Thursday, November 11, 2010
Happy Birthday to The Village Baking Co. Sourdough Starter!
Seven years ago today, The Village Baking Co. began with the birth of our Sourdough Starter. As Clint returned to Dallas from the San Francisco Baking Institute, he had one thing in mind, to start baking the best sourdough bread in the South. Seven years later the sourdough continues to rise as we "spread the loaves" across Texas. Pick up the birthday bread at your local farmers market and celebrate!
HISTORY OF SOURDOUGH
Sourdough is the oldest and most original form of leavened bread. The oldest recorded use of sourdough is from the Ancient Egyptian civilizations.
It was probably discovered as most things are by accident. The first recorded civilization we know about that used sourdough was the Egyptians around 1500 BC. There are many stories as to how they first discovered it, but you can probably imagine that some bread was left out and some of the wild yeast spores that are in the air at all times got mixed in the dough and they noticed that it rose and was lighter than the usual flat breads. The Egyptians also made a lot of beer and the brewery and the bakery were often in the same place. a batch of flour may have been mixed with beer and produced a light loaf of bread, or the wild yeast spores were thick from the brewing and they got into the bread doughs and caused them to rise considerably more than the usual wild sourdoughs. Through trial and error they found out that some of these sourdough cultures worked and tasted better than others. They could keep this culture alive by saving from their baking a little raw dough and adding more flour to it, and it would produce the same flavor. This is known as a sourdough starter. A good sourdough culture became very important to day to day living, and even taken by explorers when they went on expeditions around the world.
During the gold rush days in California, some of the Boudin family who were well known master Bakers from France came to the San Francisco area. They found out that the sourdough culture there was very unique and they became very famous for their bread with this special flavor. The miners flocked to this bakery every morning for this special tasting bread. Since 1849 they have been using the same sourdough culture, which they call a "Mother dough" and the same recipe, flour, water, a pinch of salt and some of the this "Mother Dough".So important is their "Mother Dough" it was heroically saved by Louise Boudin during the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
Sourdough also came in handy 'when old timers had to tan hides. They rubbed it into the skin, fur side down till soft and dry. Some claim there starters to the fame of originating in the old country or from the Klondike era. Recently a sum of $600.00 American was paid by a restaurant desiring the authenticity of Alaskan sourdough from the gold rush days.
DID YOU KNOW....Sourdough turns Carbohydrates into Proteins?
They say that Sourdough contains the greatest amount of protein for it's weight and size of any comparable food. "Hmm" I thought "just how does that come about when it's ingredients are all carbohydrates?" Apparently a wild yeast forms in the fermentation process of the starter. At that stage, a starch food is turned into a protein dynamo food.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Hatch is a small farming community in South Central New Mexico about 80 north of El Paso, Texas. It is known as the Chile Capital of the World. These Chile’s have a very short six week growing season from the end of July though August. Don’t be fooled by just the name “Hatch Green Chile’s” in the chain stores all around town because very rarely do these come from the Hatch Valley. The most common variety is a large meaty Chile ranging in size from 7-10 inches. They have a heat range from mild to very hot. These little jewels loss their quality if they aren’t packed and referegated right away. Our Chiles come from Berridge Farms, where they take tremendous care to make sure we get the freshest finest quality Chiles we can buy.
We will be baking a Hatch Green Chile/Sharp Cheddar boule for the Saturday markets. Please come by and see us.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
The average Food travels 1500 miles to reach your plate. Those of us who shop at local farmers markets are making the transition to support the local food system. We can eat locally and seasonally with little sacrifice. In Texas, still some crops simply aren’t available in our climate. But we can begin to look at imported foods as things that supplement our local foods.
Supporting our local farmers markets will only encourage those farmers around Texas to start looking at ways to make a living. The average age of a farmer is 56 years old. This is insane! At the same time only 2% of the U.S. population is living outside of the urban cities. In 1935 80% of the U.S. population was living in rural areas.
At the bakery we try to buy as much local as we possibly can. For instance, in our croissant’s the butter comes from East Texas, our milk comes from central Texas, the sugar comes from East Texas and the Flour comes from Utah.
Here are some averages for a Terminal Market:
Apples 1,555 miles
Tomatoes 1,369 miles
Grapes 2,143 miles
Beans 766 miles
Peaches 1,674 miles
Winter Squash 781 miles
Greens 889 miles
Lettuce 2,055 miles
Thursday, June 3, 2010
come available this summer and fall we will have more and more.
Galette is a rustic free-formed tart filled normally filled with seasonal berries and fruits. They are a staple at most farmers markets in France. They are less romantic then a traditional tart, but offer a more crisp crust. These little treats are great with an afternoon espresso or coffee with a friend.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
by Kim Pierce, Dallas Morning News on May 8th
Farmers Market Finds No. 2: priceless by Kim Pierce- http://www.eatsblog.dallasmorningnews.com/ posted May 8, 2010
"I am excited to report that I got to the White Rock Local Market this morning in time to snatch up one of Village Baking Co.'s pain au levain, another revelation. Clint Cooper is quite possibly the most talented bread baker in Dallas.
Pain au levain is an amazing bread, with a crust so crunchy it sprays crumbs in every direction when you cut into it. And the interior is so complex - at once dense, springy and nutty, with layers of flavor. Toasted with a little butter, it's heavenly.
Village Baking Co. is at several area farmers markets, including Coppell, Frisco and McKinney (Chestnut Square on Saturday only).
Oh the irony: I pride myself on being such a health foodie, and what did I have for breakfast today? Processed meat (Homestead Land and Cattle Co.'s hot dogs, see previous post) and bread made with refined white flour and butter. Not sorry."
Come see us in the morning! We will be at the following markets:
Coppell, Keller, Frisco, McKinney & Barton Creek (Austin)
Friday, May 7, 2010
White Rock, Coppell, Keller, McKinney-Chesnut Square, Frisco, Austin-Barton Creek
No Farmers. No Bread.
By Kim Cooper
Thank heavens for our wheat farmers in America. If it weren't for them, none of us would have bread on the table. Clint and I both come from a long line of farmers. My great grandfather settled the farm and ranch, in Hansford County, where I was raised and where golden wheat still grows strong. I spent summers riding in the combine with my dad and then driving the old ford truck full of wheat to Bernstein Elevators. My favorite part of the day was getting an ice cold bottle of coca cola from the elevator and savoring every sip on the way back to the field. Little did I know one day I would marry a baker and see things come full circle....from planting, to harvest, to flour and then into the amazing bread formed by husbands hands. We are currently testing the wheat from our farm to hopefully use for our breads! The day we bake our bread from the wheatfields that my family has farmed for over 100 years will indeed be a happy day. This is one of the many reasons we just love the local farmers markets! Hope to see you all out this saturday!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Clint Cooper bakes his pain au levain (sourdough) only for farmers markets. The dough requires 30 hours of fermentation, he says, and produces his most unique bread: "amazing, intense, wheaty and natural." It ought to be a fine loaf. Cooper owns Village Baking Co., which had a retail bakery in Colleyville before closing to concentrate on wholesale. Now he's back in retail, only at farmers markets, with breads, pastries and croissants. Confession: I'll be in line like everyone else to get his pain au levain; he was out when I stopped by. Cranberry-raisin-walnut made an awesome stand-in.
This morning, I was at the bakery's Dallas kitchen for a farmers market story when noticed some newspaper clips mounted on the wall and it hit me: The Village Baking Co. that several farmers market operators had been raving about was the same bakery that had once had the shop in Colleyville. No wonder they were saying it was so good.
Owner-baker Clint Cooper told me that he had looked into starting a market of his own, and when that proved to be unworkable, he started selling at the Coppell winter market in February.
Every Saturday, he or a friend or family member brings breads, croissants and pastries fresh from the Dallas oven to the Keller Farmers Market, Coppell Farmers Market, Frisco Farmers Market, McKinney Farmers Market and, this coming Saturday, to the White Rock Local Market.
I just sliced into a still-warm cranberry-raisin-walnut loaf he gave me - and what wonderful flavor and texture, with a crust that almost pings. How excellent to have this bakery back on the radar.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
In my opinion, the signature of a baker or bakery, is how the cuts on a loaf of bread open up. So much goes into making a perfect loaf of bread, but the skills and knowledge can be easily defined by just a quick glance of a loaf. This goes back to the farmer and the wheat that a baker selects to use for each product. At our bakery we use about 10 different types of flour to get desired performance for different breads that we bake.
Without getting too technical, you can tell that a baker has picked out the right wheat for the bread. From here you go to tell if they have mixed and shaped the dough right. Next the most telling signs are that the baker has proofed the bread just right. When the cuts of the bread don’t “open up” this is normally because the baker has over proofed and over mixed the bread. When the cuts open up and start “tearing” this means the dough was not yet ready for the oven or the wheat selected was too strong. But when you have done everything right, the right wheat, the right mixing times and proofed for the exact amount of time, the cuts should open up with a “high ear” (ear is the term for the cuts on a loaf of bread) and not tear. It is such a great feeling when you open the window of the oven and see the cuts opening up as you have planned. You can see at the grocery stores that have “Artisan Bread” (this is a whole other topic of discussion) and how the cuts do not have ears at all, makes for a truly sad looking loaf.
So much goes into baking the perfect loaf, but at first glance you will be able to distinguish what should be a very thoughtful loaf of bread.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
We will not be at any markets this weekend due to bags and labels on order to meet new healthcare codes. Clint is down south cooking for a Charity gala and signing VBC up for Austin farmers markets. Spread the good news to your friends down south! See you all next weekend!
photo: AMWZ photography www.amwzphotography.com
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Yesterday my son and I drove out to Dublin, Texas to meet one of the great Texas Artisan Dairyman and Cheese Maker at Veldhuizen Cheese. I was on a journey to find fresh milk to use in my croissants and brioche this weekend and what I found was a great Texas family. I set down and spoke with four generations of Dairymen, the entire Veldhuizen family, for more than 3 hours. They told me stories of how and why they got started in cheese making. I was so intrigued, because it was inline of how I got started baking bread. Stuart told me that about 8 years ago when the dairy market got hit, he was flat broke with 7 children. He knew that he had to do something that would add value to his true passion of the dairy and that would help the farm survive. This is how his cheese making career got started. He told me that he had no money to pay his feed bill or let alone by the cheese molds to make his cheeses. So he went to making the molds out of stuff on the farm, PVC pipes, etc. I was blown away at this man’s unwavering determination and dedication to his family and vocation. What came out of this is some of the greatest dairy products and cheese in the state.
The Fresh milk that I picked up yesterday was milked only hours before I was leaving. It is like no other milk that you get anywhere….Milk really has flavor…and man does this milk have flavor. You can taste the green grass that his herd feeds on all day in the rolling pastures of Dublin. I can’t wait to bring those flavors out in my brioche and croissants. I will also be using the eggs from the free range chickens that they have rooming the flower beds and pastures on the farm. I brought some cheese home and hope to be implementing some cheese for next week’s markets.
See you all on Saturday..
Friday, April 2, 2010
Chestnut Square Farmers Market, McKinney 8-12
Four Seasons Farmers Market, Garland 8-12
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Clint just pulled bread and croissants out of the oven! Come get it while it is hot! Baker's whim this weekend Organic Pain Au Levain. Hope to see you all there!
Coppell Farmers Market
McKinney Farmers Market
White Rock Farmers Market
Garland Farmers Market
Friday, March 19, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Here is our list of market breads for this weekend:
Cranberry Raisin Walnut
Pain Au Chocolate
Pain Au Pomme
Laminated Brioche with Cinnamon & Sugar
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Honey Whole Wheat
BAKER'S WHIM: Pain Au Levain
Pain Au Chocolate
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuna Nicoise Tartine
1 large can of Tuna packed in olive oil (or water)
1 tbs plus 1 tsp minced shallots
1 tbs plus 1 tsp of minced cornichons
1 tbs plus 1 tsp minced drained capers
1 tbs minced chives
2 tsp minced Italian parsley
2 tsp minced tarragon
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup mayonnaise
kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 village baking co. baguette
Extra virgin olive oil
Bibb lettuce leaves
4 hard boiled eggs
12 large radish slices
12 Nicoise olives, pitted and halved
Put the tuna in a strainer set over a bowl to allow excess oil to drain off but do not squeeze dry. Transfer the drained tuna to a large bowl. Add the shallots, cornichons, capers, chives, parsley, tarragon and toss together. Gently stir in lemon juice and mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler. Lay the baguette on its side and cut it on a severe bias to get 4 slices approximately 10 inches long and 1/2 inch think. Drizzle both sides of each slice lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place under the broiler until golden brown on the first side, then turn to brown second side.
Arrange the Bibb lettuce over the bread and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mound the tuna salad down the length of each baguette slice. Cut 4 slices from each egg and arrange the slices over the tuna. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange 3 radish slices over the egg slices. Press 3 olive halves into the tuna mixture on either side of each baguette. Sprinkle 1 tbs of chives over the top of each sandwich. Grind black pepper over the top of the sandwiches and drizzle with some olive oil.
Serve the tartines with cornichons, garnished with a small bunch of mache or watercress if desired.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Here is the site for the market: www.chestnutsquare.org
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
by Kim Cooper
Valentine's Day is in two days and if you are snowed in and can't get out to shop for your valentine this weekend, here is the most perfectly delicious piece of chocolate that you could ever give your valentine. Our decadent Chocolate truffle cake recipe is one that you will definitely want to try. This melt in your mouth slice of heaven will turn any frown upside down...especially if you don't have a gift for your sweetheart on Sunday. Throw your apron on and show your love in the kitchen this weekend! If you are out and about, don't forget to swing by Sprouts for their nicely priced wines and our crusty artisan bread. Wine, bread and chocolate....what else does one need in life?
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
By Kim Cooper
Today will be a very happy day to all of our caesar salad fans. For at last, you won't stop me in the grocery store or yell out your window in the Starbucks line and ask for the recipe! I will never forget how we landed this particular dressing recipe. It was 9:00 at night before we opened our little french bakery cafe in 2004 and Clint decided last minute that we needed to add a caesar salad to the menu. Clint's dad and his friend Alan Sanderson were working on a piece of equipment and Alan yelled across the kitchen in excitment that he had the best caesar salad dressing recipe in the world! He ran to the store, gathered all of the ingredients and made it right there on the spot. He wasn't lying....it was the best caesar salad we had ever tasted! So, thanks to Alan, we had devoted customers who were obsessed and still obsessed after five years of the infamous village baking co. caesar salad. Funny how things just always work out. This salad was one of our best selling lunch items. Enjoy this fresh and healthy alternative to lunch or dinner and add grilled chicken if you prefer.
4 cloves of garlic
1 cups of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 anchovy fillets
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
freshly ground pepper
*add large egg yolk after blending above ingredients
Blend until creamy.
Pour over chopped romain lettuce, add village baking co. croutons and toss. Grilled chicken optional.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Day old Village Baking Co. bread of any kind
cayenne & garlic powder to taste
Cut bread into cubes and place in a large bowl. Drizzle cubes with olive oil and seasonings. Mix well.
Spread seasoned bread onto a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes.