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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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Easter Holiday Hours

Mixed Eggs

Easter Sunday is April 20, snow or no snow.  (I’m hoping for no snow.)  With the Good Friday holiday, our hours have changed a bit this week.

 

We’re open as usual Thursday, April 17, 9:30AM – 6PM

 

We are CLOSED on Good Friday, April 18.

 

We are open on Saturday, April 19, 9:30AM – 4PM.

 

Even though we’re closed for a day, the bakers will be working all day and all night to get ready for our two busiest days of the year.  The Thursday and Saturday before Easter really put stress on our tiny oven, trying to get the hundreds of Easter Braids, Hot Cross Buns and Easter Egg Sugar Cookies baked for you, along with our regular bread, pastries and sweets. 

So please forgive us if we look weary instead of cheery this week. We still love to see you and have a chat, but we may have to keep our hands moving at the same time!

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Will You Be the Next Orange Boot Baker?

2014 bake crew

Want to work with this bevy amazing of bakers?  Now’s your chance!

Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned over the years at Orange Boot Bakery is how crucial it is to build a strong, energetic team to work with every day.  Our current bake crew is exactly that.  I’m so lucky to be able to work with Teisha, Sandy, Sheraea and Kim every day.  Not only are they talented bakers, with a love of their craft and excellent hand skills, but they are so much fun to work with too.  It’s a joy to come into the bakery every morning knowing I get to work with them.

There’s a downside to this, however.  When you hire great people, their lives are full of adventure and sometimes they have to move on.  Sheraea is getting married soon and next month is moving to be closer to her new husband.  We’re going to miss her calm smile, her eagerness to try new things and her mad oven skillz.

So we’re hiring again. Very quickly, since we need to replace Sheraea, but very slowly, because we’re looking for the Right Person.  The Next Orange Boot Baker:

  • is excited about bringing joy to hundreds of people every week through the food he/she makes in the morning
  • loves hard, physical, fast paced work if that’s what is needed to make the best baking for people
  • is enthusiastic and full of energy, even before sunrise
  • loves working as part of a highly motivated team
  • is willing to learn in the name of creating the best baked goods in the world

The Next Orange Boot Baker may have some pastry school cred, or previous professional baking experience, but it’s not necessary.  What’s necessary is the overwhelming desire to create something truly remarkable.

Does this describe you, or someone you know?  Then we need to talk. 

Call Mark or Cindy at (306) 584-2668 (mention you’re calling about the baker position), come into the bakery in person Tuesday – Saturday between 8AM and 2pm, or apply online here.

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We’re Baking for Respect

Respect

 

My friend Yvette told me about the Red Cross Day of Pink that’s coming up on Wednesday, April 9 and I couldn’t pass up the chance to get involved.  I want to stand up and be counted.  I hope you will too.

The International Day of Pink is all about taking a stand against bullying, especially bullying by kids and in schools.  It was started by two kids in Nova Scotia who had enough when another student got teased for wearing a pink shirt to school.  They started wearing pink too in support of their friend.  Now it’s an international event and has made its way to Saskatchewan.

I’m glad it’s here.  Respect (the antidote to bullying) is a value I cherish, although I don’t always have enough of it inside me.  I’m lucky though, in that I have a daughter with crystal clear perception of the people around her, since she was 3 years old.  She sees the kids and adults that are hurting and tries to help them out, no matter what. I’m lucky to have that beacon to inspire me to improve myself.

She’s also helped me see just how pervasive bullying still is in our society. Maybe it’s not as overtly violent as when I was a kid, when if you were different you got beat up after school, but we can be as mean, dismissive, gossipy and hurtful as ever.  That’s not going to change overnight, but it has to change.  It has to stop.

So I’ll be proudly wearing my pink t-shirt on Wednesday April 9.  We all will.  At Orange Boot (on Wednesday, we’ll be Pink Boot Bakery), we’ll all be baking for you and serving you in pink this Wednesday and making special t-shirt cookies too.  All proceeds from the t-shirt cookies will be donated to the Sheldon Williams Collegiate Peer Support program to support the good work they are doing at the school.

I hope you come say Hi on Wednesday, have a cookie and even wear some pink of your own.  Respect.

Photo from Red Cross Manitoba

*update* – I had originally called the SWC program “anti-bullying” but peer support is the correct name.

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Old School Easter Baking

Now that March has nearly finished going out like a Lion (hey, didn’t it come in like a Lion too?) we’ve turned our attention to our Easter Baking line up.  The Easter season has always been a very busy time at the bakery as Spring finally arrives, people head outside more and everyone gets active.  Couple that with special family meals at Easter and there are plenty of reasons to be hungry!

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Folks have been asking for Hot Cross Buns since Christmas and they are finally here!  We will have Hot Cross Buns available every day at the bakery starting Tuesday April 1 until the Saturday before Easter.

We make a traditional Hot Cross Bun which, as best we can tell, is a unique thing in Regina.   Our buns are slightly sweet, a little spicy and full of candied orange peel and currants.  We pipe a flour paste cross on the top before baking and then brush on a light glaze when the buns are still hot.  They are beautiful to behold and even better to eat. 

No matter how many Hot Cross Buns we make, they tend to sell out early, so please order in advance to be sure you get your buns, especially closer to Easter.  Large orders (more than 12 HCB’s) need two days notice.  We’ll do our best to fill all orders within the constraints of Einstein’s theories of time and space.

Easter Bread Big

Easter Bread

We are also making round Easter Bread from April 1 through the 18th.  Orange Boot Easter Bread is a sweet, enriched loaf with dark raisins, golden raisins and cranberries.

This ‘new tradition’ celebration loaf is my take on my Grandma Silverson’s Kolach, which she would make every Easter at the farm.  When I was little I loved how her round, sweet loaf sat all big and proud at the centre of her dining room table.  Every year I regret that I didn’t pay better attention to how she made her bread, but I think she’d be proud of the golden brown, sweet braided loaves we make at Orange Boot.  They look great and taste even better.

I know for sure that at the bakery we take a lot longer to build a loaf than my Grandma did.  We use a technique called a ‘preferment’ to add more flavour to the loaf, but that means the loaf is another two day build.  So if you have a special occasion or want to order a large number of loaves, be sure to give us two days notice so we know to make more.  Once we’re sold out for the day, we can’t ‘whip up’ a new batch.

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