Blog

All Roads Lead to Megan Phillips Goldenberg—Grain Hubbing in the Upper Midwest

Posted on Wed, 06/05/2019 - 10:55am

Zilke rye field

 

We’ve talked a lot about working to rebuild a less centralized, more regional grain economy both out of self interest—so that we can get the grains we want to work with grown in ways that meet our standards, needs, and values—and out of concern for our community who needs robust regional grain economy to achieve the kind of food sovereignty we ultimate hope all communities can experience. To do this we’ve been breaking away from our reliance on very centralized, industrialized flour sources. This process leaves a gap in our food supply chain that requires new connections to function. Megan has played an important role in filling that gap. Less like a link in a typical supply chain, Megan serves more like a hub, a driver of a more circular food system.

Summer's Perfect Pair: Graham Crackers & Marshmallows

Posted on Thu, 05/30/2019 - 2:20pm

Smore with graham cracker and toasted marshmallow photo by Emily Hanka

 

Remember summer nights spent toasting marshmallows over a crackling fire? The smell of a bonfire that lingered on your sweatshirt for days? Crunchy graham crackers layered with perfectly toasty marshmallows and melty chocolate? We remember those s’more-filled days fondly, but there's no reason they need to remain a happy memory. We're here to help you recreate this childhood favorite (only even better than you remember).

Conversions with a Kitchen Scale

Posted on Thu, 05/23/2019 - 1:30pm

hands whisking blue background

 

Some things are forgiving—your favorite stretchy pants or an understanding friend, perhaps—but baking typically isn’t one of those things. It’s an exacting science that requires equal parts precision, artistry, and know-how. Today’s topic? Precision. If you’re not already baking by weight, we’re here to make the case for switching.

Let Them Eat... Brioche?

Posted on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:53pm

Bostock type brioche on a baking sheet

 

The famous Marie Antoinette quote “S’ils n’ont plus de pain, qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” is commonly translated as “If they have no bread, let them eat cake.” So it shouldn't come as a surprise that brioche is one of the most satisfyingly rich breads in the world—it's a small step away from being a pastry.

Supporting Great Grains with Dr. Stephen Jones

Posted on Wed, 05/08/2019 - 12:16pm

Dr. Stephen Jones

 

Jones is a plant geneticist at Washington State University, where his research focuses on wheat breeding. He also serves as a professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and as the director of the Bread Lab. Stephen is well known in academia and industry alike for being an expert in his field; is credentialed by degrees, professional experience, and the status of tenure; and is well funded by an endowed fellowship—he’s basically the textbook picture of success as a scientist. Stephen, though, is much more than a successful scientist. Particularly through his work at the Bread Lab, Stephen provides a model for food systems transformation, inspiration to scientists looking to serve their communities, and a technical framework for biological research that supports local economies. Perhaps most impressively, in his work, Stephen tells a beautiful story that can help us move from industrial, commodity agriculture, which dominates our food systems today, to less centralized food webs that are refocused farming for just that, food.

Everybody Loves Cupcakes

Posted on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 10:45am

buttermilk cupcakes with lemon buttercream

 

If you know Zingerman's, you know we love finding out where our food came from. The story behind where it got its name, for instance, is often a forgotten tale. Did you know cupcakes have a history? These precious little pastries date back to a published recipe in 1796 calling for a light cake batter to be baked into small cups.

Banana Bread, Paradoxes, and Peels - A New Banana Bread Recipe

Posted on Mon, 04/22/2019 - 10:08am

Cathy holding a loaf of banana bread

 

This Earth Day we're celebrating peels and paradoxes. A paradox that we’ve been playing with at the bakery this year has been “less is more.” Do less processing to the food and the result will be more—more flavor, more texture, more color, and more nutrition. The other less will be waste, because we will be reducing it by using the whole food. Read on for more about how this fresh perspective has us doing less to our fruits, vegetables, and (some) wheat berries by leaving on the peels. (Yes, really!)

Sara’s Sweet on Sicilian Sesame Semolina

Posted on Wed, 04/10/2019 - 12:32pm

two rounds of sesame semolina

 

Early in my career at the Bakehouse, I worked in our retail shop. One of my fondest memories is the aroma of Sicilian Sesame Semolina bread when it emerged from the oven around noon and rolled into the shop, still warm. To me, and my younger, less articulate, burgeoning foodie self, it smelled like pancakes. And that was a very good thing. It was amazingly intoxicating. I would jump at the chance to slice one up to sample to guests. I’d pass it through the slicer and inhale that sweet smell. I was in love.

 

Fancy Schmancy Holiday Cookie Contest

Posted on Tue, 04/02/2019 - 12:29pm

four types of fancy cookies on a tray

Every holiday season we have dozens of classes for Fancy Schmancy Holiday Cookies (FSHC)—they are a special place for students to come together to prepare for celebrations with their friends and families. Each year we have fun coming up with a line-up of new, special cookies that are worthy of sharing at all of your holiday gatherings. This year, the cookie line-up will be extra special, because we’ll be including one of YOUR recipes.

Pass The Patience

Posted on Mon, 03/18/2019 - 2:18pm

Loaf of sourdough

“When you’ve just baked a full oven of great sourdough, it’s awesome. It makes you feel really good. All those golden, shiny loaves in all their shapes and sizes—it’s a beautiful thing to see.”

That’s Randy, describing his favorite thing to bake here at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, while on the job as the leader of our bread bakery. He was wearing his deep passion for baking on his face, with a big warm smile that made his eyes close slightly while he envisioned that perfect batch. After more than 12 years of working at the Bakehouse, it seems his love for the art and science of bread has done nothing but blossom like rising loaves of sourdough.