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Orange Boot’s Final Farmer’s Market Is This Saturday

FarmersMarket

It’s coming to the time of year that we need to say Farewell to the Regina Farmer’s Market for another season.  Our final market of the year is this Saturday, September 20.

What we found last year is that October is too wet and cold for selling bread outdoors (tough to keep any crust in those conditions, let alone a crispy crust.)  And even there is still one more Saturday after September 20, we’ll be short staffed that day as our Head of Bread, Teisha, will be on a well deserved vacation.

I don’t think we were able to really get into a groove with the Farmer’s Market this year, which is a shame.  We had two rain outs, one wind storm where our tent broke, and missed pretty much the entire month of August because we were either on vacation or too short staffed to run a decent market booth.  So it’s kind of over before it really got started for us.

When something becomes an ordeal rather than a joy, that’s a sign that things need to change.  And the Regina Farmer’s Market is supposed to be a joy –  we go there to be part of the vibrant local food scene and hang out with the cool people who set up shop and / or shop at the market.  So Cindy, the bakers and I will be sitting down this winter to figure out how to do the market up right in 2015.

But, for us anyway, the 20th is it.  Hope you can come see Ben and Chris at the market, or Scarlett, Haley and Kylle at the bakery.   Or heck, go both places!  We’d love to see you twice, three times, or more.  Never a problem.

 

PS – even though we’re done at the market this Saturday, the Regina Farmer’s Market will keep rolling on every Wednesday and Saturday, rain or shine, warm or cold, through till Thanksgiving Saturday.

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Fresh Fruit Season is in Full Swing!

nectarines

One of the dreams Cindy and I had when we first opened the bakery was to celebrate in-season fruit every summer.  It’s something we need to shout about a lot more.

When we were in Vancouver this summer I had the best appetizer of my life at Nook in the West End.  Our waitress told us they just got some local heirloom tomatoes in and were making very simple Calabrese Salads with them. They were the best tomatoes I have ever tasted that weren’t from my own back yard garden.  Sweet, slightly acidic and literally bursting with flavour.

Later, in Victoria, we sustained ourselves on fresh, local strawberries.  The ever-bearers were giving up their second harvest and it seemed every Farmer’s Market had pints of them.  We always bought two —  one for snacking today and one for breakfast tomorrow!

Back in Regina, we decided to really go hard on using fresh fruit for the tiny window of time we had it available.  We had been using all the rhubarb we could find in the spring, and fresh Saskatoons for the two weeks they were available, but now it’s time for tree fruit.

We’re lucky to have access to the best BC tree fruit ever through our friend Brenda in Regina and her sister Betty who has an orchard in BC.  At the end of August, three cases of peaches were quickly made into danishes, galettes and muffins.  Delicious!  All told, the peaches lasted 10 days, then they were gone.   Kaput.  That’s it for another year.  But boy oh boy were they good when they lasted.

Now it’s Nectarine time.  Three more cases and they won’t last much more than 10 days either.

Next up is plums, then maybe pears and finally new apples.  Then it’s back to the canned fruit until next summer.

I think all of our sweets are excellent, but I want you to get a special “Wow!” in your tastebuds for these few remaining late summer days when the fruit has just been picked and the flavour is at its peak.  So ripe and juicy and flavourful that it tastes like the sun and the sky, not the box it came in.

For a few short weeks every summer we can have fruit that is so much better than that Peruvian orange that’s at the grocery store in summer or the South African peach that is on the shelves in January.  Please don’t miss out!

 

Photo by Mary

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Two Dollar Hot Drinks, All Week Long!

espresso

 

As the weather turns cooler and autumn approaches, more and more of you are asking for espressos, lattes, tea or hot chocolate to go with your morning croissants and scones.

Our new front staff are a little nervous about this because they aren’t getting enough practice pulling perfect shots or properly steaming milk.  They’ve been practicing on Teisha and Sandy, and doing a really good job, but after a while the bakers start shaking too much to shape bread properly, so Cindy and I decided to change things up.

This week, September 16 – 20, all hot drinks are a flat $2.00 each, regardless of the size or the contents.  Our hope is that by the end of the week all our staff will be completely comfortable with our hot drink lineup and they won’t quake in fear when you order a medium skim milk latte, or a large decaf americano.

Come put our staff to the test this week!

 

Photo by studio tdes

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Order your Challah for Rosh Hashanah, September 24

Round Challah

 

Friend of Orange Boot Gail Greenberg emailed last week to remind me that Rosh Hashanah begins on Wednesday September 24th and to ask whether we’d be making round Challah this year.  Absolutely!

We will be making both plain Challah and Challah with Raisins next Wednesday and they’ll be ready for pickup when we open at 9:30AM.

While we will have a few Challah in the display case, we will be primarily baking them to fill pre-orders, so please order in advance so you don’t miss out!

You can order by calling the bakery at (306) 584-2668 or using our online order form.  If you’re ordering online please don’t forget to specify whether you want raisins or not.

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We are at Regina Farmers Market tomorrow!

FarmersMarket

Cindy says we have to try, at least once.  Too many people have been asking.  Suggesting.  Pleading.  Hoping that we’ll get back down to the Regina Farmer’s Market like we did last year. 

You see, lots of bread lovers head downtown to the market for their veggies and they want to pick up some of the Good Stuff at the same time.  And it’s fun to hang out with lots of like minded, local food loving people on the City Plaza on a sunny summer day.  We had a ton of fun last year chatting with old friends and making new friends in the open air.

But this year has brought some challenges.  All good news, but challenges nonetheless.

  • We’re making a ton of pastries at Orange Boot Bakery these days, especially on Saturday.  They use up precious oven space that was commandeered for Market Bread last year.
  • As we’ve gotten busier at Orange Boot, we’ve been scheduling more front staff at the bakery on Saturday to slice bread, pour iced tea (that patio sure is popular) and bag up your provisions.  So it’s tough freeing up two of our “A Team” for the market.
  • Folks sure want a lot of bread and buns lately! We’re pushing the limit of what we can make in one day at our little shop and still be true to our vision of ‘everything fresh, by hand, every morning’, even on a busy Saturday. 

That being said, I still feel the stares from Ada and Dee, Jule and Michelle and Marin every week when I go down to the Farmers Market to buy rhubarb for our muffins, danishes and galettes.  So Cindy, Teisha and I spent something like three days figuring out a plan:

  • Sandy and I are going to head down in a couple of hours and spend the night baking as much Rye, Sourdough, Birdseed Bread and Whole Wheat as we can fit on the bench, in the oven and on the racks
  • Cindy and Kali will come down in the very early morning to bake the sweets, pastries, sticky buns, muffins and burger buns
  • Teisha will arrive shortly after to make and bake our summer flatbreads, French Loaves, Baguettes (fresh from the oven when we open!) and some extra Birdseed Bread to be safe.
  • By 7AM or so, Amy and Robyn will come by, bag and tag all the Market Bread and head downtown to be set up in stall 74 (probably on Scarth St.) by 9AM.
  • At 8:30, Elysia, Chris and Ben will be at the shop getting the displays filled, the patio furniture outside, the flowers watered and the rugs vacuumed.  We’ll be ready to welcome you at the bakery by 9:30AM.

We will have our full selection of bread and sweets at the bakery, as usual, including Roasted Garlic Sourdough, Rhubarb Danish and Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Chocolate Chip Cookies, Burger Buns and Frozen Pizza Dough.  The whole nine yards.  Even our World Cup Cookies, for the last time this quadrennial. 

We’re sticking with our best bread at the Farmer’s Market, to start the season anyway.  Tomorrow we will have the following at the Market:

  • Caraway and Mustard Seed Rye
  • Saskatchewan Sourdough
  • 24 Hour Sourdough
  • Orange Boot Birdseed Bread
  • Whole Wheat
  • 12 Grain

If all goes well, we’ll be back at the Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer.  I’ll keep you posted.

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Road Construction Update! Getting to the Bakery on Saturday

We woke up to a big surprise Friday morning.  As the sun came up we saw friendly City workers blocking off all access to Gordon Road from Queen Street, effectively cutting off all access to our parking lot.

This was a huge surprise to us, as we thought we had enough parking lot disruption last year.  But I guess they only paved *up to* the intersection last year.  This year they are going to pave *across* the intersection. Argh!

But there’s good news!  You can still reach our parking lot this Saturday!  There are three ways to get this done and they are all perfectly legal and perfectly safe:

a) via Queen Street:  Turn down the back alley and drive around the mall.  When you get to Gordon Road, double back along the “closed” lane to access the parking lot.

b) Eastbound on Gordon Road: at the Pasqua intersection, cut left into the “closed” lane.  There’s a sign saying “business access only”.  That means us!  Then you can come into the parking lot no problem.

c) Westbound on Gordon Road: go past the bakery and turn right on Pasqua St.  Take the next right into the back alley, follow it till you get to the mall, drive behind the dentist office, then turn left onto Gordon Road in the “closed” lane.

Clear as mud? I hope so.  I worked up a detailed map just in case:

Parking Map 600px

(click the picture for a larger view!)

You can also park behind the bakery on Queen Street, across the street from the bakery on Gordon Road, or anywhere else parking is legal.  We’re hoping for sunshine, so take a stroll!

I think they’ll be done all the paving by the end of day Saturday. I figured they’d be all done by 9 Friday night, but everyone was gone by 3:45.  Ah well.

I hope that if you were planning to visit Saturday you come say hi.  We’re baking our full selection and regular Saturday amounts, even though we’ll likely not have as many guests as normal.  We started lots of the preparations on Thursday (the good stuff takes time) so there was no turning back even when they started chewing up the pavement.

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Get Your Father’s Day Basket and Head to the Park!

Robyn and Grandpa

This is a Father’s Day post, so here’s to you, Dad!

One of our favourite family summertime traditions is to pack up the kids, the cooler, the Frisbees and the football and head out for a Barbeque in Wascana Park.  Candy Cane park was a favourite destination when Ben and Robyn were little; plenty of swings, climbing gear and that groovy Canada Goose slide meant there was lots to do while the charcoal got going.  After the chimney was hot, it was time for me to get serious, grilling up a mountain of burgers, dogs and smokies for my family, our folks, Cindy’s sisters and, if my sister Wanda was down from Prince Albert, her family too.

It’s probably no surprise that I tended to control the grill, just like I control the oven at the bakery. What can I say, I like cooking!

I was thinking of those fine summer days when we designed our annual Father’s Day Special basket, so this year we’re going with a BBQ theme.  A well thought out selection of tasty baked treats to help you have the perfect BBQ.  And with a special bonus that will knock your Father’s Day BBQ out of the park, and the next few BBQ’s too.   We’re calling this Dad’s BBQ Bread Basket and I think you’re going to love it.

Here’s what we have in store for you:

  • First up is our “once a year only” Bacon and Cheddar Sourdough Loaf.  We’re heading down to Butcher Boy for some of their best smoked bacon, grating up two types of aged cheddar cheese and adding both to our sublime Saskatchewan Sourdough loaf.  This truly is the Good Stuff – after we cooked up the bacon last Father’s Day we could barely bake anymore we were so hungry!
  • Then we’re adding a selection of our best BBQ Buns.  Onion Poppy Seed, Cheese Buns and Sesame Burger buns.  Each are amazing on their own, but together they are guaranteed to cause a few arguments at the buffet line;
  • We’re also adding a six pack of Brioche Slider Buns.  These are extra rich, moist, delicate morsels that are at home with burgers but will take your brisket or pulled pork to a whole ‘nuther level;
  • And we also have a bottle of our must have BBQ condiment, the Regina Classic, Jack Keaton’s Original BBQ Sauce!

Hmm.  Really?  I dunno – I don’t think you were suitably impressed by the last bullet point.  Please indulge me for a moment…

I love, Love, LOVE Jack Keaton’s BBQ and Grill up on Rochdale Drive!  LOVE IT!  Gosh, I’m getting excited just thinking about that place.

Brett and Kristi Huber are an incredibly hard working husband and wife team who love good barbeque as much as Cindy and I love good bread. They’ve built this cool, unique family run business in the north end just like we built our little bread shop in the south end.  They’re kindred spirits, in a smoked meat kinda way.

Whenever Cindy and I are at our wits end, completely exhausted, and famished after a mega-bake day, typically around 2:30 in the afternoon,  we make the pilgrimage up the Lewvan for bbq ribs, brisket, southern fried chicken, mac and cheese and corn on the cob.  And while we eat, we debate what meal we’re having at 2:30PM.  Late lunch?  Early supper?  Don’t make no difference to us – we just eat it up.  I’m sure it’s just as good at regular mealtimes too.

And their sauce?  Killer.  Just amazing.  We always have a bottle in our fridge and I love to put it on everything but my breakfast cereal.  Sweet, tangy and with a bit of a kick too.  Delish!

Oh yeah, and the best part is I now have an answer when folks complain that they had to drive “all the way” to Gordon Road for some good bread. I’d drive to Jack Keaton’s in a heartbeat, in rush hour, during construction season, just before a Rider Game, with a big thunderstorm comin’.  Wanna go? OK!  Let’s go!

…oh.  Right.  The rest of the basket.   I’ll tell you about it then we’ll get ribs, OK?

I think that, other than the meat, we’ve got your BBQ supper covered.  But what about dessert, you ask?  Read on, my friend…

  • How about some of our should-be-famous Wookiee Cookies?  These yummy morsels have milk chocolate and regular chocolate chips.  They’re delightfully retro (the recipe is from the 1998 Star Wars Cookbook) but tasty enough to belong in 21st Century.
  • And if that’s not enough chocolate, we’ll add in some Orange Boot Brownies. Ultra yummy, uber chocolaty and just big enough that you’ll wonder if you should cut it in half and share it.  Oh Dad, you just eat the whole thing.  You’re worth it!

So let’s recap, shall we?

Each special Dad’s BBQ Bread Basket will contain:

  • One Bacon Cheddar Sourdough Loaf
  • Six Best BBQ Buns.  Two each: Sesame Burger Buns, Onion Poppy Seed Buns and Cheese Buns
  • a six pack of Brioche Slider Buns
  • Six Wookiee Cookies
  • Two Orange Boot Brownies
  • a bottle of Jack Keaton’s Original BBQ Sauce
  • All lovingly packed by hand in a wrapped gift basket, available for pickup on Saturday afternoon, June 14, 2014.

 

Dad’s BBQ Bread Baskets are $45 each and will be available for pickup from the bakery between noon and 4PM on Saturday, June 14*.

These baskets are limited edition:  only 40 baskets are available and they will sell out.  To guarantee you get one of these delicious gift baskets,  order using the form below or call the bakery at (306) 584-2668.   First ordered, first served and when they are gone, they’re gone.  So don’t delay, order today!**

* Even though we open at 9:30AM on Saturday, your basket won’t be ready until noon, so the bread has time to cool before we build the baskets.  If you are one of our early morning Weekend Warriors, let us know what other weekend baking you’d like and we’ll set it aside for you when you come in the afternoon.  No need to come twice on Saturday.  No need to miss out on your croissants or feta flatbreads either!

** Orders will be processed in the order they are received.  I will remove the website order form once all 40 baskets are sold out.

Here’s the form!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone Number

How many baskets would you like? (required)

Anything else you'd like to tell us?

Please answer this question to prevent Spam orders:

The capital of Saskatchewan? 

By clicking the "order now" button you agree to pick up your baking from Orange Boot Bakery on Saturday, June 14, between noon and 4 PM. No shows receive bad karma!

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Treat Mom with a Beautiful Breakfast Basket!

moms rule

[Update:  As of Monday, May 5, we are sold out of Mother's Day baskets.  Cindy and I will re-assess things today and if we can make a few more we will re-open the order form and let you know via the Bootnik email list.   Not getting our emails?  Sign up here!]

Whether it rains, snows or finally warms up, next Sunday is Mother’s Day.  Time to celebrate the Moms, Grandmas and all the other lovely women in your life.  And it’s a tradition at Orange Boot to create a unique, tasty, limited edition gift to say “I Love You Mom!” and have something to eat after.

This year we want to help you celebrate Mom with what we’re calling Mom’s Beautiful Breakfast Basket.  It’s a selection of goodies inspired by and built by our favourite ladies that are part of Orange Boot Bakery all year long:

First, there’s the fabulous bakers of Orange Boot:  Teisha, Kim, Sandy and Cindy.  They’ve created a huge selection of breakfast treats to give to Mom next weekend:

  • Kim created a White Chocolate and Pear Biscotti, sweet, crisp biscuits that go great with a hot breakfast beverage;
  • Kim is also making her wonderful Apple Hazelnut Coffee Cake, a crumbly, fruity, moist sweet treat;
  • Teisha and Sandy will make a special mini Semolina “S” loaf, covered in toasted sesame seeds.  This loaf is great with honey or jam for breakfast on Sunday;
  • Cindy will be baking up a mega batch of her amazing Blueberry Orange muffins, which positively glow with sunny goodness.

Next, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t include something from our regular customers.  Sally and Janis have been asking for brioche for a while now so I spent some time working up Orange Boot Brioche.  Soft, silky, and golden brown, brioche is a ultra rich little bread for one, shaped in a fluted cup.

Then we had to get a little crazy because Moms can be a little crazy too.  A lovely gentleman brought us a recipe for Morrocan M’Hancha from the Globe and Mail and asked us to make it.  Taking that recipe as inspiration, Kim came up with a fruit and nut filling (including figs and dates) and paired it with our flaky croissant dough.  We’re calling it the Fruit and Nut Swirl and putting some of those in the basket too.

Finally, we brought some of our lovely local food ladies to the party:

  • Michelle Frisholz is the heart and soul of Zee Bee Honey from Zehner, SK and her honey has been featured at the bakery for a while now.  We’re really excited to include a jar of wonderful Zee Bee Honey to spread on our Semolina bread at breakfast next Sunday.
  • And last but not least, Mom will need something to wash down all this yummy baking.  So we partnered up with Jule from Cuppa T for a satchel of her best breakfast tea.  Jule is a great friend of ours – Farmers Market neighbour in Summer, official tea supplier to Orange Boot and a fun loving, ever-smiling joy to be around.

So let’s recap, shall we?

Each special Mom’s Beautiful Breakfast Basket will contain:

  • One Apple Hazelnut coffee cake
  • One mini Semolina S loaf
  • Two Orange Boot Brioche
  • Four White Chocolate and Pear biscotti
  • Two Fruit and Nut Swirls
  • Two Orange Blueberry muffins
  • a jar of Zee Bee Honey
  • a satchel (50g) of Cuppa T tea
  • All lovingly packed by hand in a wrapped gift basket, available for pickup on Saturday afternoon, May 10, 2014.

Mom’s Beautiful Breakfast Baskets are $45 each and will be available for pickup from the bakery between noon and 4PM on Saturday, May 10*.

These baskets are limited edition:  only 40 baskets are available and they will sell out.  To guarantee you get one of these delicious gift baskets,  order online here** or call the bakery at (306) 584-2668.   First ordered, first served and when they are gone, they’re gone.  So don’t delay, order today!**

* Even though we open at 9:30AM on Saturday, your basket won’t be ready until noon, so the bread has time to cool before we build the baskets.  If you are one of our early morning Weekend Warriors, let us know what other weekend baking you’d like and we’ll set it aside for you when you come in the afternoon.  No need to come twice on Saturday.  No need to miss out on your croissants or feta flatbreads either!

** Orders will be processed in the order they are received.  I will remove the website order form once all 40 baskets are sold out.

 

 

 

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May Bread of the Month: Semolina!

Semolina BOTM 2013

Our Bread of the Month for May features Semolina flour.  It’s a chance to get a taste of Italy and Saskatchewan at the same time.

Semolina flour comes from durum wheat – the hard, large, golden, high protein wheat variety that is at home in hot, dry southern Italy.  When I was a kid, durum was also a very popular crop to grow in hot, dry, southern Saskatchewan, but it’s not seen as often these days around here.  Maybe it’s all the April snow we’ve been getting…

Semolina is most commomly used to make pasta, but there is a long history of baking with semolina too.  The italian village of Altamura is famous for their durum wheat bread, which is so unique it was awarded DOP status, like San Marzano tomatoes or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

At Orange Boot, we don’t have DOP status yet, but we are making two distinctive loaves for you this month:

 

Semolina S

THE SEMOLINA LOAF

Of all the bread I made back in my brick oven days, this was Cindy’s favourite.  A flavourful, golden loaf in the traditional “S” shape and coated in sesame seeds.  We use our wild yeast levain in the dough to provide depth of flavour.  We also use a small amount of butter in this loaf; butter and semolina pair well and a slice will also brown very well in the toaster.

 

Sesame Flame

THE SESAME FLAME

The Sesame Flame is a crazy idea from my most amazing teacher.  Didier Rosada taught me this loaf in San Francisco in 2008 but I needed my current oven to make it worthwhile to bake it.

The Flame is a semolina baguette that is full of sesame seeds inside and also dipped in sesame seeds.  Just before baking, we split the baguette and shape into a wild lick of ‘flame’.  The end result is a huge, ridiculous sesame stick that is so big it’s almost impossible to put in a bag.  But the taste is incredible – crispy, chewy, nutty and sesame-y.  Wow!

I like to tear it apart and either eat it as is or dip it in hummus, tzatziki, or whatever I have at hand.

Both the Semolina Loaf and Sesame Flame are available every day in May, then that’s it for another year.  Get yours before they run out!

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Can I Bake in a Wheelchair?

Mark Loading Oven

I’m just barely getting the hang of loading the oven on my feet.  But next week I’ll be doing this from a wheelchair.

When the Canadian Paraplegic Association became our new neighbours last year I started to think a lot more about the challenges of living and working in a wheelchair.  Those cracks in our sidewalks looked bigger.  So did the potholes in our parking lot and our “blowin’ in the wind” front door.   So when Sheila asked me to be a Chair Leader on May 7, I said Yes right away.  I want to show just how much I can (or can’t) accomplish in a normal baking shift.

  • Can I reach the bench to shape dough?
  • Can I load the oven?  Do dishes?
  • What if I’m a customer?  Can I actually navigate the new ramp our landlord put in last summer?  Can I make it along the sidewalk?
  • I usually have a delivery to make on Wednesdays.  How is that going to work?

Oh dear.  This really will be a challenge.

But that’s the point of the whole event.  To raise awareness of what people with spinal cord injuries have to deal with every day.  And to shine a light on what needs to be fixed so everyone can get around barrier free.

So come see how I do on the morning of May 7.  But more importantly, please donate now.   I know I’m going to screw up lots and find a hundred things that need fixing.  And there’s a thousand other things that need fixing around Saskatchewan to make the province more accessible.  That’s what the Paraplegic Association does — they help people with spinal cord injuries find accessible housing, get to work, and work in accessible workplaces.  Your donation will help the CPA provide even more services to folks right here in Saskatchewan.

Tell your friends that you helped us out and get them to help us out too.  Tweet, Facebook, Tumble or Stumble.  Come Snapchat or Instagram or Pin as I struggle through a bake shift.  Whatever it takes.  But donate now.  Thanks.

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