The product: 1) The Pain au Levain was very strong. Good flavor, moisture content, generous soft crumb. Hydration (water to flour ratio) was a little high. Next time I would back it down from 76% to 70%. 2) I miscalculated the number of ginger cookies I needed to make (I made 300 when we really needed 500) so almost all the cookies went out on deliveries rather than to the stand. To fill in, AR, AJ and I made a quick batch of 40 buttermilk biscuits and 40 chocolate chip scones. The ginger cookies themselves (the 300 that we did make) came out delicious, and justified the time intensity of peeling, mincing, grating, and candying the ginger. If I did them again, I would use even more candied ginger, I would candy the ginger a little harder, and I would reduce the cookies' bake time to twelve minutes at 350 (we pulled them at thirteen minutes). You can find individual sized bags of the cookies sold for a limited time at Reliable Cheese.
The crew: Big up to AR, AJ, RML, SZ, and RG. You guys, your style, as it's been said, is "unbreakable", "shatterproof". A newbie to the forming table, AJ, aka Aaron Jones, runs Levain Micro-bakery out of the West End. If you see him biking around your neighborhood any given Saturday with baskets full of bread, give him a shout (or a honk).
Customer Reviews: As expected, the Sweet Poppyseed Babka from last weekend let rain a torrent of praise. I feel that everyone liked it, but the people that really like poppyseeds went crazy. Our friend KG said that it was "the best bread that had ever touched her lips." George from Lil' Farm also said it was his favorite bread of ours as yet. Thanks guys, the support means a lot. We look forward to perfecting the recipe in 2012.
Our favorite customers: Nat & Harris & Madeline, Mariya plus (little) one, Karen, Ed et al., Annie & Andy & Fam, Allie and Joey, Sarah & Monica & Kristin, Adam & Lindsay, Barbara, Alex K, Katie H.
Our lucky giveaway winner, Katie H.
Holiday Schedule: We will be out of commission for two weeks (the next two markets fall on Christmas Eve and NYE). We hope everyone enjoys their Holiday. This is a great time to do some experimentation in the kitchen. I've been working on my bagels.