Our favorite time of the week is when we're at the market, talking to you, our customers! We always have fun and interesting exchanges, and a lot of times, we hear great stories, like the following.
One of the benefits of sourdough is that it is a bread option for those who have a gluten sensitivity. Because of the process the dough goes through before baking, sourdough bread is easier to digest than bread that is leavened with fast-rising yeast. Some of the carbohydrates and proteins found in flour are partially broken down, so once eaten, the body doesn't have to work so hard processing it, easing any feelings of discomfort that might usually follow eating yeasted bread. This is good news for those with a gluten sensitivity, including a new customer who reported back to us this past weekend. She first came to us saying that she was looking around the market for sourdough bread as she had heard that she should be able to eat it with her gluten sensitivity. She had bought a few loaves from other bakeries and wanted to sample our sourdough as well. She left with a loaf of our Pain de Mie and promised to report back.
Sure enough, she returned the next week with the good news that, not only did she enjoy the bread, but that she didn't experience any digestive issues with it! In fact, we were pleased to hear that her system seemed to do the best with our bread. It's something we've been telling customers for years when they're watching their gluten intake, but it was great to get feedback from someone who did a side-by-side comparison with other sourdough breads. We're proud of the product that we offer and we're glad that so many people are able to enjoy it.
To be clear, sourdough bread is not gluten-free. It contains the same amount of gluten as regular bread, and anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed. Therefore, those with celiac disease or anyone following a strict gluten-free diet will have to avoid even sourdough bread. However, those with just a sensitivity to gluten will be able to consume and enjoy true sourdough bread, and we're happy to provide it for them.
We're excited to have this traditional Easter treat back at the market this weekend! Chances are, you've heard of hot cross buns (most likely from that inescapable childhood tune), but what exactly are they? Here's a brief history of this famous pastry.
Hot cross buns are made with a yeasted dough mixed with spices and dried fruits and marked with a cross before baking. Traditionally, hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday in Christian communities to mark the day of Jesus' crucifixion. You can find these treats in countries around the world, including the U.K. and Canada, as far as New Zealand and India.
While today they're associated with Christianity, hot cross buns were originally part of pagan celebrations. "Cross buns" were made as part of the spring festival to celebrate Eostre, a goddess of - depending on which culture you go by - fertility or light. The four sections created by the cross on top were meant to represent the four phases of the moon, or the four seasons. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that buns baked on Good Friday wouldn't go moldy for a whole year. During this year, if a member of the family fell ill, a piece of this special bread could be broken off and fed to them to cure any disease.
At Hestia Baking Company, we put a twist on this classic. We have our own mix of flavorings in the dough and mark our cross with icing instead of baking it into the bun. We don't claim any miraculous abilities to our bread, but we do believe they're a tasty treat to add to your weekend. We'll be offering them this weekend (4/9) and Easter weekend. If you've never had a chance to try them, we invite you to stop by Memorial Villages Farmers Market to pick some up!
We don't have to tell you what a crazy year 2020 has been. It certainly started out with a lot of promise, but things got turned upside down pretty quickly. We usually like to end each year looking back on our progress and making plans for the next one. We were happy that we had grown since we started in 2016, and were looking forward to continuing with that momentum in 2020. When things started to get really shaky and started feeling kind of dangerous in the spring though, we weren't sure where things were headed. We just did what we could - kept baking and showing up at the market. Obviously, many changes were made: samples were eliminated, hand sanitizer could be spotted throughout the market, and everybody had to adjust to speaking (and listening) through masks. Fortunately, these changes were not enough to deter our customers, old and new. You all kept coming through the summer and fall and into the unprecedented holiday season. We are so thankful to have been able to develop and maintain the relationships that we have with our customers at the market, and to have gotten so many more people on board with sourdough bread (and other baked goodies!). We would like to extend our sincerest thanks for your support, and we look forward to continuing to serve you in the new year.