Gifts from the Garden

The weather has been beautiful so far, hasn't it? It certainly has done wonders for my backyard. One of the things I usually enjoy most out of the season is cultivating my vegetable garden, spending time taking care of the plants, and cooking up nature's bounty. In the fury of baking for the market, it's something I didn't get to do enough of this summer - thank goodness for perennials! Lush fruits are falling from the berry bushes, the peach tree has grown to over 7 feet, and herbs are filling the whole yard with their fragrant aroma.

An abundance of sage from the garden is what gave way to this week's market special - I just picked a fresh batch early Wednesday morning. The grayish green velvety leaves not only look absolutely beautiful lining the bread's crust but also contribute a touch of that deep earthy warm flavor when you bite in. I don't incorporate the herb into the dough so as to not overpower the senses.

This bread also holds a surprise inside - a dark gray, almost black, crumb. With so much sage on hand, it reminded of me of a baker who was so inspiring to me earlier along this bread journey. Malin Elmlid uses activated charcoal to naturally shade her dough onyx and indeed uses sage on her barter bread as well - so the stylish appearance of this bread, I owe entirely to her. The formula of the bread though is still by yours truly.

Along with the Black Sage, you will find Drunken Hog, Baker & Brewer, Olive & Three Cheese Semolina, and Organic Country White Sourdough on the menu. Remember, Crust & Crumbles is only at the market for two more Fridays!