They are a traditional British favorite and the ones we make come from that tradition.

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We are continuing to make our delightfully rich and delicious Sugar Cookies as quickly as we can.  For Easter, they will be shaped and decorated as eggs, bunnies, chicks and other Easter classics.

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Parisian Macarons
Parisian Macaron

Another cookie we will be baking again next week is our Parisian Macaron.  These pastel colored, lavender or mint flavored meringue cookies are sandwiched together with white chocolate filling.  One bite will transport you to springtime Paris.  They will be available Wednesday – Saturday

We will continue to bake our usual assortment of breads and french rolls throughout the week.  In addition we will be baking roll versions of our cracked wheat.  Please call ahead so you are sure to have rolls for your Easter dinner.

Around the holidays, many items sell out quickly!  We accept special orders for any of our breads and pastries.  Please let us know what you want in advance so we can hold them for you.

I wish everyone has a happy and blessed Easter.  See you at the bakery!

Peter

St. Patrick’s Day 2011

March 16th, 2011

I meant to write a nice post for St. Patrick’s Day, but I spent this afternoon doing emergency oven repairs.  And now I’m finishing a presentation I am going to be giving in Wittman Commons at NMU tomorrow afternoon  (2:30pm if you are interested).

Please reread the post I wrote last year for St. Patrick’s Day.  We will have the same products available this year.  You can find it here.  Sorry for the rehash.

I’ll also try to post some pictures on our Facebook page as we get the Irish specials out of the oven.

See you tomorrow!

Peter

March

March 3rd, 2011

Here we are in March already.  I just uploaded a new bread schedule to the website.

St. Piran, the patron saint of  miners and Cornwall has his feast day this Saturday — March 5th.  We will be baking an extra batch of Saffron Buns to celebrate.  Last year the bakery was full of Cornish and enthusiasts at times, and lots of fun.

Also, Saturday will be our last batch of Chocolate Bread for a while.  Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent is next week, and like last year, we will be dropping the Chocolate Bread from the Menu until after Easter.

In celebration of the Irish, we will be baking Irish Soda Bread every Thursday in March (starting today).  We also have Chocolate Stout Cupcakes topped with a pretzels,  and Irish themed Cake Pops.  The Cake Pops are made from Irish cream cake infused with Guinness simple syrup, covered in dark chocolate.  We will keep making the Cupcakes and Cake Pops for the next couple weeks.  Maybe throughout the month.

There are a few other new things floating around the bakery.  We have started baking Banana Bread again.  It will replace the Pumpkin Bread.  And we are making a Vanilla Sugar Croissant, and an Apple Swiss Danish.  Both are wonderfully flaky.

Valentine’s Day and Other News

February 11th, 2011

THIS MONDAY (Valentine’s Day) the bakery will be OPEN 3pm – 6pm!

Since it is Valentines day, we will have a lot of sweet things for you to choose from  Most of them are in the case now.

Valentine's Day Treats

Chocolate heart shaped cakes sized for two (leftmost):  Rich Chocolate cake with vanilla Swiss buttercream covered with chocolate ganache.   I don’t like having one of these on the sample board because I always eat too much.  It’s wonderful, flavorful and melt in your mouth.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake Pops (top middle — 2 shown):  Cherry cake, on a stick, and dipped in chocolate.  When a few bites of cake are enough.

Chocolate Cupcakes (top right):  Bigger than the cake pops, but smaller than the cake for two.

Decorated Sugar Cookies (bottom right):  Most of them are pink hearts, but we have a few other shapes too.

Chocolate Parisian Macarons (middle middle):  Two chocolate meringue cookies with chocolate ganache sandwiched between them.  Gluten free!

Linzer Cookies (bottom middle):  Hazelnut shortbread cookies sandwiched with raspberry jam, finshed with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Cinnamon Meringue Cookies:  Light and flavorful.  Dairy and Gluten free too!

Hazelnut cookies: Small Linzer cookies without the raspberry jam.

This Saturday, we are making a special edition of our lightly sweetened Chocolate Bread.  For Valentine’s day we have added dried tart Michigan cherries to the dough.  Some suggest that the cherries should always be there, but then if it were that good year round, we couldn’t make it more special for Valentine’s day.

We will be baking some yeasted products but we are going simplify things since this is usually a day off for most of us.  We’ll mix and bake a baguette dough, so that means baguettes, french rolls, fougasse, sesame sticks and bread sticks.  If there is other shape of bread you’d like, we’ll be happy to make it, but it will be made from baguette dough — slightly sweet, chewy and a bit hard on the outside.

We will also have brioche muffins, Pecan Fritters and Cinnamon Rolls.  We can bake other sweet yeasted things Monday — like coffee cakes, fruit pasties, etc., but you will need to let us know today so we can prepare for it.

In other news, I am proud to report that President Obama enjoyed a sandwich made with our bread yesterday when he stopped by Donckers to grab some lunch.  Sure, we’re all human and we all have to eat, but still, he’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and he ate our bread!  I’m really jazzed bout it!

We’re gotten our Facebook page up and running.  It’s a little scattered and incomplete, but we’re getting there.  I plan to still write this blog here, but quick posts and pictures will start showing up there — more informal and more “behind the scenes things”.

I hope everyone has a nice Valentine’s Day.   See you Saturday, or Monday afternoon!

Peter

Happy New Year

January 7th, 2011

I hope everyone had enjoyed the holidays. We certainly did, and it was nice to have a couple days off to rest too.  As usual we got caught with too few Stollen the week before Christmas.  So, for the first time, we baked more of them after Christmas to cover us through Epiphany.  As of a an hour or so ago, there were only 4 left, and when they are gone, there won’t be any more until next Advent.

Marquette has a new brewery that I’m very excited about.  Dave Manson, and Andy Langolis opened Black Rocks Brewery on Third Street across from Third Street Bagel.  For now it’s only open on Friday and Saturday evenings.  The beer is great, and it’s hard for me not to get excited when someone is passionate enough about a hobby to take the risk of turning it into a business.  Especially one that involves hand crafting and fermentation.  I just dropped off some of our Fougasse, and Red Pepper Parmesan Bread Sticks for them to serve with the beer.  I suspect they’ll go over well, and we’ll continue to have those items available at the brewery.

We have a fun new item available at the bakery.  Rosemary has been working on them for a couple weeks, and we finally put them out for sale yesterday.  They are called Cake Pops — small pieces of cake on a stick like a sucker.  The ones we have out now are eggnog cake dipped in white chocolate, and they are delicious.  And very cute!  I didn’t get around to taking pictures yet, but maybe tomorrow I can add one to this post.  Please come in, try one, and let us know what you think.

Christmas Seasonal Items

December 11th, 2010

I just got around to updating the bread schedule today.  I just forgot about it with all the special products we are making for Advent and Christmas.

Stollen

Stollen

We’re motoring along with the holiday baking schedule.  We have two successful bakes of Stollen under our belts, so we are starting to feel a little more comfortable.  I’m always a intimidated by the first batch of Stollen every year.  It’s SO radically different than all the other breads we bake, and the ingredient cost is sky high.

I wanted to keep Stollen continuously available throughout Advent, but we are currently sold out until the next batch is finished on Wednesday morning.  We’ll be doing two more bakes next week, and then probably only one the week of Christmas.  Please get your orders in as soon as you can so we can be sure to have one available for you.

Bûche de Noël

Bûche de Noël

New for us this year are Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cakes).  We are making a version of this French holiday treat that is sized for just 2 or 3 people.  They are beautiful, delicious and perfect for a holiday centerpiece.  We have them available everyday until Christmas.  As with the Stollen, ordering ahead is strongly encouraged.

Yule Logette

Yule Logette

It started as a few leftover pieces from the Bûche de Noël, and then a joke in the back of house.  Now they’ve become a full-fledged product.  (That’s how it is sometimes.  Our popular Red Pepper Parmesan Bread Sticks were invented after we were delivered the wrong type of Parmesan cheese a few months ago.)  Yule Logettes are perfect  for when you are looking for something the size of a cupcake, but more fitting in the season.

Decorated Sugar Cookies

Decorated Sugar Cookies

Finally, there are our cookies.  In addition to our “standard” cookies, we have  decorated Christmas Cookies, Decorated Gingerbread Cookies, and Meringues all ready for your holiday gatherings.  This year we are trying to get ahead of the rush so we can have them in stock throughout Advent, but again, ordering ahead will help you get what you want.

I hope everyone is enjoying the winter weather holiday season.  Stay warm and safe.

Peter

Advent and Hanukkah

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

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

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.

Rosh Hashanah

September 8th, 2010

Challah for Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year starts tonight at sundown. There are many food traditions associated with Rosh Hashanah, and one of them involves Challah — a braided egg bread.

In the Oven

We started baking Challah for Passover last year and continued baking it every Friday until things got really busy this summer. We quietly dropped it from the menu but I’ve always missed making it.

For Rosh Hashanah, we have brought our Challah out of retirement, but with some important differences. For this, one of the most important days of the Jewish calendar, the Challah is always shaped round.

Getting an Egg Wash

One reason is that it represents the crown of God. Another is that it represents the circle of life. Another tradition is to make Challah sweeter than usual in hopes of a “sweet” new year, and to add raisins to make it special. We did both of these things as well as increase the egg content to make it richer than our usual Challah.

This is a very special bread and it is always a pleasure to make something that carries so much meaning and tradition.  If you’d like a Rosh Hashanah Challah, please call the bakery so we can set one aside for you.