How did you get started in making brick-oven bread?
In the spring of 2013, my wife and I (Nicole and John), started seriously researching and pursuing the different methods for making naturally leavened bread just to bake for our family. We loved homemade bread, but it was really hard to make consistently with decent results. Some of you know all about those infamous whole-wheat bricks...
After trying recipe after recipe for six months with less than satisfactory loaves, we landed on a traditional French pain au levain method that incorporated a natural leaven with a high-hydration dough, and the results were unbelievable from day one. We knew we had found the right path and have stuck to it ever since. After two years of learning to mill grain, fire a brick oven, and manipulate the dough to perform well, here we are offering you our finished product!
Where did the name for the bakery come from?
The Barefoot Baker is a name that reminds us and our customers that we need to live close to the land, close to our food producers, and close to our community. Our ingredients are organic and natural. We bake with integrity and welcome anyone into our kitchen to see how we make the bread. And we love to encourage people to share it with others. Bread is a communal food. It just tastes better with friends.
Can I change the variety of my bread each week?
If you have paid for your share, you had to choose your first variety of bread. Now that your account is active, you can change what kind of loaf you want any time. When we start mixing dough, we look at everyone's decision by 8:00am Wednesday morning and that is the kind you will receive on Thursday (or Friday for some). So, 8:00am Wednesday is the last time you can change your variety for your upcoming delivery. Of course, you can change it any time before then as well. All of the loaves share the same price.
Do you have any desserts?
They are coming soon! We are working to create treats and desserts that incorporate a natural leaven, heirloom grains, and high-quality sugars. We will keep you informed as to when they will be available!
Do you carry any gluten-free products?
The wave of gluten-free products and labels has created an interesting perspective on bread and wheat products.
If you do some investigating, you will find that many people who have reactions to products with gluten have no similar reaction when consuming naturally leavened bread. It's the leaven! All the activity and work that leaven does on the flour transforms the bread into something vastly more digestable than bread raised with commercial yeast. Obviously, if have a diagnosed wheat allergy or Celiac, do not eat our bread! If you are nervous to buy a whole share before knowing how you will feel, let us know and we'll get a free sample to you beforehand!
Speaking of gluten...
What is gluten?
Gluten is the name given to the proteins that are found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is what gives dough its elasticity, its strength, and the ability to hold a shape. Without gluten in wheat, bread would not be bread. Because modern wheats contain more protein (sometimes referred to as “stronger” wheat), it may be a catalyst for problems with people who have sensitive GI tracts. This may also be why people who don't do well with modern wheats do better with Spelt or Kamut. Nevertheless, when fermented properly, gluten, even in modern wheat, will be rendered more digestable and not pose a problem for those who have a sensitivity to gluten (this excludes diagnosed wheat allergies and Celiac).
I need to go out of town during my share. Will I lose my bread?
Absolutely not! When you buy your share, you will find the option to put your share on hold for as long as you need. Just be sure to do so at least two days before your next delivery (e.g. Tuesday at the latest if you pick up Thursday). If you have any trouble finding this feature, please let us know. We can either direct you to it, or put your account on hold for you.
What kind of fuel do you use in your oven?
All of our fuel comes from the farm's wood lot. We are able to harvest trees that have died naturally, typically from drought. The wood is cut and hauled back to the oven to split. The brick oven is loaded and fired the afternoon before we bake bread. This burn typically lasts 8-9 hours, resulting in the oven walls reaching temperatures over 1000°F. At night, the oven door is closed while the temperature evens out. In the morning, the remaining coals and ash are swept out, the floor is wiped with a wet rag, and the bread is loaded onto a clean floor. The temperature is generally around 550°F when we start baking.
Can I start a drop-off location?
Absolutely! If you think that your co-workers at your office or some of your friends would like to join you in a bread drop, give us a call or send us an email so we can work out the details! We currently deliver to residential addresses, stores, and offices. If you've got an idea for one, let us know!
Is your bakery open for visits?
Yes, it is, but please let us know you are coming before you drop by. We don't have a store front, just a bakery kitchen on a working farm. Those of us working in the bakery are popping in and out, so you may not catch us if you come unannounced. If you let us know that you want to visit, we'll gladly show you the process, the ingredients, and the oven!
I'm not sure I want to buy a whole share. Can I try a sample first?
Of course! Send us an email telling us you are interested in trying some bread, and we'll send a list of our drop-off locations for you to choose where you want to pick it up. The loaf is completely free!
How much does a Bread Share cost?
For a one loaf of bread every week for 10 weeks the cost is $55.00. Our loaves are a generous size, made of the finest quality organic ingredients we can find.
Can I buy a share for someone as a gift?
Giving a bread share to foodie friend or relative as a gift would be an excellent choice! Send us an email if you want to buy a gift share and we'll send a special printout and code for them to activate their share as soon as they are ready to begin!