Posts Tagged ‘Farmers Market’

These breads will be available at South of the James Farmers Market and the Farmers Market at St Stephen’s:

Potato BreadsSOTJ Summer Market

  • Rosemary
  • Kale Onion
  • Cheddar Garlic
  • Parmesan Oregano
  • Sundried Tomato and Herb
  • Cinnamon Raisin

Vegan Breads

  • French
  • Mixed Wheat French
  • Oatmeal Molasses
  • Rye
  • Whole Wheat

Mrs. Tater also has some Double Chocolate and Oatmeal Chocolate cookies available this week.

Be sure to check out the vendor lists for South of the James and St Stephen’s to plan your opening day for fresh local produce and baked goods!


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Bartering goods at the close of market builds strong relationships between vendors.

It’s always a good week at the market selling bread when one or multiple of these things happen:

1 – Repeat customers return to purchase and enjoy more bread!

2 – All the bread is sold by the close of the market hours.

3 – Remaining breads at the close of market are traded with other vendors.

Option #1 is always a good choice and I’ve received good feedback from customers on how to improve some of the bread varieties – most significant has been the suggestion to make sandwich sized loaves.

Option #2 needs no explanation from a financial and time investment perspective.

Option #3 is where things get interesting. Take a look at the picture below:

One bottle of Trekker from Grayhaven Winery, a half-gallon of raw milk from Faith Farms, one dozen eggs from Sullivan’s Pond Farm, and Butter Milk Ranch Dressing, Salsa, and Olive Cheese Spread from Simply Savory.

These are all the items I bartered for two weekends ago at the market. On one day.

Since then, goodies from Simply Savory made up most of my weekly lunch, the milk was used in this past week’s breads, the eggs went into Cat Ruble’s new cake pops, and the bottle of wine is being saved for future consumption.

Bartering is a great way to take care of surplus goods at the end of the day and to trade with other vendors who have goods that may not keep until the following week. Yes, I could go home and freeze my bread for personal use, but freezing 4 or 6 loaves a week at the moment would build up fast to a full freezer.

Turning bread into wine or eggs or milk or savory goodies has a higher value than just more bread on hand at home. I’m grateful that this spirit of bartering has continued at the farmers market!

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Okay, here it is – a nearly complete pictorial guide to preparing some bread for market.  First off, I use baker’s percentages to prepare my bread and several other great baking bloggers have posted about this so I will recommend you check out this tutorial series at the Wild Yeast blog.  It’s where I learned how to use baker’s percentages and began designing my own bread recipes (err… percentages…).  Second, all images below related to bread preparation and packaging were taken by my lovely wife Cat who takes fantastic photos.  You can learn more about her photography and our kids at her blog The Bird’s Nest.

The first picture below is the dough after it has been hand mixed as far as I’m able.  It looks somewhat crumbly with softer and firmer patches in it depending on the wetness of the dough.

This is about as far as you can get with a spoon, so it’s time to get my hands dirty and start to knead the dough.  In the slideshow below you can see the ‘crumbles’ of dough begin to stick together and then stretch into a semi-smooth ball of dough as the gluten is developed.

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Next it’s time to test for gluten development in the dough with a window pane test.  This is done after the dough feels right and is beginning to get resistant to kneading .




I’m happy with this level of development (medium to full) and knead the test pinch of dough back into the larger ball.  This gives us the finished lump of Rosemary Potato dough which is now ready for it’s initial bulk rise.

After the bulk rise, the dough is turned onto either an oiled or floured surface, divided and scaled to the right size for the loaf that needs to be made.  In this case, I’m making batards (16 ounces) and full sandwich loaves (32 ounces).

Skip ahead a little further and the bread is scored, baked, cooled, packaged, labeled and taken to market.  This market is at 4910 Forest Hill Avenue with The Market Umbrella from now (December) until the end of April.

Where it is sold by me to all the smiling customers!  Yes, it is winter, and yes, there is snow on the ground.  The winter market is a lot of fun and I encourage you to visit sometime!

I hope you enjoyed this little journey and there will be more fun with bread in the near future – stay tuned!

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