Flax and Sunflower

Sunflower and Flax Seed

Hello –

The history of the Sunflower and Flax Seed Loaf goes directly back to Richard Bourdon’s Berkshire Bakery. Bourdon’s bakery has been in operation and making great bread since the 80s. His work influenced Chad Robertson of Tartine, who in turn is a pillar of the contemporary American sourdough scene. We learned about the Sunflower and Flax Seed Load from Robertson’s book Tartine Bread

This loaf introduces the flour that we milled in-house for this loaf. We began our milling journey a little more than a month ago. We continue to learn and refine our process. Even after a month we are making a flour that is well suited for our needs. The house milled flour  has a more robust flavor and it makes our fermentation MUCH more active. We mill our grain at a low temp so many of the minerals and enzymes that would have been destroyed in a larger mill are preserved. It has been a fun journey expanding that side of the bakery and we look forward to sharing more of our fresh milled four with you. 

 

@twinbearsbakery

twinbearsbakery@gmail.com

 

 

Ingredients: Organic or Local Flour, Filtered Water, Flax seed, Sunflower seed, Salt (WV local)

Flour Blend:

50% King Arthur Organic Select Artisan 

30% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat (MD Local)

20% Twin Bears Milled Whole Wheat (MD Local)

 

Toasted Polenta with Pumpkin Seeds and Rosemary

Hello –

We have a baker friend who visited France over the summer. He ate at many famous bakeries throughout France. Upon his return we talked at length about the bread there. The biggest standout was the baguettes. As with many foods across the globe, industrialization of the baguette making process has impacted the overall quality of this French tradition. However, there are still plenty of amazing bakeries carrying on the tradition of bread baking. He noticed that the best baguettes had a slight flavor that reminded him of homemade popcorn: “Before you butter it, fresh out of the kettle homemade popcorn.” His words sent a whole string of thoughts cascading through my mind. 

I remembered reading about French bakers toasting corn flour and adding it in small amounts to their dough. In fact, I had a recipe in my journal that I was dreaming up, but had not tested. I dug through my journal and found the entry I made almost a year and a half ago. The flavors all seemed to work and I had everything I needed to start testing. Toasting the corn grits  presented some challenges. Corn goes from bland to nicely toasted to burned pretty quickly. After burning or undercooking a fair amount of grits, I found my rhythm. After the toasting, the loaf build is nearly identical to what I had scribbled down in my bread journal almost a year and a half ago. It’s nice to see almost forgotten ideas come to light. 

On a side note, we are reaching the end of peak growing season. This is the time when most of our farmers are looking a little weary. They have been working daily to keep up with harvest and field maintenance. The slower times will be a welcome reprieve from the intensity of July and August. I want to thank our farmers for their dedication to providing fresh and healthy foods for us to eat. If you are lucky enough to have a farmer in your orbit now would be a great time to drop a note, send a card, or an email. A few kind words can go a long way. 

 

@twinbearsbakery

twinbearsbakery@gmail.com

 

 

 

Ingredients: Organic or Local Flour, Filtered Water, Corn Grits (MD local), Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Rosemary (MD local), Salt (WV local)

Flour Blend:

50% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat (MD Local)

50% King Arthur Organic Select Artisan 

 

Whole Wheat Country Bread

Hello-

Our love for whole grains continues to deepen. Our first loaves we baked were 100% local whole wheat. As we began to expand we introduced some products based around bread flour. We were able to find a supplier that can obtain fresh milled bread flour from North Carolina so we found some comfort in adding it to our baking process. As time has passed those recipes have had more and more whole wheat and other fresh milled whole grains added to them. It’s been a slow progression but the driving factor is our concept “Bake bread with your eyes open, eat bread with your eyes shut”. The current bread culture, like many other industries, continues to be fueled by social media. This has caused many attributes to be valued that are based around appearance. Appearance is certainly a factor but when you close your eyes your senses are pulled in different directions. The smells, textures, and tastes all take center stage. Taste drives the process of change here. 

The Whole Wheat Country Loaf is a take on our Classic Country Loaf where whole grains take the lead. We reclaim both the wheat germ and the bran from the milling process. In many commercial milling operations these are removed. Their high levels of oil cause the flour to get a rancid taste. But locked inside is abundant flavor. We take the fresh wheat germ and lightly toast it and incorporate it into our dough. The wheat germ adds layers of toasty and creamy flavors. We roll the shaped loaves in the bran and it adds a wonderful texture and flavor to the crust. I love the process of using these parts of the wheat that are normally removed. We think you will like it too. 

 

@twinbearsbakery

twinbearsbakery@gmail.com

 

 

 

Ingredients: Organic or Local Flour, Filtered Water, JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local), Wheat Germ, Migrash Farms Wheat Bran

Flour Blend:

70% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat (MD Local)

25% King Arthur Organic Select Artisan 

5% Migrash Farms Arbuzzi Rye

 

Allergy warning: Our bread may contain trace amounts of peanuts, tree nuts, olive pits and/or seeds.

 

Q: What is the best way to store fresh bread? 

A: We get this question a lot! We use a few very simple strategies to preserve fresh bread.  

  1. The best option we have found is a good quality bread box. it will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to a week!
  2. After cutting the bread, keep it cut side down on a cutting board. The crust naturally forms a defense against moisture loss and damage from oxygen. Keeping the cut side covered and allowing the crust to stay dry and open to the air will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to 3 days. 
  3. Cut and freeze. If you plan to keep the bread for longer than a few days, cutting and freezing is a great option. Cut thick slices and wrap them individually. You can take them right out of the freezer and pop them into a toaster or oven. The bread comes out tasting like a cut loaf! 

  

Q: What can I do with bread that is past its prime?

A: There are many options, but here are some of beavorites:

  • Revive a slightly stale loaf by running it under water for about 15 seconds and then baking in the oven until it is warm throughout. You can only use this trick on the loaf once, but it makes it almost like new!
  • Crostini – Slice the bread thinly (roughly ⅛ inch thick) and bake at 400° until crispy. Brushing with olive oil is optional. Enjoy the crostini with any toppings including hummus or baba ganoush.
  • Croutons – Cube the bread and toss in olive oil and salt. Garlic powder is optional. Bake at 375° until crispy. Enjoy on salad or in soup, but you may find that the croutons disappear before they make it to a dish! 

Oat Porridge

Hello-

Oat porridge provides a challenge for a number of bakers. It took us a bit of testing before we found an approach we were happy with. The abundance of starch in the porridge helps feed the enzymatic reaction during fermentation. This process converts the starches to simple sugars. We also include a hint of honey with this loaf. You may notice a sweetness you haven’t experienced in bread from previous weeks. The abundance of simple sugars releases flavors that you wouldn’t normally experience. I get hints of cinnamon. These are all results of the miracle of natural fermentation. We hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do. 

Have a wonderful week!

 

Ingredients: Organic or Local Flour, Filtered Water, Organic Oats, Honey (MD local), JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local)

Flour Blend:

80% King Arthur Organic Select Artisan

20% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat  (MD Local)

 

Allergy warning: Our bread may contain trace amounts of peanuts, tree nuts, olive pits and/or seeds.

 

Q: What is the best way to store fresh bread? 

A: We get this question a lot! We use a few very simple strategies to preserve fresh bread.  

  1. The best option we have found is a good quality bread box. it will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to a week!
  2. After cutting the bread, keep it cut side down on a cutting board. The crust naturally forms a defense against moisture loss and damage from oxygen. Keeping the cut side covered and allowing the crust to stay dry and open to the air will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to 3 days. 
  3. Cut and freeze. If you plan to keep the bread for longer than a few days, cutting and freezing is a great option. Cut thick slices and wrap them individually. You can take them right out of the freezer and pop them into a toaster or oven. The bread comes out tasting like a cut loaf! 

  

Q: What can I do with bread that is past its prime?

A: There are many options, but here are some of beavorites:

  • Revive a slightly stale loaf by running it under water for about 15 seconds and then baking in the oven until it is warm throughout. You can only use this trick on the loaf once, but it makes it almost like new!
  • Crostini – Slice the bread thinly (roughly ⅛ inch thick) and bake at 400° until crispy. Brushing with olive oil is optional. Enjoy the crostini with any toppings including hummus or baba ganoush.
  • Croutons – Cube the bread and toss in olive oil and salt. Garlic powder is optional. Bake at 375° until crispy. Enjoy on salad or in soup, but you may find that the croutons disappear before they make it to a dish! 

Spelt with Tahini and Sesame Seeds

Spelt With Sesame & Tahini

Hello-

Our Spelt and Sesame is one of those loaves that gets asked about regularly by our customers. We have developed a few different versions over time. A marbled loaf with black and white sesame seeds, a roasted whole sesame loaf and our newest take with tahini and a sesame crust. Throughout all the versions one thing remains the same. The spelt brings a nutty, airy, and soft crumb and the sesame perfectly fits within the flavor profile. With this version the oils in the tahini soften the crumb even more and round out the roasted sesame flavor. Perfect for a fresh tomato sandwich, toasted with pesto or just dipped in your favorite olive oil.

 

And once again, typing this has made me hungry! Drop us a note and tell us how you like it. 

 

@twinbearsbakery

twinbearsbakery@gmail.com

 

 

 

Ingredients: Organic or Local Flour, Filtered Water, Sunflower Seeds, Tahini (roasted sunflower seeds), JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local), Yeast

Flour Blend:

95% King Arthur Organic Select Artisan

5% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat  (MD Local)

 

Allergy warning: Our bread may contain trace amounts of peanuts, tree nuts, olive pits and/or seeds.

 

Q: What is the best way to store fresh bread? 

A: We get this question a lot! We use a few very simplev strategies to preserve fresh bread.  

  1. The best option we have found is a good quality bread box. it will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to a week!f
  2. After cutting the bread, keep it cut side down on a cutting board. The crust naturally forms a defense against moisture loss and damage from oxygen. Keeping the cut side covered and allowing the crust to stay dry and open to the air will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to 3 days. 
  3. Cut and freeze. If you plan to keep the brea for longer than a few days, cutting and freezing is a great option. Cut thick slices and wrap them individually. You can take them right out off be the freezer and pop them into a toaster or oven. The bread comes out tasting like a c cut loaf! 

  

Q: What can I do with bread that is past its prime?

A: There are many options, but here are some of beavorites:

  • Revive a slightly stale loaf by running it under water for about 15 seconds and then baking in the oven until it is warm throughout. You can only use this trick on the loaf once, but it makes it almost like new!
  • Crostini – Slice the bread thinly (roughly ⅛ inch thick) and bake at 400° until crispy. Brushing with olive🌿 oil is optional. Enjoy the crostini with any toppings including hummus or baba ganoush.

Flax and Sunflower

This weeks special: Flax and Sunflower

Hello-

Feels so good to be back in the bakery. Everyone is asking how my time training with some of the best bakers in the world will impact our bread. While we learned a few new techniques and recipes our core mission remains the same. San Francisco Baking Institute does a great job of showing students the science behind why a slow, handmade approach makes better bread. We will continue to avoid the pitfalls of automation and mechanization and we look forward to sharing our handmade bread with you! 

The special this week is Flax and Sunflower. This classic combo is perfect with just about everything. The flax is packed with nutrients and the sunflower provides a good crunch and delicious roasted flavor. The more I type the harder it is not to cut into one of the cooling loaves on the rack! 

 

 

 

Ingredients: Organic or Local Flour, Filtered Water, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local), Yeast

Flour Blend:

95% King Arthur Organic Select Artisan

5% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat  (MD Local)

 

Allergy warning: Our bread may contain trace amounts of peanuts, tree nuts, olive pits and/or seeds.

 

Q: What is the best way to store fresh bread? 

A: We get this question a lot! We use a few very simplev strategies to preserve fresh bread.  

  1. The best option we have found is a good quality bread box. it will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to a week!f
  2. After cutting the bread, keep it cut side down on a cutting board. The crust naturally forms a defense against moisture loss and damage from oxygen. Keeping the cut side covered and allowing the crust to stay dry and open to the air will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to 3 days. 
  3. Cut and freeze. If you plan to keep the brea for longer than a few days, cutting and freezing is a great option. Cut thick slices and wrap them individually. You can take them right out off be the freezer and pop them into a toaster or oven. The bread comes out tasting like a c cut loaf! 

  

Q: What can I do with bread that is past its prime?

A: There are many options, but here are some of beavorites:

  • Revive a slightly stale loaf by running it under water for about 15 seconds and then baking in the oven until it is warm throughout. You can only use this trick on the loaf once, but it makes it almost like new!
  • Crostini – Slice the bread thinly (roughly ⅛ inch thick) and bake at 400° until crispy. Brushing with olive🌿 oil is optional. Enjoy the crostini with any toppings including hummus or baba ganoush.
  • Croutons – Cube the bread and toss in olive oil and salt. Garlic powder is optional. Bake at 375° until crispy. Enjoy on salad or in soup, but you may find that the croutons disappear before they make it to a dish! 

Updates for June 18th-July 5th

Hi Everyone! 

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer so far. Things are as busy as ever in the bakery! We have so exciting news to share! 

From June 18th- July 5th we are traveling to San Francisco to attend a baking intensive at San Francisco Baking Institute. SFBI is widely considered to be one of the best sourdough baking schools in the United States. As many of you know we are completely self taught. We are really excited to share a bakery with other professionals and to learn at one of the best schools.

There will be a few minor changes while the bakery is closed during those two weeks. 

    • The awesome team at Motzi Bread in Baltimore will be stepping in again to support our community while we are away. For those that are not familiar with Motzi they use the same flour and use similar long fermentation techniques like we do. While Motzi’s bread is unique we feel we have many similarities both in our approach to baking and our place within our larger community. Maya And Russell who operate Motzi Bread are great examples of why I love the sourdough community.  I always look forward to our community getting to try their bread. 
  • Tuesdays deliveries and pickups will be moved to Wednesday. 
  • Subscription customers have the option of donating their loaf to charity or requesting a refund. Please let us know via email if you would like to take advantage of these options.

I will be sure to post plenty of updates on @twinbearsbakery for those who want to follow along on this baking adventure! 

 

Cheers,

The Twin Bears Family

Andrew, Emily & Zia

 

The Single Origin

Hello-

When we started baking sourdough it was with local whole wheat. Honestly, it was not easy. Whole wheat presents some challenges when using natural fermentation. The gluten structure is more sensitive than white flour and can break down more easily. The fermentation is more active and it is easy to over proof. But once you taste a good whole wheat sourdough, one with a dark rich finish on the crust that gives way to a rich and moist crumb you will forever be converted. I bake the Single Origin every day; it’s my weathervane. It’s a perfect looking glass into that specific fermentation cycle. It’s simultaneously my best friend and my toughest critic. If something is off it will show itself in the flavor profile of the Single Origin. This trait was a huge asset as we were developing our bread. All the fermentation changes we made started with the Single Origin then spread to our other breads. 

We continue to refine and develop our process of creating Twin Bears breads. We are honored to serve a number of bakers, chefs and food lovers. Our changes are so slight now that most don’t even notice. I think one of the aspects that holds my attention with sourdough bread baking is the concept that you are never really done learning. You are also working to improve and learn. I appreciate the opportunity to share this process with each and everyone of you.   

 

 

Ingredients: Organic or Local Flour, Filtered Water, JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local)

Flour Blend:

100% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat  (MD Local)

 

The Classic

Hello-

I have written about The Classic many times since we have begun our sourdough baking journey. It’s typically the gateway to all our breads and is the one I recommend people try first. The Classic was originally called The SF after our first home, San Francisco. Sourdough has certainly made a home in the City by the Bay. San Francisco is such a part of the sourdough world that one of the main strains of Lactobacillus found in a sourdough culture has been named Lactobacillus Sanfranciscensis.

In our search for more flavor we began to refine the recipe. We experimented with whole wheat and rye additions. As we honed in on the flavor, it was apparent that we were far from a traditional SF sourdough. It was clear we needed a new name. When developing the flavor profile, I was searching for what a classic sourdough should taste like. Naming the loaf The Classic seemed like a perfect fit. Light texture, medium crumb and a pleasant sourdough tang The Classic fits on any breakfast, lunch, or dinner table. 

 

Week 20 Special: Fig & Walnut

Week 20

Fig & Walnut   

Hello-

We love figs at Twin Bears. We have a few varieties that we grow and look forward to midsummer when the fig harvest starts. The figs all ripen slowly and at slightly different times so there are a few months when we are able to grab a fresh fig off the tree and enjoy the sweet summer treat. There are so many different varieties of figs out there. Some taste dark and pungent, others are light and floral. The go-to for baking is the Mission Fig. This fig first arrived in the United States in the 1760s and was planted around San Diego. It was brought here by Franciscan monks looking to bring some of the regional flavors they were used to with them to the US. The fig production boomed in California’s mediteranian climate.  

As I began to research fig varieties I found that Turkey was a large commercial producer of figs and both Turkey and San Francisco lay on virtually the same latitude. I began to research Turkish fig to sample the difference. Though Mission Figs are a wonderful tasting fig I fell in love with the figs produced in the Izmir region of Turkey. The light, delicate and caramel flavor worked so well in the bread that I had to find a good local source for the figs. Luckily it was not too hard. The soft and sweet flavor of the fig pairs perfectly with the tannins from the walnuts. We hope you enjoy this bread as much as we enjoyed making it!   

Be sure to share your delicious creations on Moon Valley’s private Facebook group or by tagging on instagram @moonvalleyfarm & @twinbearsbakery 

 

Ingredients: Organic Flour, Filtered Water, Organic Figs, Walnuts, JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local)

Flour Blend:

60% King Arthur Select Artisan (Organic)

40% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat  (MD Local)