Great Learnings from the Grain Gathering

Posted on Mon, 10/22/2018 - 11:16am

plots of wheat trials

We headed to the 8th annual Grain Gathering already on a path to incorporating freshly milled whole grain flours in our bakes, whether breads or pastries. We came back seriously inspired to do more. Installing our own stone mill and using locally sourced grains, reflects our dedication to the vision embodied by the Grain Gathering and is just the beginning.

Behind the Scenes—Fancy Schmancy Cookies

Posted on Tue, 10/09/2018 - 1:32pm

fancy schmancy holiday cookies

One of Sue Chagas' favorite parts of being an instructor is getting to develop new classes and recipes, like fancy schmancy cookie recipes—this is the 11th year of our Fancy Schmancy Holiday Cookies class and we haven’t repeated a cookie yet! Students often ask us how we choose the cookies (and if we need volunteer tasters!), so she wanted to share a little bit about how that process works.

Baking Apple Pies a Plenty for the Holidays

Posted on Wed, 10/03/2018 - 11:54am

Apple pie with a slice cut out and apples around it

At Zingerman's Bakehouse, we value traditional baking methods. To stay connected to the roots of where these foods came from, we often do extensive research to learn all we can before making something. We enjoy this part of the process as much as we love taste testing recipes (almost!). Here's the history of something dear to our hearts in America and at the Bakehouse, good old apple pie, just in time for the holidays, from one of our multi-talented staffers, Lee Vedder.

Some Granular Facts About Grains

Posted on Fri, 09/07/2018 - 1:15pm

Grain varieties

Grains have been part of the human diet since we were hunter-gatherers—at least 14,000 years! We’re interested in old foodways at the Bakehouse and often use at least 100 years as a mental guideline for what constitutes old. At 14,000 years grains certainly make the cut-off. 

Flour, Water, Salt & Sweating the Small Stuff

Posted on Thu, 09/06/2018 - 10:05am

When not sourcing ingredients, I’m hanging out with many of you fine readers in our Bakeshop. While working in the shop, I get a lot of questions about what ISN’T in our bread. Surprising to many, Zingerman’s Bakehouse bread is free from most things. Such a liberated baked good! For instance, this is a comprehensive list of ingredients in our sourdough bread, in order of amount: organic wheat flour, water, whole wheat flour, sea salt.

The Sourcer-ess & the Rye Farmers—A Modern Fairytale

Posted on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 1:01pm

Hailey Schurr

Sourcing our ingredients locally has many benefits, not least of which is literal field trips to visit our future ingredients as they grow. To this end, one June morning a contingent of the Bakehouse Grain Commission headed west to Living Earth Farm in Sawyer, Michigan where rye is being grown for us this season. 

Bakehouse Grain Commission Convenes

Posted on Tue, 06/19/2018 - 10:59am

whole wheat bread

In the last six months at the Bakehouse, we’ve started to delve deeply into the world of grains—locally grown, ancient varieties, freshly milled, and more non-wheat varieties. Behind the scenes we’ve been doing research and recipe testing that will become more visible over the coming months. Get ready! 

Comfort Me With Bread

Posted on Wed, 03/21/2018 - 2:11pm

Roadhouse bread

Smells, more than anything else, can stir up strong and usually fond memories from my childhood, mostly associated with food. I cherish that. Growing up as a little kid, I would eat a bowl of warm milk for breakfast with pieces of white bread and sugar, turning into a sweet, comforting mush. I loved it. When I started working at the Bakehouse and took on the daily tasting of the breads, the aroma of Paesano reminded me of the initial stages of that warm bowl of milk and bread from my childhood.

Bread Connecting Generations

Posted on Tue, 03/13/2018 - 1:56pm

Irish brown soda bread

When I first started working here almost a year ago I was incredibly excited to see Irish Brown Soda Bread was included in our baking roster. I set a reminder in my phone to have some sent to my Grandma Zelna in Virginia Beach through Zingerman’s mail-order during the next special bake. After I started working here my Grandma specifically asked my Dad if the bakery made Soda Bread because she missed her Mom’s, so it was a pretty big deal to get to send her a loaf!

Baking is in her blood

Posted on Wed, 02/21/2018 - 10:49am


From “the thumb” of Michigan in Lapeer, Ellie Gibbons was born with baking in her blood. Ellie’s family immigrated from Germany and started a bakery on Kercheval Avenue in the West Village of Detroit. “I didn’t find out till six months into working here, when my aunt emailed me a picture of my great-great-grandfather, he came here from Germany, and they lived above their bakery in Detroit. I’m not sure what all they made, but I do know that my  grandmother was a big fan of Pecan Pie, so I’m sure that love started there.”