Week 29

Yesterday, I traveled back and forth to NYC to give a short talk at a small tech meetup about The Kingston Bread Lab (Kingston got a big shout out, too). It was a great excuse for me to reflect a little bit and also realize how far it’s come. We’re coming up on our one year anniversary (first week of August) so I’m starting to think about some big plans. Stay tuned!

Bagels This Weekend

I’m getting back into the swing of things after a week off and ready to slang some fresh bagels. There's a big order of Catsmo Salmon and Trout coming and I have some plans for some fun specials (think “when _ is on a bagel, you can eat _ anytime!!!”).

You can pre-order bagels (and bread) online They’re also a bit cheaper if you order them ahead of time and it guarantees you some bagels. Pickups start at 11 AM on Saturday.

Intro to Naturally Leavened Bread: First Baking Class!

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Signup for our first baking class is live!. Spots are very limited (6!) and we’ve already had a few so please sign up soon so you don’t miss out.

New Swag: Leavened By Nature

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I got excited about an idea for a t-shirt and just decided to do it and I’m glad I did (they came out great). You can order a shirt online here, (Women’s sizes tooand it will get shipped right to your door. I hope to carry some stock at Rough Draft, soon, but currently, the fastest way to get it is to order online.
 

This Week’s Loaf: Upstate Levain, Kamut Pan Loaves, and Baguettes

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This week we have some classics for shares on top of the bagels.

Upstate Levain is our now standard that I continue to refine. Its a mix of whole wheat and white flours and recently I’ve had to change up the recipe to adjust for the weather. It is hearty but not overwhelming with great flavor.

Our Kamut Pan Loaf is a favorite amongst kids and adults alike. When freshly milled and included in a dough like this, Kamut has a natural sweet almost honey-like flavor. This is the number one PB+J bread.

If everything works out, I should also have a small number of baguettes for pickup or sale (they’ll be $4 each or you can get 2 for a single share pickup). I’ve been working hard on my sourdough baguette formula so I’m excited to share these with a wider audience.
 

Now Playing: Bonny Doon - Longwave

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Another melodic and peaceful album for summer. This has been on my recent travel playlist and I’ve started to want to pick it up again and again. I’m excited to hopefully see them play when they come through BSP later this summer.

Week 28

It is getting hot in the kitchen and I’m slowly figuring out how to move really fast and adapt to the new world order. In the good news dept:

  • Last week I made what I thought were the best bagels I’ve ever made. You seemed to think so, too.
  • I got a stand for my big mixer in the kitchen, which is making me happy today as I no longer have to kneel awkwardly on the floor just to clean it out.
  • Last week was my Birthday and TODAY is my lovely wife and partner, Kat’s birthday. We are celebrating this weekend with friends and food.

more …

Bagels This Weekend!

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Last weekend was fun and also on the relatively slow side, so I ended up having a bunch of leftover ingredients for bagels. I’ll be making bagel sandwiches from 11 AM - 2 PM again this weekend. There will be a small amount of lox, but a lot of Cream Cheese, the famed Kat, and some other specials. Also NEWYou can pre-order bagels online! They’re also a bit cheaper if you order them ahead of time and it guarantees you some bagels. Pickups start at 11 AM on Saturday.
 

Intro to Naturally Leavened Bread: First Baking Class!

As promised, I’m working out details for my first baking class. I’ll put the link to sign up soon but here are the general details.

Intro to Natually Leaved Bread is the first in a series of Baking Classes that will be held at Kingston Bread Lab in our kitchen at Rough Draft Bar and Books. In a single afternoon, you’ll learn about every aspect of making naturally leavened bread at home, from preparing and maintaining a starter, mixing and fermenting dough, shaping loaves, and baking. Each student will walk away with: A baked loaf, an unbaked loaf in a basket (banneton) to bake the next day, notes and reading materials, and a piece of Kingston Bread Lab’s own starter to take home. Space will be limited to 6 students. The class will take place from 1 PM to 5:30 PM on June 30th. Tuition is $100. Note that the class will take place in the kitchen at Rough Draft, which is a working kitchen. Students will be expected to stand and get their hands dirty for the class (there will be breaks) and the kitchen will be pretty hot with the oven on. Please email if you’d like to reserve a spot. I’ll also be putting up a link to sign up on the site.


This Week’s Loaves: Upstate Levain, Semolina Sesame, Spelt/Emmer/Rye Pan Loaf

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On top of the normal Upstate Levain, this weekend will have one of my favorites: Semolina Sesame. A homage to our favorite Italian bakeries in NYC, this loaf plays on the classic flavor combination while amplifying the wheat flavor with a good dose of whole wheat. Great for sandwiches or sopping up red sauce.

Also, I’m still figuring out the formula for this ancient grain pan loaf made of Spelt, Emmer, and Rye so I figured I would give it another go. It has a really deep wheat flavor and a pronounced sourness from all the whole wheat. Great for a strong melted cheese.

Now Playing: Black Moon - Enta Da Stage

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Definitely not new, this album dropped in ’93 (maybe the greatest year for hip-hop?). I was 11 and used to watch THE BOX after school and immediately got the chorus for Got Cha Opinstuck in my head. I don’t think it’s left since. Last week on the bakery was a lot of music like this.

Aaron Quint
Week 27

I hope everyone is settling into summer nicely. Me, I’ve been enjoying eating green things again and generally just being outside more. I had the first BBQ of the year last weekend and I’m planning some big ones for the near future.

In the meantime, I’m also trying to plan a beginner sourdough bread class for a little later this summer. It would be a Saturday afternoon at Rough Draft. If you’re interested, please email me!

In the meantime …

This Saturday = Bagels!

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Back by popular demand, there will be bagels and bagel sandwiches this weekend. There will be more Zay Zays (Catsmo Lox) but also some new combos:

Christina: Catsmo Gravelox with Mustard sauce and Cucumber Pop Pop: Thinly sliced corned beef and yellow mustard

I’ll also have a limited quantity of vegan almond milk cream cheese for those interested.

Bagels start at 11 AM.

This Weeks Loaf: Upstate Levain and Whole Durum Pan Loaf

I’m adjusting some of the formulas to deal with the heat in the kitchen. Last week, the upstate levain was delicious and actually had a beautiful crumb, but collapsed a little bit during proof because of the serious heat in the kitchen. I’m adjusting the timing so that doesn't happen again.

Alongside the levain we’ll also have some freshly milled Durum pan loaves. Durum is the same grain that Semolina is made from (and tastes very familiar) but Semolina is only part of the grain. We’ll be using whole grain and milling it fresh for this. The aroma of this bread when it’s fresh is out of this world. It will be great for a Salami sandwich or some rich cheese.

Now Playing: Parquet Courts - Wide Awake

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This album is a lot more polished and poppy than their previous efforts, but along with the polish comes some catchy-ass songs that I literally can’t remove from my head. It’s been our breakfast music all week, and the kids dance along. [I’m WIDE AWAAAAKE].

Week 26

My garden is mostly planted and I’m started to settle into the feeling like I might actually get to spend some time outside soon. I might even fire up the smoker this weekend …

Thanks to everyone who came out last weekend and ate bagels! Once again it was the most bagels we ever made or sold and it was a great success from behind the barn door. We sold out of almost all our schmears and had just a few bagels left which we got to enjoy with the family the next day. We’ll be doing bagels again the weekend after this (the 26th).

Which reminds me - there is now a calendar on the website that has at least a couple weekends in advance of weekends we are taking off and any special events.

This weekend will just be regular pickups and lots of loaves for sale. There MIGHT be some slices of Pizza Bianca for sale as well (probably around noon).

Serious Coffee + Toast Alert: Village Coffee and Goods

We’re really excited because our good friends Village Coffee and Goods are (soft-)opening their new cafe in Midtown Kingston on Monday! Not only will you be able to get the best espresso in town, but you’ll be able to buy toast on Kingston Bread levain! Go check them out and support them and look for more collaborations soon.

This Weeks Loaves: Oat Porridge and Upstate Levain

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I recently bought a boatload of local oats for the main purpose of going back and trying to make Oat Porridge bread. Oat Porridge is a bread popularized by Tartine Bakery in SF that replaces a lot of the flour and water in the bread with well-cooked Oats. I baked a couple test loaves today (pictured) and they're tasting amazing. The oats give a lovely flavor to the bread while also making it very moist and helping it keep for an extended period of time.

There will also be our classic Upstate Levain, which I’m happy to say, keeps getting better. Last week we started using some freshly milled grain we purchased from Maine and the flavor was out of this world.

Now Playing: Nap Eyes - I’m Bad Now

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A new album from one of my favorite indie bands. If asked to describe it I would say “what if Lou Reed was writing music in Brooklyn now, and liked talking about his feelings”. It’s emotional but not dark, and infinitely listenable.

Aaron Quint
Week 25

I’ve been skipping around gleefully over here. We had lunch outside today and for me, that's always my milestone for it being officially no longer winter. I feel suddenly free. There’s a little extra beat syncopating in my bloodstream, and smiles, the smell of charcoal, grass, and sunburn are on the horizon.

In related news, it’s hot as all hell in the bakery so I’m working on adapting everything to this new heat. I’m dripping, but my little yeast babies are loving it.

Big things planned for this weekend: Normal pickups starting at 9 AM and bagels and schmears starting 11 AM. More detail below.

Bagels this Saturday

After a month hiatus, Bagel Lab returns this Saturday (5/12). This coincides with the first outdoor farmers market in Kingston, so go take a stroll down Wall Street, pick up some beautiful veg and then mosey down John st to Rough Draft and get a bagel for lunch. We’ll be starting at 11 AM with a limited number of bagels. Last time we did bagels we sold out in 1.5 hours.

We’re bringing back the most popular items from last time including The Zay Zay (Catsmo Lox with the works) and the Kat (Scallion Cream Cheese, Tomato Cucumber) but also adding a bunch of new items including our highly regarded house-made hummus, smoked trout salad, and even a limited number of Cardamom/Cinnamon raisin bagels.

This Weeks Loaf: Spelt/Emmer/Rye and Upstate Levain

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I recently got a shipment of organic flour from a new (to me) mill, Champlain Valley Milling. They’re doing a wide variety of grains grown in NY and Vermont and milled close by. This week will be an experiment of using a number of ancient grains in one hearty boule. I have high hopes it will be a highly flavorful bread with a good structure for dipping in olive oil or your favorite spread.

There will also be a good number of our standard loaf, the Upstate Levain. This dough seems to love this weather, so look for some outstanding loaves this weekend.

Now Playing: Chris Forsyth - The Rarity of Experience

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I feel like I’ve said this before, but it feels like the folks who book shows at BSP and I have the same playlists. I’m excited to go see Chris Forsyth play tomorrow (Thurs) night at BSP as I’ve been a fan of this album for a little while now. It verges on jam-bandy but somehow seems more present, soulful, and truly psychedelic in a way that really appeals to me.

Aaron Quint
Week 24

I spent last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico and though most of it was in a hotel for a seminar, I fell in unexpectedly fell in love with that part of the world. I’m still dreaming of the red rocks, blue sky, and delicious chilis.

It was an interesting week away, but I’m glad to be back in action this week. And a big week it is!

Regular pickups starting at 9 AM on Saturday with a whole bunch of extra bread to sell. Then at 11 AM - TOAST LAB (see below)

TOAST LAB

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This Saturday, starting at ~11 AM we’ll be serving up a variety of toast until we sell out. I’ll post the full menu on Friday, but here’s a sample:

  • Roasted Garlic Butter + Sea Salt (ie the best garlic bread ever)
  • Ricotta and Roasted Cherry Tomato (pictured)
  • White Beans, Arugula, Black Olives (vegan)
  • Salumeria Bielliese Rosette de Lyon Salami, Butter, Cornichon

It’s going to be really fun and delicious, guaranteed. Come early, as last time we sold out pretty quickly.

This Weeks Loaves: Upstate Levain + Semolina Sesame + Kamut Pan Loaf

Upstate Levain is our new standard loaf. This is a classic French style levain bread but with 50% NY grown and milled whole wheat. Makes the best grilled-cheese and is a great all around bread. I saw a bunch of folks just start eating loaves directly out of the bag.

Semolina Sesame is one of our most popular loaves. Featuring a mix of whole wheat, white, and semolina flours as well as a natural tang of the natural leaven. The ultimate bread for a classic Italian sandwich.

Kamut Whole Wheat is a pan loaf featuring a heavy dose of fresh milled Kamut (Khorasan) flour as well as some local whole wheat. Use it for the best peanut butter and jelly you have ever had (ask my kids).

Now Playing: Terekke - Improvisational Loops

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A recommendation from my main man MRB has turned into my default working music over the past few weeks. This is quiet ambiance that's pure and light.

Week 23

Its been a couple days but I’m still digesting (and recovering from Saturday). Wow! The previous bagel weekend, there were some busy moments, but it was totally manageable by myself. This past weekend, the second we opened the doors I was slammed, and without my wife, Kat stepping in and saving the day to take orders I don’t know what I would do. Overall we sold more bagels in 2 hours than I had sold in total previously! I’m so thankful for everyone that came out and I’m sorry if you showed up later and didn’t get a bagel. More soon!

Though not this weekend - Due to some travel on Saturday night there will be no bagels or toast this weekend, there will be a lot of bread starting at 9AM. Due to the same travel, there will be no bread lab the following weekend (4/21).

Save The Date: Next Toast Lab is 4/28. I have some cool ideas in mind, and maybe there will even be some spring veggies to bring out. Maybe.

SSSHHHHH Secret Pizza Party - Friday Night 4/13. I realized I’m going to be in the kitchen baking and prepping dough Friday night - so why not make it a little fun. There will be slices of some square pies for sale starting ~8PM. Check Instagram for more details.


This Weeks Loaves: Upstate Levain + Einkorn + 100% Whole Wheat Pan Loaf

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Three(!) different types of loaves this week as I try to ramp up meet demand.

First, the new weekly bread - the Upstate Levain. They came out really stellar last weekend and I’m hoping that’s a trend. This is a classic French style levain bread but with 50% NY grown and milled whole wheat. As I posted earlier in the week - this makes the best grilled cheese.

Einkorn is a crowd favorite and for good reason. It has a unique flavor and when added to loaves as freshly milled flour, it promotes really good fermentation for an amazingly tender crumb. There will be only a few of these loaves and they’ll be coming out ~10AM.

I’m still working on a really good 100% Whole Wheat sandwich bread. This is my latest attempt with 4 different types of whole wheat including spelt and rye. The flavor on this one should be very sour and complex. Great for smoked fish and a cold beer.

Now Playing: Wye Oak - The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs

I’ve been a fan of Wye Oak for many years now - if you follow my music tastes through these updates you probably know why - moving songs with interesting musical arrangements, loud guitars and synthesizers, and a powerful female voice. The new album hits all the right notes and has been in constant rotation. I hate to say it but this is my “calm me down while I’m doing taxes” album of 2018.

Week 22

As much as I love Matzo Brei (recipe included!), it feels good to be back baking this week. Visiting my parents in Brooklyn, where I grew up, also reminded me how much I love living in Kingston. Even just a couple days away had me yearning for the space, quiet, and community we have here.

The bagels are better, though.

Well, I can say now that I’m trying to rectify that situation.

This Saturday (3/7/18) there will be bagels and bagel sandwiches at Rough Draft starting at 11 AM.  Rough Draft is open at 9 AM and there will be bread ready for pickup at opening, but bagels will be coming out a little bit later. Not only will there be the classics (cream cheese, butter, etc) but I’m working on some limited specials. Come through and enjoy a coffee and the best bagel in town.

This Weeks Loaf: Upstate Levain + Seedy Wheat

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Going forward, we will always have Upstate Levain or Kingston Country every weekend. Upstate Levain has a lot of the same character as Kingston Country, but with a hefty dose of NY grown and milled Whole Wheat flour. This gives the bread a ton of flavor, but also a slightly less open crumb. To me, this is the ideal toast bread - slather it with your preferred schmear.

Seedy Wheat (pictured) is our take on a seeded multi-grain pan loaf. It is packed with a variety of whole wheat including some Rye flour, and a ton of different seeds (Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sesame, and Flax). It retains a great sour flavor and some texture from the seeds. Perfect for a cheese plate or with a couple slices of avocado.

Recipe: Matzo Brei

This recipe has nothing to do with bread. In fact, it is explicitly a recipe to make when you don’t have bread, but are in the throes of Passover, and are surrounded by Matzo. If you grew up in a Jewish household, chances are you ate some version of Matzo Brei every year. Some are sweet (like french toast) some are savory, like this one. If you’ve never had it, and are matzo-curious, this is a great, easy, and satisfying breakfast. I would eat it year round if Matzo wasn’t only really available part of the year. This is the one I was taught to make by my mother, who learned how to make it from my Grandfather Pop-pop.

The recipe can be extended to as many people as you want. Generally, it’s 1 egg to 1 piece of matzo.

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 pieces of plain (ie not Egg) Matzo
  • 2 small or 1 large yellow onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup of kosher-style beef salami cut into 1/2" cubes (like Hebrew National) - optional
  • Canola/Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

In a large bowl, crack the eggs and whip them until uniformly mixed. Add a 2 tbsp of water or milk and mix to combine. One at a time, break the pieces of matzo into the bowl into irregular pieces about the size of your thumb. Mix with the eggs so that the eggs cover the matzo, and the matzo is absorbing the egg mixture. Let it sit while you cook the onions.

Heat a large skillet and add about 1.5 tbsp of oil to the pan. When hot, add the onions and cook at high for a minute until they soften. Reduce the heat and continue cooking, flipping the onions on top of themselves until browned but not burned about 10 minutes. If you are using the salami, throw it in about halfway through cooking the onions, flipping it regularly so it browns on all sides. Depending on the type of the salami and how long you cook, it there might be a lot of grease in the pan now. Carefully, pour it all but about a tbsp out into a heatproof bowl or cup, leaving the onions and salami in the pan.

Turn the heat back up and dump in the egg/matzo mixture. Move it around quickly, combining with the onions and salami, and then spread it out so it covers as much of the pan as possible, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 2–4 minutes without touching it, so that the bottom browns a bit and the eggs cook. Turn the heat back up to high and break up the eggs with a spatula, flipping quickly so all the sides are exposed to the heat and are cooked. Remove from the heat, turn out on to a plate, add a lot of fresh pepper and salt to taste.

Now Playing: Sidney Gish - No Dogs Allowed

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File under teenage folk-pop that’s extremely fun to listen to. I heard about this album from All Songs Considered and then she kept popping up across all of my of my recommendations. This music is the definition of cute and witty, without being cloying.

Week 21

Spring is in the air? Maybe? Someday?

While we all wait for Asparagus and any kind of green really, I’ve been working hard in the kitchen dreaming up things for the next Toast Lab and beyond. I thought the bagels came out great last weekend (and hope you did, too!) but I was a little disappointed by the Semolina loaves. I know a lot of folks don’t even notice and still think it’s great, which I appreciate! I really do! But I know my own mistakes and I’m working on improving the output and consistency in this new space.

To that end, I’m looking at changing up the way I do baking each week. Instead of changing up everything each week, I’m thinking of offering one standard loaf and one (or some weekends more) LAB loaf - i.e. a rotating cast of formulas that I’m still working on. This way I can really hone in on that one standard loaf and people can reliably get the same bread each weekend. The question - what should the standard loaf be? I’m debating between what I call the Kingston Country (which is on the menu this week) or the Upstate Levain (which was the first week of Bread Lab in the new space). They are very similar loaves, the main difference is the amount of whole wheat flour. The Country is mostly white flour (with a bit of whole wheat) where the Upstate Levain is more than 50% whole wheat. If you have an opinion, let me know!

IMPORTANT NOTES:

This Saturday (3/24), there will be no bagels and no lab. I’ll be making just enough for shares and will have to leave Rough Draft by noon. If you can’t come before noon, that’s fine, there will be a loaf for you labeled and you can ask for it at the bar. If you can’t make it at all this weekend or you want extra loaves, please let me know ASAP. Rough Draft is now open at 9AM and the first loaves will be out shortly after.

The following weekend (3/31) I’ll be taking the weekend off to visit my family in NYC for Passover. I’m thinking about trying to make some (not kosher but maybe fun) Matzoh. Let me know if you’re interested - pickup would be the Weds before.

There’s a lot of cool stuff planned for April (and some off weekends due to travel). Stay tuned!

This Weeks Loaf: Kingston Country + Spelt/Rye Pan Loaf
 

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Kingston Country is our version of a French Pain de Campagne. It is around 10% NY grown whole wheat and the rest is organic King Arthur white flour. A large amount of white flour and high hydration (lots of water), make this a bread with a very soft and open crumb. Maybe too open for sandwiches but great for sopping up sauce or butter.

I’ve been wanting to experiment with larger amounts of rye flour in bread because I love the flavor. This LAB loaf is high in whole Rye and Spelt flours and is baked in pans. It should last on a shelf for a long time (because of its high percentage of whole wheat, and strong bake) and will be great sliced thin with some fresh cheese or gravlax.

Now Playing: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Mirror Traffic

Not a new album, but for some reason one that I keep coming back to. Of course, I love Pavement, but something about the themes and catchiness here (“Stick Figures in Love”) have me humming it constantly. My kids can attest to me air-guitaring to a lot of these riffs.

Aaron Quint
Week 20

Thanks to everyone who came out for Toast Lab last weekend! Special shout out to my friends Aya and Richard who helped out all weekend. We sold a lot of toast and bread and people seemed to like it - what more could I ask for? We’re still getting used to the new space and each week brings new challenges and improvements, but it definitely feels like the trend is up up up.

This week will be a little more relaxed, but I’m still going to keep pushing.

Saturday starting at ~11AM there will be bread but also bagel sandwiches. I’ll have cream cheese, butter, our vegan apple chutney, and there will be a limited number of very very special bagels in honor of St Patrick's day (Think Brick Lane Beigel Bake).

This week’s loaf: Semolina Sesame + Mini Miche

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As I ease into the new space, forgive me if I’m resting on my laurels a bit. Even though I’ve done it a bunch, Semolina is definitely still my favorite loaf to bake. I am excited to be able to do these now with organic Semolina flour from Milanese in Quebec. This is one of the most white loaf’s that I do, but also still has a ton of flavor and pairs well with a dollop of ricotta and a glass of red wine.

Our Mini Miche is our tribute to the great rustic french whole wheat bread, though on a slightly smaller scale. Classic Miche (like at Polaine in Paris) are often 3kg in weight and bake to the size of a small person torso. Mine is a little more reasonable in size, but I try to capture that same flavor of a mix of different whole grain flours (red wheat, spelt, rye) and long fermentation. I’ll actually be baking these on Friday night as they have to be rested for a least half a day before being consumed (because of the relatively large amount of rye flour, which needs time to fully set or else it has a gummy texture). Serve this with a good french cheese or copious amounts of good butter.

Now Playing: Ayalew Mesfin - Hasabe Spotify

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Like last week, this is another ‘lost album’, this time songs of social change with deep afro-funk from Ethiopia. The liner notes say it best: “while the trappings of ’70s Ethiopian music carry some aspects that those in the West will easily identify with—trap drum kits, jazz big-band styled horn sections, guitars played through wah wah and fuzz pedals—the Ethiopian style of singing, and the modes in which the musicians move, may confound.” Confound in a good way, though.

Aaron Quint
Week 19

We made it! Somehow we survived the first weekend of being open for business at Rough Draft. Thanks so much to everyone who came out and support us. It was awesome to hustle and make bagels and see so many familiar and smiling faces. We sold out of bread and bagels and learned a couple lessons about what we need to operate. Most notably, making more bread!

If you came last weekend and wanted to buy a loaf but there wasn't one, there should be a lot more this coming weekend.

I was pretty happy with how the bread turned out. After fretting that the levain dough was way too wet, it came out as one of the best batches I’d ever made. The bagels still have some room to go - I’m still adjusting to the new mixer and flour et al. If you had a bagel last weekend, please know they will get even better!

Weekly Share Updates

This week I put together a new FAQ for Weekly Shareholders. This has some answers about pickups etc and is also a good primer if you’re interested in signing up. Most notably, I’m no longer sending out asks to see if you’re picking up any given week, but if you don’t show up by 1 PM and don’t let me know, your loaf might end up getting sold. This is all just so I don't wind up with a ton of extra bread at the end of the day without a good home.

TOAST LAB RETURNS

In exciting news, this weekend will be the first weekend I’ll be doing a full TOAST LAB at Rough Draft starting at 11 AM. Last week was a bit of a dry run with the bagels but this weekend I’ll be getting some extra hands to help me and will be reprising some of the favorite toasts from the HV Hullabaloo as well as some winter ones I’ve been experimenting with. Almost everything is vegetarian and there will be a couple vegan options as well. Come by and have Saturday brunch with a thick piece of Einkorn toast with Labneh, Fennel, and Spicy Herb Dressing a beer and a book.

This Weeks Loaf: Einkorn Boules + Hard White Wheat Pan Loaf

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Einkorn makes its return. This is always one of my favorite loaves. Something about the aroma of it is recognizable but just strangely hard to place. We get whole grain Einkorn and mill it ourselves the day before baking and feel like the freshness really comes through in the final loaf. The crumb is always open and flavorful and is great for dipping in your favorite olive oil or sauce.

Hard white wheat makes for a great whole wheat flour that has less of the tannins and bitterness you get with typical whole wheat (usually made with red wheat). When baked in a loaf pan, this becomes the best grilled cheese sandwich loaf money can buy.

Now Playing: Morrison Kincannon - Beneath The Redwoods Spotify

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At first, I thought this album that just came out was a modern musician doing an extremely faithful reproduction of 70s folk rock, but it turns out this is a collection of ‘lost’ recordings by a young unknown California duo that has just been compiled and released (Read the story, its great). This record feels like summer driving and that’s really what you need when it’s this frickin' cold.

Week 18
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After a week of some intense recipe testing (and a trip across the country for work) Kingston Bread Lab at Rough Draft Bar & Books is ready for business.

After the electric and plumbing were hooked up, I spent a whole week testing the new oven and mixer (read: trying to figure out how to use them). By the end of the week I was producing loaves I was really proud of, and based on the past year I can truthfully say it will only get better.

Also, last week had me hood-famous with a very nice article about the bread lab and myself in the Kingston Times.

Important Changes to Logistics

Pickups for subscribers are now at Rough Draft Bar & Books starting when they open at 11 AM.

I’ll be making (at least) two types of loaves each weekend (see below) but I’ll no longer be sending out emails to choose which type. Pickups are first-come-first-served. You can pick up at any time during the day, but if you’re coming after 1 pm, let me know and I’ll bag up a loaf and put it aside. Any loaves that don’t get picked up I’ll be selling to folks at Rough Draft.

This Weeks Loafs: Upstate Levain + Kamut Pan Loaf (AND MORE!)



For the first week back I’ll be doing two of my signature loaves. The Upstate Levain is a classic half-whole-wheat sourdough loaf. It features a majority of NY state grown and milled flour and for the first time, it will have 100% organic flour (I’ve found a reliable source for organic roller-milled white bread flour!).

The second is my favorite pan loaf, the Whole Kamut. Kamut is one of the most ancient grains and for this loaf, I mill the whole Kamut grain fresh the day before baking, which gives the loaf a ton of flavor (it reminds me of light honey) and nutrition.

I’m also working on perfecting my bagels in the new kitchen and this weekend there will be individual bagels for sale (with schmears). My speed/capacity isn't enough yet that I can start selling dozens (I’ll only be making ~4 dozen total), but that might be in the cards in the future.

If we’re lucky, my wife Kat might also make some delicious chocolate rye cookies for sale.

Now Playing: Girl Ray - Earl Gray

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This is one of those albums that’s almost too on-the-nose of my likes: Jangly guitars [check], Witty/angsty lyrics [check], Catchy hooks [check]. This has become our household’s making breakfast music with the kids shaking their yogurt covered fists along with the beat.

Aaron Quint
The Kitchen is READY.

Kingston Bread Lab Phase II is here.

 

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Friends! The time is (almost) here.

This week electric and plumbing were finished in our new kitchen at Rough Draft and I turned on the oven and baked my first loaves. OK, they came out burnt as all hell. Still very edible though! And the loaves I baked today (second batch) came out almost perfect.

The current plan (pending inspection) is to resume the regular Saturday pickups the first weekend of March (3/3/18). We’ll call it the grand opening and there will almost definitely be special treats.

This weekend (2/17 and 2/18) I’ll be doing test bakes all weekend. If you’re in the area, stop by Rough Draft and say hi. If I’m not there just then, there will almost definitely be bread (and bagels on Sunday) to pick up (gratis).

Now is also a good time to buy a bread share if you haven't already. Even though the new setup is much expanded, production is still limited and I’d love to max out my shares each week. If you’d been waiting to tell other people about it, now is the time!

Thanks again to everyone for all your well-wishes, excitement and support as we build this dream.

Aaron Quint
Kingston Bread Lab: Phase II
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I am very pleased to announce that starting soon, Kingston Bread Lab will be baking and selling bread out of Rough Draft Bar & Books in Uptown Kingston.

When I launched Kingston Bread Lab a little over 6 months ago, the plan was always to start small and slowly work my way up to whatever was the next step. In my mind, there was the dream of having my own space that I could make into a food lab, but realistically I was thinking I would have to rent time at a shared kitchen space.

Somehow, though the most amazing serendipity, Amanda and Anthony opened Rough Draft around the corner from me. Not only have they created my favorite place to hang out and become friends, we were able to work out an arrangement where we both can invest in building out their kitchen to become a home for Kingston Bread Lab.
 

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I’ve started buying new and used equipment and this weekend set up the first piece: My workbench. Over the next couple weeks, the rest of the equipment will arrive and get set up: A dedicated oven (a Rofco), a spiral mixer, racks, new banneton, and a whole shipment of organic flour.

For the foreseeable future, I’m still just doing this on the nights and weekends as my passion project (I still have a full-time job). However, with a dedicated space I’ll not only be able to bake more, but I’ll also be able to explore whole new things (read: bagels, pizza, and other pop-ups).

Opening date is not set yet (we need to get everything set up and then inspected) but the working plan is mid-February. Once the baking gets into swing I’ll be able to take on new weekly shares and we’ll be doing at least monthly Saturday toast labs, if not more. I’ll also be opening up to some weekly wholesale for other shops/restaurants that are interested in the area.

Follow the newsletter, the blog, and Instagram for more details as we have them. I’ll be posting more pictures of the space as it gets set up.

Aaron Quint
January Update: Good News and Bad News

The Short Story:

Unfortunately, due to my primary oven failing there will be no bread for at least the next 3 weeks. The good news is I’m in the final stages of finalizing a new space where I’ll have a dedicated kitchen and will be able to do lots more baking.

The Longer Story:

Since the inception of Kingston Bread Lab, the idea was to start small and try to scale up slowly. This meant starting at home and using my home oven to bake all the bread. This has worked pretty well so far! I’ve been able to support 17 weeks of pickups and 3 pop-ups, including the hullabaloo where I baked 60+ loaves over two days.

There have been hiccups though. I have a double gas oven where there is a large convection oven, and a smaller side oven. When baking for pickups, I’ll use 3 dutch ovens (2 in the large, 1 in the small) at a time. Since the beginning, I’ve had problems with my convection fan (which is really necessary to effectively heat the large oven) and over the past 2 months, problems where the small oven would not heat correctly. Despite getting it serviced multiple times, now the large oven has stopped working entirely which means I can only bake a single loaf at a time. This makes doing pickups impossible. I’ve scheduled service again but only the manufacturer can do it (they’re going to rebuild the entire oven) so it will be a couple of weeks before I can bake.

I’m extremely sad about this because not only are there a bunch of new subscribers who have only picked up once or twice but I felt like I had a ton of momentum coming up to the holiday. Apologies to all!

Much better news: this week there were some handshakes to finalize renting a kitchen space in Uptown Kingston. This will mean:

  • Having a dedicated space to work
  • Buying bigger/better equipment and tools so I can bake more/sell more each week
  • Being able to expand into new types of bread (including bagels and ciabatta)
  • Selling out of a legitimate space that’s not my back door

But also:

  • Having a regular space for pop-ups (including regular Toast Labs)
  • Being able to increase production to do some wholesale for other local Cafes/Restaurants
  • Generally being able to do bigger and better things

If you can’t tell, I’m really excited.

While I have downtime regular pickups, I’m still testing out new recipes as well as starting to get equipment and other things for the new space. I’ll be posting some pics on Instagram and the blog as things progress.

Thanks to everyone for your support!

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint
Week 17

I can’t believe its almost the end of the year! So much has happened in 2017 it's a little hard to keep track.

I was out last week and didn’t have too much chance to bake but I’ve been working hard on a bunch of new bread specifically sourdough ciabatta (it’s almost perfect) and bagels. I’ll have to wait to scale this to the point where I can share them with you while my oven is still on the fritz, but hopefully, soooooon.

We have a bunch of new shareholders since the Toast Lab - welcome!

There's going to be some weird weeks in terms of schedule up ahead with the holiday, but I’ll be letting everyone know next week about final plans.

This Weeks Loafs: Einkorn + Sprouted White Wheat

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Once again, you have a choice between two types of loaves this week.

Einkorn is one of my favorite ancient grains. It’s a little difficult to work with, but it pays off in its unique aroma and flavor. I always think it smells like olive oil and rosemary but you be the judge. I get organic Einkorn grain that’s actually grown in Italy and mill it fresh and then combine it with some whole wheat from Farmer Ground Flour in NY and white flour.

For pan loaf this week, I’m trying an old combination with a new wheat. A couple of weeks ago I tried (and really loved) baking with Hard Spring White Wheat. This week I’ll be using that same base but adding the same wheat berries sprouted. Sprouted wheat is really good for you (in that it has every part of the grain) but is easier to digest. I like them because they add another level of flavor and texture. I’ll shape this into a pan loaf to enjoy as toast or for really good jelly sandwiches.

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Herb Oil

One of the biggest hits from the recent Toast Lab was our Einkorn Toast with Ricotta and Roasted Garlic Herb Oil. I figured I’d share the (very simple) herb oil recipe so you can recreate it at home this week.

It’s actually very similar in technique to my favorite Pesto but with some very important distinctions:

  • No cheese (this is vegan)
  • No nuts
  • Roasting the garlic first
  • Much more olive oil
  • Lots of different herbs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of good quality olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 4 whole scallions/green onions
  • 2 cups of various fresh leafy green herbs (especially cilantro, parsley, oregano, mint, basil, but whatever is fresh and accessible)
  • Kosher Salt

Heat the oven to 400F. Wrap the garlic tightly in tin foil and place in the warm oven for about 20 minutes or until your whole house smells like roasting garlic.

Make a blanching station: Have a bowl of mostly ice and cold water next to a pot of boiling water. One small handful at a time, place the herbs and green onions in the boiling water for 15–20 seconds and then put immediately in the ice bath. Remove from the ice bath and drain fully in a colander or on a kitchen towel.

Set up a blender or food processor and squeeze the roasted garlic from its skins into the bowl. Add 1 tsp of salt 1 tbsp of olive oil and blend until smooth. Add the greens and half the olive oil and blend until the herbs are fully processed. With the motor running, slowly add the rest of the oil until its fully combined and you have a beautiful green oil.

Transfer to a container that allows for easy application (like a squeeze bottle or a ball jar with a spoon).

This is really good on anything where you need a little green - adding to the top of red sauce, eggs, plain toast. We ended up finishing the leftovers from the toast bar on a bowl of chickpea curry.

Now Playing: Palehound - A Place I’ll Always Go Spotify

Nothing is revolutionary or necessarily even unique about this album. It's just a very very good album. Great songwriting, catchy melodies, good vocals. I just like listening to it. I think you will, too.

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint
Week 15

I’m still excited about all the awesome things going on in Kingston Bread Lab Land. I have some exciting things in the works for 2018 and in the meantime, I’m excited to be baking as much as possible. Unfortunately, I’m still having trouble with my oven, so I have to limit production to just shares until I get that all sorted out.

For Pickup on Saturday - If you want to get your loaf before noon, you can come to the usual location (my back door). If you want to pick up anytime later in the day, I’ll drop them off at Rough Draft and will be hanging out there for a bit but you can get them wherever.

If all goes well, this Saturday, our friends at Rough Draft should also be serving toast using Kingston Bread Lab bread! 

This Weeks Loaf: Kingston Country + Whole Spelt Pan Loaf

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I’ve been readjusting all of my formulas since the weather is changed so this week I’m going back to basics to try to just make a really great country-style loaf. This is mostly white flour (from King Arthur) with a good dose of whole wheat from Farmer Ground Flour in Trumansburg, NY. This will be great with a slab of butter or soaking up a rich stew.

I’m also testing out a new technique for this week’s pan loaf: Scalded whole wheat (in this case Spelt). The idea here is you scald a part of the whole wheat flour with boiling water. This breaks down some of the starches and sugars in the flour and when combined with the rest of the flour and water makes for a sweeter and moister bread. I’m excited to use 100% NY flour in the recipe. This will be great with a smear of cream cheese and some smoked fish.

Now Playing: Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference Spotify

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There's something special about fresh jazz - something that evokes the grand history that comes before it, but is new at the same time. This has been my working music as of late and it pairs nicely with a cold morning and hot coffee.

Aaron Quint
Week 13: Hullabaloo and Thanksgiving Special Orders

Lots of exciting things going on this week. I won’t be sleeping. Go!

Important There is no regular pickup this weekend on 11/18/17. Instead, I’ll be at the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo (details below) and then will be doing a special pickup Weds 11/22 for Thanksgiving (details also below).

Toast at the Hullabaloo
 

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I’m super excited and have been spending all my time preparing for this weekend where we’ll be selling bread and serving special toast at the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo. This is our first time doing more than just selling bread and we are very very PUMPED. We’ll be in the small front ‘food room’ with two other vendors (Grounded and Samosa Shack) from 10 AM to 5 PM. I’ll be there with Mark Palmer, my helpful and unwavering toast expert, serving what we think is an awesome menu all day or until we run out of bread.

Here’s a basically complete menu:

Breads

  • Kamut Pan Loaf
  • Seedy Wheat
  • Upstate Levain
  • Einkorn Levain
  • Semolina Sesame
  • Mini Miche

Toasts

  • Any bread with Ronnybrook butter, $3
  • Kamut with Justin’s Peanut Butter, Honey, Crushed Peanuts, $4
  • Semolina, Ricotta, Honey, $5
  • Semolina, Ricotta, Herb + Garlic Oil, $5
  • Einkorn Levain, Labneh, Za’atar, Olive Oil, $5
  • Upstate Levain, Whipped butter, Radishes, Olive Oil, Black Pepper, $6
  • Seedy Wheat, Labneh, Roasted Carrots, Pea Shoots, $6

Maybe also some cookies and other treats.

Once again this will be the most bread I will ever make so wish me luck and good oven spirits.

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Thanksgiving Special Pickup

I’ll be baking some special bread for pickup on next Weds (11/22), the day before Thanksgiving. Here are the loaves I’ll be making:

Semolina Sesame is one of our most popular loaves. Featuring a mix of whole wheat, white, and semolina flours as well as a natural tang of the natural leaven.

Kamut Whole Wheat is a pan loaf featuring a heavy dose of fresh milled Kamut (Khorasan) flour as well as some local whole wheat. Perfect for day-after sandwiches.

Cranberry + Pumpkin Seed is a special bread just for Thanksgiving. A levain style loaf studded with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Very festive.

SUBSCRIBERS: Please email me by Sunday to let me know if you would like loaves, how many, and what kind.

Everyone else: You can pre-order loaves via our online store.

We’re also trying something new: Pickup will be at our new friendly neighboorhood bookstore and bar, Rough Draft.

I definitely need to say that I am very thankful for all of you who have supported me through this crazy endeavor and keep pushing me to improve and do bigger things.

<3

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint
Week 12

While everyone is hunkering down, I’m starting to plan out my winter projects. I’m going to make mozzarella, cure a bunch of sausages, and try to really nail true croissants.

I also have some bigger plans for the bread lab. The first big thing that’s happening is I’ll be selling bread and, more exciting, making open face toast/sandwiches at this year's Hudson Valley Hullabaloo in Midtown Kingston on Nov. 18th. I’m really excited about this because it’s one step closer to my master plan of eventually opening up the best bakery/sandwich shop in the Hudson Valley.

In an effort to try to make as much bread as possible for the event, though, there will be no regular pickups on Nov. 18th. The goal is to get more people interested in the Bread Lab.

However, I would love to have my bread be part of your Thanksgiving table so I will be doing pickups for anyone that wants/is around on Weds. Nov. 22. If you’d like more than one loaf, I’ll make that available, too. I’ll be sending out an email with more details about that next week.

This Weeks Loaf: Whole Durum with Za’atar Crust & Spelt/Rye Pan Loaf

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In my recent shipment of whole grain, I picked up some whole organic durum wheat. Durum is one of the oldest known grain cultivars. It has special cultural significance to a lot of different countries: Atta flour which is used for chapatis in India is made from durum; It is used to produce Cous Cous in North Africa; it is a core staple of all Italian pasta and bread making in the form of Semolina (which is the sifted middlings of durum wheat). I decided to pair this freshly milled whole wheat durum with another middle eastern flavor that I love Za’atar. After some tests this week, this bread has a mild sourness that balances well with the Za'atar. The durum gives it a unique flavor that isn’t sweet like semolina but has some of the same notes.

I’m also making a new pan loaf featuring a good dose of fresh spelt and rye flour. The rye in this gives the bread its truly distinct and unmistakable flavor. This bread reminds me of a good eastern European loaf, but without the dense brick feeling. It would go great with some dill-laden scrambled eggs or some matches herring.

Now Playing: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Kid Spotify

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I’ve been waiting for this album all year. I got truly obsessed with the wild sounds of Smith’s full-length album last year (Ears) and was waiting for a new dose of hypnotic and beautiful sounds. This new album is different in a lot of ways but doesn’t disappoint. It feels cosmic just like the album art depicts.

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint
Week 11

BRRRRRR

Well, that happened really quickly - or at least it felt like it. It is cold, and with that, I’ll be happy to report that it's actually nice to have the oven on all the time. On the other hand, I'm having to adjust my timing and formulas again to account for the cold rooms and longer proofs.

Reminder: Season 2 is here! If you haven’t yet you can purchase shares here and find out more information here. For existing subscribers, if its easier to pay in person, let me know, I can charge via square or cash at pickup.

Also New: Shareholders will receive an additional email every week asking what type of bread you’d like and if you’re planning on picking up this week. This will let me make sure I’m baking the right amount and reserving the right types for you. It should be as simple as opening the email and clicking on your preference.

ALSO: I’m putting up a small number of individual loaves for purchase each week. Non-subscribers can buy a loaf to try it out or subscribers can pad their order with an additional loaf.

Some of you have asked if its OK to shout about this from the rooftops, and in the past, I’ve said to hold off - I’m still figuring things out. While that is still true, now is the time to spread the word. I’d love to max out my subscriptions as it will let me do bigger and better things.
 

This Week’s Loaf: Hard White & Kamut Pan Loaves

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In my latest shipment of grain, I picked some new varieties to try out including Hard Spring White Wheat. This is a relative of Hard Red Wheat that’s used for most of my whole wheat bread but has slightly different properties. Though it’s not as strong (protein wise) as red wheat, it has another benefit of being much lower in the tannins that give typical whole wheat its sometimes strong aftertaste. I’m excited to try this out in a basic dough combined with a little bit of white flour, high extraction whole wheat flour, and local red wheat.

I’m also making a few of the recent favorite Kamut Pan Loaves. These feature a bunch of freshly milled whole grain Kamut and are baked into sandwich/pan loaves. Perfect for peanut butter and jelly or a thick slather of butter.

Recipe: Chicken Soup

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(from one of Magnus's favorite books: Maurice Sendak 'Chicken Soup with Rice')

There are as many recipes for chicken soup as there are grandmothers on planet earth. You can rely on yours whenever you want, but here's my basic technique:

  • Every time I cook chicken, I buy a whole chicken and cut off the wing tips and backbone and save them in a large bag in the freezer.
  • When the bag is full (usually 3 or 4 chickens), I line a sheet pan with tin foil and dump the frozen chicken pieces on it. I put this pan (while the pieces are still frozen) a couple inches away from a hot broiler and roast until the pieces are defrosted and black and brown around the edges.
  • I transfer all these to a pressure cooker (mine is 8qt) add two small onions peeled and very roughly chopped, two carrots peeled and roughly chopped, and if I have it, two celery stalks or one leek roughly chopped. I cover all of this with as much water as will fit in my cooker and cook on high for 1.5 hours. After that, I turn the heat off and let it release the pressure slowly.
  • Once the pressure is released, I strain the whole thing through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bucket and discard all the chicken and veggies.
  • I take that stock and let it cool before putting it in the fridge.
  • If I’m making soup that night, I’ll 2 parts stock to one part water in a small saucepan and heat it up, then add some finely minced veggies (carrots, leeks) and cook them until they're tender.
  • Add matzo balls or noodles or whatever you please.
  • Instantly feel better.

Now Playing: Chad VanGaalen - Light Information Spotify

I love the playfulness of this album from Chad VanGaalen. It feels a lot less dark than his previous albums, but still, retains the awesome soundscapes laid on top of the quirky pop/rock music is known for.

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint