Category Archives: Bakery

Rising Morning. Rising Bread.

This morning I had the pleasure of observing some early morning behind-the-scenes bread baking.  When I first came to the bakery, Jamie was mixing a batch of dough in the large stand mixer.  She poured in a flour and eggy mixture, and then slowly sifted more flour into the bowl as it mixed.  She moved swiftly between adding the flour to the mixing bowl and working on other tasks.  As I stood at watched, I slowly came to realize how much was going on at once.  Beside her on the work bench there were loaf pans full of bread that had already been mixed and loafed.  These breads were waiting for their turn in the oven.  On the other side of the room there was a bowl full of rising dough.  It was ballooning up, almost over the sides of the bowl, peeking out from under the cloth that was covering it.  Standing next to it, I could feel the
presence of that dough.  It certainly had a force rising up there in that bowl.  It was warm in the room and the longer I stood there the more layers I had to shed.  Feeling the heat and looking over at that bowl of bread growing made me smile.   After the dough in the mixer was done, Jamie moved to this bowl.  She uncovered it, poured the dough out onto her bench, and began to pat it down.  The whole bowl of dough moved as one bodily mass.

She then sectioned off pieces of dough that would form the loaves and weighed them out individually.  Jamie moved with the speed and ease of someone who has been baking for a long time.  You can see it in her subtle movements and connection to her process, product, and equipment.  Piece after piece of dough was put aside that she then made into loaves.

The process of forming each loaf was beautiful to watch, and reminded me of the way a potter interacts with clay on the potters wheel.  The physical memory is so well ingrained that the motions look effortless.

 After she made loaves from the rising bowl, it was time to put the existing loaves into the oven.  She opened the top shelf of the oven and warmth bellowed out of it.I then noticed that there were long baguettes and loaf pans of risen dough sitting on top of the oven that I hadn’t even seen yet.  Those trays went into the oven and the loaves that had been on the tables moved on top of the oven.

That’s when I realized: Jamie was baking five different types of bread at the same time, and several batches of each.  Talk about multi-tasking.  Each piece of the process seemed to be timed perfectly so that as a single person doing all this baking, she could move between tasks at key moments.

 

As a relatively new food producer myself, I am constantly thinking about ways to make tasks in the creamery more streamlined and  comfortable and am glad that I took some time to really watch how Jamie does things in the bakery.  Watching her work was impressive and inspiring – thank you Jamie!  Keep in mind that this is just a glimpse into the work that she does.  You can check out a few more photos from this morning on the Cricket Creek Farm facebook page and hopefully there will be more images coming out o f the bakery again soon.

 

 

faces of Cricket Creek

Hi all – Suzy here.  I wanted to take this blogging opportunity to share the various (gorgeous) faces of the farm.  I am grateful to work with some pretty spectacular people here at Cricket Creek.  Every day I feel lucky that I am surrounded by creative, hard-working, driven, and FUN folks.  What great people to spend my time with, to learn from and with.  Here’s a bit about each one of them.  If you stop by the farm, please say hi to them – I promise they are nice and will say “hi” back!

Mike – handy, adaptable, practical, kind, resourceful. pumps up flat tires in the parking lot without being asked, and doesn’t expect acknowledgement – he’s just that giving.  likes to problem solve.  is a paint expert, and what he doesn’t know, he definitely will find out.  drives a 25 year old station wagon with feathers, bark, and origami cranes on the dashboard.  before farming, he worked as a design drafter where he worked on steam turbine detail drawings.  last name is fox.

Casey – light-hearted, poised, imaginative, dynamic, positive.  has a boxer named Cudi who loves her dearly and yearns for her while she works.  she is from oklahoma and has lived in all sorts of states that I know little about.  has worked as a baker and concentrated on naturally leavened breads and specialty pastries.  carries a comfortable, upbeat demeanor with her.  knows the lyrics to any song that just happens to be playing.  has a readiness to learn and a lovely ease about her.

Paul – spirited, bold, devoted, earnest, giddy. studied art, and then realized his true love of cheese.  is a master cheese taster and describer.  dives in and takes initiative.  values education and taking on complex issues.  bonds with the tobasi late into the evening through wild molds, telepathy, and a roaring boom box.  sports a beard-net in the creamery.  it is amazing to dance with him – especially if there is a hula hoop involved.  has been described as part hobbit.  he knows more than he lets on.

Jamie – dedicated, ambitious, consistent, meticulous, attentive. she is famous ’round these parts – famous, and very well respected.  known for her lip-smacking baked goods and her kind eyes.  she can tell chickens apart with more accuracy than anyone I know.  has a vast apron collection.  likes to plan ahead.  she gives every question or issue her full consideration.  is the loving caregiver of a mule, a horse, a large dog, and a royal flock of fowl, including some very sexy roosters.

Nicole –  conscientious, driven, earnest, methodical, passionate.  spent some formative years in the pacific northwest, where she worked with the whole gamut of livestock.  was an exceptional mother to some weak little piglets here.  has an impressive commitment to health and wellness.  smiles very fully when discussing good food.  has a critical mind and a notable idealism.  has an openness to the world – absorbing theories, histories, practices.  you can tell she is on a quest – in a beautiful way. 

 

Matthew – deliberate, steady, industrious, sharp, humble.  has an amazing laugh – hearty and gentle.  inspires me to work harder.  has a strong ethical conscience.  doesn’t let on his critical artistic judgement.  likes to hang out with the dairy cows at night, and sleep outside when it’s cool.  primary form of communication with the dairy cows is whistling, which they respond to exceptionally well.  hates clichés and historical inaccuracies.  has an extensive knowledge of political, agricultural, and geographical history – but never flaunts.  when he isn’t feeding, moving, or milking animals, he is likely oiling his leather boots, cooking up something delectable, sharpening knives, reading, or drinking his daily gallon of milk.  

Jenni – thorough, dependable, cultured, diligent, mature.  worked in the event planning industry for a decade before diving into cheese.  seems to have lots of connections to important people.  finds creative solutions to even the smallest issues.  goes to see all the stars at tanglewood, where she recently overcame her fear of E.T. she exudes mental clarity, sincerity, and sophistication.  doesn’t judge, is very accepting.  she has an admirable focus while working, and sees tasks through to completion.  has a calming presence.
 
Topher – perceptive, patient, eloquent, thoughtful, charismatic.  will go out of his way for you.  looks you in the eyes.  incredibly analytical.  has a special affinity for spreadsheets, meaningful calculations, and googledocs.  his playfulness is infectious and subtle humor brings a lightness to the farm.  empowers others.  is a phenomenal listener – won’t ever cut you off.  apparently has a record-breaking collection of costumes, but doesn’t wear them as much as he probably should.  you can tell his whereabouts by his dented orange water bottle.

Jude – worldly, maternal, sophisticated, sociable, generous.  is unbelievably giving.
has lived on multiple continents, and has so many stories to tell – all of which she tells with affection and immense inner light.  she truly comes alive to music.  if you start singin’, you can count on her to sing along.  probably never imagined her life would take this turn, and she would become the proud owner of a place as successful, dynamic, and important as Cricket Creek Farm.  Thank you Jude!

New Bread Schedule!

There is a new bread schedule starting on 7/23 (Monday).

Mondays: Crusty White, Maple Oatmeal, Whole Oat

Wednesdays: Anadama, Black Pepper Parmesan, Triticale or Seven Grain

Thursdays: Jamie’s Choice

Fridays: Oatmeal Sunflower, Breakfast Buns, Chunky Cheddar Cheese, Crusty Wheat

Saturdays: Crusty White, Oatmeal, Cinnamon Raisin, Cracked Wheat, Cricket Creek Farmbread

And as usual we have a selection of muffins, cookies, coffee cakes, and crumb cakes!