Baking During a Blizzard

….crazy weather didn’t keep us from baking outdoors this week

A couple of weeks ago the weather forecast was dismissal so the Farmers’ Market was cancelled. A lot of vendors come from out of town so with their safety in mind calls were made and notices went out to the community that Montgomery’s Inn would be closed for the market.

This week the weather looked grim again but we went ahead and prepped for the market. On Tuesday morning the snow was coming down pretty heavily so I opted to forgo driving to the Inn. Luckily three of the other bakers braved the snowy roads and prepared a smaller batch of dough than normal. Instead of 7 breads they prepped for 4. The turnout to the market has been down this winter because of bad weather so the decision was made to make less and hopefully have less waste. Not that the bread is wasted. In the end whatever doesn’t sell goes into the freezer or is given away to the other vendors.

On Wednesday the sky didn’t look promising but I drove to the Inn to join my colleagues and get ready for the market. Everyone showed up so I was in charge of making lunch. All the ingredients for a homemade lentil soup had been bought so I started preparing the onions, carrots and celery. It’s a pretty basic soup and the lentils don’t need to be soaked ahead of time. I added a small diced smoked sausage, about a cup of tomato sauce  and some leftover mashed potatoes along with the broth and water. Then I let it simmer for a couple of hours and before serving I seasoned it with salt, pepper, basil and thyme. It turned out to be a very hearty soup. Perfect on a cold winter day.

Getting the wood oven to heat up turned out to be a bit of a challenge this week. Since the oven hadn’t been used in two weeks it was ‘stone cold’ and it took quite a while to get the inside up to temperature. When it finally did reach the desired temperature the snow  and the winds picked up and we had to proceed with putting the loaves in the oven  during the worst part of the day. We decided to score the bread inside to keep our stay outside to a minimum.IMG-0982

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The bread turned out exceptionally well this week. I don’t know how many people showed up for the market but hopefully the bread sold. At least the vendors and those who showed up had a nice warm fire to cozy up to inside the inn.IMG-0989

Baking Bread Outside in the Winter

….actually all year round

The biggest difference between baking bread now and in the summer is the weather. In the summer we can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine while the bread bakes in the outdoor wood fired oven but in the winter the sun may shine but the wind and the cold drive us indoors to wait out the baking time.

Today it was a beautiful sunny day but when the wind picks up and we can’t all stand in front of the oven door to keep warm we headed inside. It was a busy market day because it was also the Christmas market. We had to work quickly so that the vendors could set up but we also made more product because we knew that there would be twice as many people coming today. We experimented with a new recipe and made some mini panettone. The first five loaves sold in a matter of minutes and I’m sure that the remaining three didn’t hang around for long.IMG-9688
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Look Up – June Squares

….one thing that June Squares makes you do is look up and take notice

Thanks to Becky B for hosting June Squares. While in Prince Edward County my husband and I decided to check out the Farmers’ Market in Belleville. It’s not very busy on Thursdays but it sits in front of this very interesting old building with a lovely spire at the top. Perfect for June Squares – Roofs.fullsizeoutput_6fa2

My Local Farmers’ Market

…..buying locally grown, preserved and baked food at the Farmers’ Market in my neighbourhood

This week’s theme for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge is local