• Chris Benton

Bakery Pumping Out the Goods!

It has been almost a year since we finished our commercial kitchen on the farm and wow, has it been a roller coaster of a time. We have tried recipe after recipe trying to nail down the right product line for the market customers who frequent our booth at the Cotton Mill Farmers Market every Saturday morning. Some of our attempts were flops (cupcakes) but not for lack of flavor. The cupcakes were delicious but many of our customers were not looking for sweets it seems.

The fermented foods that we bring weekly are a big hit though. The spicy kimchi, sauerkraut, and sriracha have done surprisingly well so far. We have many repeat customers who swear that the kimchi or kraut are the best they have tried. I really enjoy making the fermented foods because I get to watch the process first hand while it ferments on the kitchen counter. The little bubbles are the first sign that the fermentation is starting off right. The next thing I watch for is the PH levels to drop below 4.2 which means it is in the fermentation zone! When the PH is below 4.2, bad bacteria cannot survive so this means the kimchi, sauerkraut or sriracha will stay safe in the fridge for months at a time. Fermented foods get better with age so if you forget it in the back of the fridge, it is most likely just fine. You may notice it is a little more carbonated, which is a good thing, and it will have a much deeper taste.

Our biggest hit has been our French Croissants, Pain Au Chocolat, Tavern Ham & Gruyere Cheese Croissants, and the Rosemary Braids though. Butter, crunchy, sweet and savory! Our focaccia bread with fresh rosemary and garlic is also a big hit. Light, fluffy and ready for a big tomato slab, mayonnaise, salt/pepper, and some hydroponic Spring Salad Mix from our hydroponic system or maybe some spicy radish microgreens.

Add in our delicious 100 year old Vanilla poundcake recipe and you have a winner all around. I have taken my grandmother's recipe for her vanilla poundcake and added blueberries, lemon, and even homemade apple butter to it with great success. You can order a whole, half or quarter poundcake if you don't want to by it pre-sliced. Just email chris@clfarmsgrows.com or stop by our booth on Saturday mornings at the market to place an order for the next week.

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