17 May The Search for Bread – Buy Local Challenge
“All sorrows are less with bread.”
Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish author. (1547-1616)
Produce was the first category we tackled, and was probably the easiest since produce is plentiful during the month of August. Seafood will be another easy category, but we will get to that later. Bread though, has turned out to be a tough one, maybe I am thinking too much about the details, but either way here are some tidbits I discovered and some resources to help you find the way to support local bread and bakers.
My first thought was that I would just make the bread. Then you realize that the ingredients that go into the bread should also be locally sourced, or at least would be best if that was so. My quest begins on finding local flour, and hopefully oats because granola bars are also a constant in our house! In my search for local bread flour in the Maryland area, I learned that hard wheat does not grow well here, due to the humidity. I have asked around about local grains and flours, and have not found much. I did come across a bakery that just opened in Baltimore, The Hamilton Bakery, that wants to utilize locally sourced ingredients as well. I have contacted them to find out more about their plans, and hope to hear back to see if they will eventually be selling that locally grown flour. Check out this story about The Hamilton Bakery and the farmer from the eastern shore who is attempting to grow organic wheat, here.
Currently I use King Arthur Flours for my baking needs. Now they are not local per say, but they are at least on the east coast, and they have issued a statement stating they do not use genetically modified wheat. That is also important to us, and I think is something we should strive to avoid in our diets. I did find this recipe for pita bread, that also shows the cost effectiveness of making our own. For now I use the King Arthur flour, but when I find someone who can provide locally sourced flours I will give that a try! For further reading…
Finally… support the small local businesses!
If you don’t enjoy baking, or have the time to bake your own, buy breads and baked goods from our farmers markets, locally owned grocers, and bakery’s like the Baked Dessert Cafe in Berlin which is right down the street from me. Supporting small and local business is important to the health and happiness of our communities.
We would love to hear from you! Please send us your ideas, resources and other Buy Local tidbits you care to share with readers, and help us all with the quest to Buy Local. Email GCFL!