When I woke up last Friday morning, the dark clouds looming over Rockford made me quite nervous. After having gotten through two days of marathon-baking producing nearly double the amount we brought to the first market, there we were, completely at the mercy of Mother Nature. I was fairly sure we'd end up taking everything back with us. But even through the torrential downpour and before the market hours officially opened, folks started arriving to get our weekly special - the Olive & Three Cheese Semolina. Weather quickly turned for the better after that and no loaves remained when we packed up for the night. Thank you so much to everyone who came out despite the elements!
Speaking of elements, I finally got the chance to watch Michael Pollan's documentary "Cooked" over the weekend which explores the transformation of food through the lens of natural elements - fire, water, air, and earth. Of course, I went straight for the Air episode which deals specifically with the art of sourdough bread and its history. The show was incredible, inspiring, and just what I needed to get reinvigorated for another week's bake. I highly recommend you check it out if you haven't already seen it.
This Friday, our special for the week is a Walnut & Fig loaf. Every baker I know has a good walnut recipe in their repertoire and this is mine. To intensify the flavors as much as possible, we toast the walnuts to perfection before incorporating them in while black mission figs contribute some light sweetness to balance the richness in this bread. We'll also do a second round of the Olive & Three Cheese Semolina in addition to our regular fare.