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.”

Mandelbread: The Cookie Underdog

Posted on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 9:53am

Maybe I'm a sucker for underdogs (if it's possible for a cookie to be an underdog—they're all winners in my book!). But for reasons I can't understand, in all my years of baking and selling food for Zingerman's Bakehouse, mandelbread has never been that popular. It's at the top of my go-to list for a snack or a gift!

Talk of the Town-ie

Posted on Thu, 02/01/2018 - 12:03pm

townie brownie

I would describe the experience of savoring the fluffy, smooth, deliciousness of eating a (gluten-free!) Townie Brownie as biting down on a soft pillow of chocolatey goodness to find the pleasant surprise of substantial, flavorful chocolate bits at the bottom of the brownie. This brownie is the full-bodied chocolate experience you’ve been looking for!

The Tahini Invasion

Posted on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:07am

tahini banana bread

You may wonder how we come up with new baked goods—it’s one of the most common questions our guests ask. What seems like a simple question actually has a complicated answer…creativity can be a pretty messy process. Sometimes we discover an ingredient that is especially good and we try to figure out how to use it. That’s what happened with Tohum tahini.

The Turkey Red Wreath

Posted on Mon, 11/13/2017 - 11:27am


Our latest bread has a very short ingredient list (that’s usually how we roll, pun intended) but still manages to be a flavor powerhouse. It contains just wheat flour, rye flour, filtered water, sesame seeds, and sea salt. Truth be told, there are two not-so-secret ingredients the FDA won’t allow us to legally declare. First, there’s magic. The magic that comes from our sour starter that we use to make our naturally leavened breads without added yeast. Second, is time. In all this bread takes 36 hours to make, if we’re going to let maximum flavor develop in the starter and the dough that is. And of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way.