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
Announcing Season 2
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I wanted to open a sandwich shop. (Actually, I still do). When I told my wife that, though, she was questioning in a way only someone who truly knows you can.

"You're going to get bored"

OK. So I scaled it back. What's the smallest step I can take, that doesn't completely alter my life but allows me to start something and start making food for other people regularly.

Kingston Bread Lab was born.

I wasn't sure how it would go - if anyone would sign up - if people would like the bread that I was working so hard on. Wonderful people signed up and they liked the bread! I had two really successful pop-ups and even taught a bread workshop. 10 weeks went by really quickly.

Most importantly, I didn't get bored.

Bread is still magic.

So I'm starting the next chapter of Kingston Bread Lab with a couple small changes but nothing too crazy (yet!).

Instead of setting the window with a specific time-frame, you can pre-pay for a number of weeks of bread (with a bigger discount for more weeks up front). If you miss a week, no big deal, I'll be sending out a simple message each week ahead of time asking if you're planning on getting bread that week. 

Every week I'll also be putting up a number of loaves to pre-order on Thursday for the weekend bake. This will hopefully let more people try the bread before they commit to longer periods. This also means you can pick up more than one loaf a weekend if you want to.

Pickups are Saturday in Uptown Kingston. I'm looking into doing pickups on other days as well, but just need to get the demand there first.

I'm really excited to start baking again for all of you and hope to see some new faces soon. 
 

SharesAaron Quint
Week 10

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks but I couldn’t be more excited to bake bread. Our oven was finally fixed yesterday and it feels like I’m complete again. I also received my very own mini wood-fired portable pizza oven from Uuni and fired it up for the first time tonight. Definitely, a lot of work to do to make great pizza in it, but I’m also already dreaming up all the things I could bake with it.

I’m still debating exactly how to structure season 2 of the Bread Lab so expect more emails about that shortly. In the meantime, no one has actually picked up their full 8 loaf share so this week will be another in-between week.

There's some news about more collaborations and markets coming up soon, but I’ll have to wait until it’s all confirmed. Look out for more info soon!

This weeks loaf: Semolina Sesame

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I asked my wife, Kat, what her favorite loaf I’ve made so far for the lab and she didn’t even hesitate to answer: Semolina. I also love the Semolina and it’s rich and mouth-watering aroma. It just reminds me of so many other things I love and works so well with such a wide variety of food. I recently purchased a big shipment of new grains to work with, one of which is whole Durum. Semolina is actually the sifted wheat middlings of Durum flour and tipo 00, the famed Italian pizza flour is also typically made with very fine Durum wheat. I’m excited to experiment in the future with this!

Recipe: A really good tomato sauce

Last time I made Semolina bread I sent my meatball recipe. This time, I’ll send the tomato sauce you should be making with it. This sauce is also just great on any pasta and is a cornerstone of my regular rotation. It’s really an amalgam of many different great sauce recipes (Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, Frankies 457) but it is exactly what I always want whenever I’m craving something easy and comforting.

A shortcut is to take the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion) roughly chopped and process them in a food processor until they're finely diced instead of chopping them by hand.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" rings
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4" slices
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 28oz can of good whole (not seasoned) tomatoes (San Marzano style)
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more for serving
  • Pinch of fresh or dried herbs that are available (Basil in the summer, oregano in the winter)

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook slowly until it’s very brown (but not black, don’t you dare burn it). Add the carrots, celery, and onion and turn up the heat. Cook until the onion is translucent but not browned about 7 minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes with their juice and fill the can halfway with water and add to the pot. Stir vigorously, breaking up the whole tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer.

Simmer for at least 25 minutes, but up to an hour depending on how much time you have and what you’re using it for. For meatballs, add the meatballs to the pot after 30 minutes and keep cooking for another 30.

I also like to use an immersion blender to make the sauce a little smoother at this point, too, but you can also leave it very rustic.

Add the herbs in the last 10 minutes before serving.
 

Now Playing: Morgan Delt - Phase Zero Spotify

Not sure exactly how I landed on this weird contemporary neo-psych out of LA, but can’t say I’m sad about it? It’s sort of fit with these weird hot days of late, where you know its fall but why does it still feel like summer? Some really good sounds on this album and some catchy riffs that will make you want to put it on again.

Aaron Quint
Week 9
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Last week was bonkers. Thanks to all of you who came out to the stand at The Northern Grade Barn. Business was steady throughout the day, I had an awesome little helper (see above) and we sold out of every loaf, including some half loaves and some amazing Chocolate Rye cookies that Kat made.

This week has been equally busy for different reasons. This Saturday, I’ll be doing a bread making workshop at Catskills Conf after the morning bake and if it goes well I hope to be doing some more in the future. Pickups will still be on Saturday morning, but I might have to leave a little early in which case I’ll mark and leave loaves on the back porch.

Additionally - your tote bags are here!! If you are a ‘Founding Subscriber’, you can pick up your tote on Saturday with your bread.

This also marks the end of ‘Season 1’ of Kingston Bread Lab. This doesn't mean that if you purchased a share you won’t be getting the couple loaves you’re owed - baking will continue. I set the 8 week season to give me a chance to reflect on how things went if there are things that can be improved, and really to challenge myself. I feel very happy about how things went overall, but I know they can be even better.

I’m working on a little survey to send all subscribers to collect some feedback and maybe make some other changes.

Thanks to everyone who has bought a share or just a loaf and has supported us this far. It means more than you can know.

This Weeks Loaf: Spelt Levain + Kamut Pan Loaf

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Mixing it up with a choice of two ancient grain breads this weekend. The Spelt Levain was the first bread I sold out of last weekend - the intense wheaty flavor and mild sourness won people over.

Kamut is an interesting ancient grain that is low in gluten but high in flavor. This bake I’m going to try to capture the essence of that flavor with big yellow sandwich loaves.

Now Playing: Four Tet - New Energy Spotify

I don’t know how I feel about the expression ‘this gives me life’, but I will say that this week, the new album from Four Tet has been giving me life. I’ve been a fan for more than 15 years now, and his work keeps getting tighter, more minimal, yet somehow more emotional, too.

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint
Week 8

Well, this has been one of the busiest weeks of Kingston Bread Lab ever.

Earlier in the week, I was testing out some new baking processes and tools and in the past 48 hours I mixed 64 lbs of dough by hand and baked 48 individual loaves (and not a single dud). That’s more bread than I made in 2016 in total.

All of this is for the Northern Grade Barn Days in High Falls where I’ll be today, selling that bread from ~11:30 until I sell out.

Also! If you were a founding subscriber - your tote bag is finally arriving this week. They’ll be ready for pick up next week.

This Weeks Loaf: LOTS

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I made 6 different types of loaves this week: Upstate Levain, Mini Miche, Semolina Sesame, Seedy Wheat, Spelt Levain, and Rye Shokupan (that’s almost my entire repertoire at this point).

Rye Shokupan is new and something I’ve been working on for a while. It is the only bread I make right now that is not naturally leavened and includes butter, milk, and eggs. Shokupan is Japanese Milk Bread (or Toast Bread). I got obsessed with this recipe a couple years ago when searching for a really good white sandwich bread and a versatile dough I could use for other things (buns, etc). It is lighter than a brioche (less butter) but has incredible lasting power because of it’s mixing method: you pre-cook a percentage of the flour into a paste with water and milk. My twist on it is to include a small percentage of local rye flour. Even though it's a small amount, you can taste it and I feel it enhances the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.

Recipe: Bread Storage Pro Tips

OK - Not really a recipe, but forgive me with the business this week. I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about how to effectively store my bread so here are my tips:

  • If you don’t cut it open, all the levain bread will last for at least 4 days if not more.
  • Once cut, only slice what you need and keep the bread balanced on its cut side down to prevent it from drying out.
  • Overnight, Instead of putting the whole thing in a plastic bag, wrap just the cut side in plastic wrap. The problem with wrapping the entire loaf is that it will make the crust soft and soggy (maybe that’s your thing, but if you haven’t noticed - I like crisp crusts).
  • If you want to freeze it, it's actually better/easier to freeze it pre-sliced. Toast individual slices to serve.
  • Old bread makes great croutons - just tear slices, toss with a little olive oil and toast in a 400F oven for ~15–25 minutes, checking every 5, until they're fully dried out and a little brown. Once cool, you can store these in an air-tight container for a couple weeks.

Now Playing: Monogold - Good Heavens Spotify

The O+ Festival is this weekend in Kingston. Monogold is one of the bands that helped start it all, and though they aren’t the biggest name in the festival, they totally rock. They played at the firstCatskills Conf and took the house down. Listening to it this week, in hopes of getting to see them play this weekend.

Aaron Quint
Week 7

The leaves on our maple tree are covering our yard so whether we like it or not, October must be here. I spent the past week in San Francisco for work, and though it reminded me how much I love that city and it’s delicious food, it’s good to be home.

Next weekend (Columbus Day Weekend) I’ll be doing the Northern Grade Barn again, but this time I’m hoping to do it on Saturday. That means pickups might be a little different. I’ll give you the option to pick up Friday in Kingston, Saturday at the Barn in High Falls or if you want to pick up Saturday in Kingston, I can wrap loaves for you and leave them at my house.

I’ll remind and send more details about this the middle of next week.


This Week’s Loaf: Everything Wheat and Oat Porridge

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Two types to choose from this week! Both are a relatively new formula that I’ve been working on, so I’m hoping they come out as good as they have in the past (reminder: it’s a bread lab).

The Everything Wheat is my dream of turning an everything bagel into a sourdough loaf. It includes a good bit of local whole wheat as well as some barley malt (one of the things that makes a bagel taste like a bagel) and is coated in an everything seed mix (garlic, onion, sesame, poppy, salt. nigela).

Oat Porridge is based on a famous Tartine loaf. It is a classic whole wheat levain bread but with a healthy portion of cooked oatmeal mixed in. This gives the bread an amazing flavor and texture - it is creamy and rich and I think a classic fall bread.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

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It’s probably the last week for good tomatoes at the farmers market before the frost comes so my approach is EAT THEM ALL. Panzanella is a genius use of old bread. I think a good panzanella starts with good bread and good tomatoes, and I’m giving you one of those so …

One of my favorite cookbooks of 2017 is Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden. Not only does it have a ton of amazing recipes but some of the tips/ideas are now fully part of my cooking. My favorite is the way he dresses salads. Instead of making a dressing, the layers on the dressing components one at a time, tasting at each stage. I’ve found this to be super successful for creating a bright and well-balanced salad, especially when you only have a few ingredients, like here.

Ingredients

  • 4 Thick slices of bread
  • A variety of heirloom tomatoes (colors and sizes) about 4–8 depending on size.
  • A handful of fresh herbs (basil, mint, chives)
  • 2–3 Small scallions
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Olive oil

Heat the oven to 400F.

Take a large sheet pan and tear the bread into large irregular chunks. Toss the bread with about a tbsp of olive oil and spread on the sheet pan. Place in the oven and bake until dry, checking after the first 15 minutes, and rotating every 5 minutes (about 20–30 minutes total depending on how old the bread is).

Core the tomatoes and chop into large chunks and place in a large bowl. Trim and cut the scallions into very fine rings and toss with the tomatoes. Add the toasted bread to the bowl.

Coat the tomatoes and bread in about a tbsp of lemon juice and a tsp of salt and toss gently with your hands. Taste it - it should taste balanced and really good as is. Adjust with salt and pepper and more lemon juice as needed. Add the herbs, drizzle in about 2 tbsp of olive oil and toss again. Taste again, adjust the seasoning and eat as quickly as possible. This is not something you can save leftovers of.

Now Playing: Mdou Moctar - Sousoume Tamacheck Spotify

I was lucky enough to get to see Mdou Moctar and his band at BSP earlier this week. I’ve been a big fan of Taureg music for a while, but this was my first chance to see some in person and I was blown away. Mdou’s music can be traditional at times but then can also shift to full Jimi Hendrix-esque solos while still referencing the desert melodies. I’ve been listening to this new album and all the other Sahelsounds records all week.

Aaron Quint
Week 6

Hot and cold and hot and cold. Is it fall already? I have no idea.

Temperature wreaks havoc on naturally leavened bread, and I’ve been fighting the ups and downs all week. The ideal temperature for fermenting the dough is 76F and when it's warmer or colder (like it was earlier this week) you have to adjust by using warmer water or proofing in a warmer spot. Vice versa when it's warmer (colder water, cooler spot).

As I’ve been making more and more bread I’ve been feeling myself get more in tune with the dough. I know much better now when a dough is properly fermented and ready to be shaped; I can diagnose the various problems with my bakes (over-proofed, under-proofed, under-fermented, under-steamed). Despite all the advances, every time is a new experience and a new challenge.

I think that’s what makes it fun.

This Week’s Loaf: Kingston Country and Seedy Wheat

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Two types to choose from this week! The first is a classic ‘country’ loaf or a Pain de Campagne. Country loaves are characterized by their very open crumb structure and a high percentage of white flour with a little bit of whole wheat in the mix. Some people call these ‘dirty whites’. I use 10% NY grown Whole Red Wheat flour and also throw in about 3% cracked wheat for texture and extra wheaty-ness. This is the first style of sourdough I learned how to make, but I’ve gotten much better at it over the years.

The second is a fun sandwich bread I’ve been experimenting with. It is a majority whole wheat (Red Wheat and Rye) with a whole bunch of toasted seeds mixed in (Pumpkin, Sunflower, Sesame, Golden Flax). It’s full of flavor and will make a great bread for jam, cheese, or any other creamy spread.

Recipe: Pesto

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This is another one of my ‘classics’ that get’s made almost weekly in the height of summer. Nows your chance to eat the last of the basil or make this recipe (from The Pizza Book) and schmear it generously on a piece of Kingston Country Bread.

I grew up eating pesto that my dad would make every summer from basil grown in plastic buckets in our Brooklyn apartment. His was always super garlicky and salty from pecorino. It is still the ideal I model mine after - the big difference from mine is that I blanch my basil.

The ratios here can be adjusted to your taste and according to what is available. We’ve found that pesto is made better with the addition of one extra (seemingly fussy) step. Blanch the basil. Blanching sets the bright green color you expect from great pesto, and that the color never changes into an unappealing brown. Also, the order of ingredients is important. If you put everything in at once, the texture will not be as pleasing.

Freeze any leftovers and take them out in the middle of winter. Once thawed, try a bite and dream of warmer days.

Ingredients

  • One large bunch (130g) fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (3g) large clove garlic
  • ½ cup (60g) Pecorino Romano, cut into small chunks
  • 3 tablespoons (30g) pine nuts
  • Kosher salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice and cold water (should be mostly ice). Pick all the leaves from the bunch of basil and clean thoroughly.

Using a spider or mesh sieve, take the clean basil leaves and dunk them in the boiling water, making sure they are all submerged. Count to 15 and then drain quickly and dunk the basil in the ice bath, splash the leaves around to make sure they all get submerged.

In a blender or a food processor process the garlic with a teaspoon of salt. Add the pine nuts and cheese and process into a chunky paste. Add the basil leaves and a ½ cup of olive oil and pulse until chopped into a very thick paste. Keep the motor running and drizzle or add the rest of the oil slowly.

Taste for salt and add more as needed (the cheese is salty and should have added a lot of saltiness).

Transfer to an airtight container and press down. Cover with a thin layer of olive oil if there isn’t one on top already. This keeps for a week in the fridge and months in the freezer (though the flavor is definitely best the first day you make it).

Now Playing: King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath The Moon Spotify

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this British abstract crooners follow-up, but in the meantime, I’ve been re-enjoying his debut album from 2013. It’s actually moody in a way that not much music is these days and something about the transition of seasons and the changing light reminds me of it.

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint
Week 5

Greetings! Over here at the Bread Lab, we’re getting into the swing of the school year and lots of changes afoot. The change back to cooler temperatures has already forced me to adjust my timings and proofing (Note: our kitchen is barely insulated, so its basically equivalent to the outside temp).

We had a VERY successful first pop-up market sale at the Northern Grade Barn last Sunday. We came with 20 full-size loaves (the most I’ve ever made in a single go) and sold every single one by 1:15 PM (despite it being a rainy Sunday). There are more events and collaborations coming up soon, too. I’ve been working on changing the way I use my oven as well to try to increase production (going from Dutch Ovens to Firebrick) AMA.

This Week’s Loaf: Einkorn Whole Wheat

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Einkorn is the first ancient grain I got into and I haven’t really turned back. It’s one of the oldest wheat tracing its direct roots back to ancient Rome and possibly before. Maybe it’s the story but something about the smell of Einkorn reminds me of rosemary and olive oil. I fresh mill the whole grain, and when I bake it fills the house with the distinctive aroma. I like using Einkorn as an introduction to ancient grains because even though this loaf is mostly whole wheat, it has such a specific flavor that you could clearly identify it. It's yellowish tint also makes it pretty easy to recognize by just looking. Einkorn is a little more difficult to work with than some of the other grains I use, so I supplement it with the strong high extraction NY-grown and milled flour I get from Farmer Ground.

Recipe: Pan con Tomate

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Not so much a recipe as much as a lifestyle, I'm sure there are likely a million variations of this Catalonian national dish. My favorite style is what I saw and ate in Barcelona a couple years ago. With it being the peak of tomatoes up here, I thought this would be appropriate. You really need very few things:

  • Good sturdy bread (got it)
  • A fresh but maybe slightly under-ripe tomato (you just don't want it to fall apart)
  • a clove of garlic, peeled
  • good olive oil
  • sea salt

Toast your bread really hard so that it is very dry and can soak up the tomato.

Take the garlic and rub it all over the surface of the bread.

Cut the bottom end of the tomato off and rub the whole tomato against the bread slice using it like a grater.

Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Enjoy.

Now Playing: Steve Gunn - Eyes On The Lines Spotify

I’ve been re-enjoying Steve Gunn’s catalog after hearing the very exciting news that he’ll be playing O+ this year in Kingston. The terrific guitar work and pulsing melodies are always great headphone music and have kept me going through this pretty intense work week.

Aaron Quint
Week 4

It feels good to be back in action and in the kitchen after some time off. After some failed experiments over the past couple weeks (trying really hard to remember that part of being a lab is you have to fail some times), I’m back to making some classics and trying out some new things. The summer is coming to an end - Magnus is headed back to school and I’m also starting a new job - and I’m actually excited for it to be a little less hot in the kitchen. Look out for some heartier bread as the season changes. We’re hoping everyone has an awesome weekend!

This Week’s Loaf: Øland Levain (and Mini Miche)

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A couple of weeks ago I got to attend the awesome Kneading Conference in Maine. Not only did I make a ton of new baker and farmer friends, I also walked away with a couple bags of flour and grain. One of those, Øland wheat, from Maine Grains - I immediately fell in love with. It has an amazing flavor that reminds me of creamy breakfast cereal or bread pudding. The grain is originally from Southern Sweden/Denmark and is now being cultivated in Maine. I’m hoping to get my hands on a bigger shipment in the not so distant future, but for now, this will probably be it for a while (as I had a pretty limited supply).

I’m also baking a number of extra loaves (with hopes of filling out my supply for Sunday’s sale) including what I’m calling a Mini Miche. Miche is the traditional whole wheat country bread of France, that’s defined by its natural leaven, a large quantity of whole grain and its typically large round and flat shape. I’ve heard of 5lb Miche’s that could feed a village. This bread is inspired by that ideal, with a large proportion of NY grown and milled whole wheat but in a much more manageable size.

Recipe: Sourdough French Toast

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It probably shouldn’t be too surprising, but good sourdough bread makes amazing french toast. Day old and a little sturdier, possibly even better. This recipe has been a frequent use of less fresh bread in our house since I started baking constantly (there's only so much bread we can eat fresh). This can easily be scaled up or down. The ratio is basically 1 slice of bread to 1 egg.

Ingredients

  • 6 Thick slices of Kingston Bread
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (optional, definitely makes it richer)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Grated Zest of an Orange
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Lots of butter
  • Copious Maple syrup

In a large bowl, crack the eggs and combine with the rest of the ingredients (minus the bread). Whip with a fork until combined and uniform.

Dump the egg mixture into a casserole dish or something that the bread can soak in. The trick is to soak the bread for as long as possible before cooking it. I like to stack the pieces in a dish and make sure the next two slices to be cooked are soaking the whole time the previous are cooking.

Heat a 10–12" cast iron skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tbsp of butter. Place 2 soaked pieces of bread at a time in the skillet and cook for about 2–4 minutes per side, turning twice so that the pieces are well browned. Repeat with the remaining slices.

Serve with hot coffee and the most expensive maple syrup you can find (you’re worth it).

Now Playing: 75 Dollar Bill - Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock Spotify

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I’ve been obsessed with this album since last year, but it's come up again in my rotation as for some reason it sounds like the end of summer to me. It's long and droney, evoking west African guitar melodies as much as Celtic and folk rhythms. Put it on when you’re working, you won't regret it.

Aaron Quint
Week 3

I usually post these a week after sending them to the email list (which you should sign up for ASAP) and without comment, but this week I should say that for reasons outside of my control, the bread I produced on Week 3 was not very good. It was massively over proofed and ended up coming out like pancakes. I ended up tossing a bunch of it and giving the rest to anyone who wanted it for free. Lessons were learned!

Having a hard time believing that summer is almost over, but I’m doing my best to enjoy the last of it. We’ve been snacking on garden tomatoes and carrots and roasting eggplant like it's our job. With all the horrible shit going on in the world, baking has been my escape and hopefully, you’ll feel the love in the loaves.

There are still shares available! I’ll also be doing some offsite events in the near future! Stay tuned.

This Week’s Loaf: Whole Wheat Semolina Sesame

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I’m addicted to the smell of Semolina. Even at only 15% of the total flour in this bread, it has an aroma like nothing else. I’m really only trying to try to find some echo of my semolina ideal: a batard shaped loaf from Parissi Bakery in Manhattan. Parissi is one of my all time favorite places, and their semolina bread, covered in sesame seeds and ideally stuffed with some amazing collection of cured meat, fresh mozz, and fresh roasted peppers, is the pinnacle of the art. My version is a little more wheaty, with a more open crumb: ideal for dragging through sauce or drenched in the best olive oil you can find.

Recipe: Meatballs

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In my dream of a future sandwich shop, a really good meatball sub will be one of the signatures. Served on fresh semolina and stuffed with the best meatballs and the richest sauce, it will be one that you will have to force yourself not to order, just so you can try something else once in a while.

In the meantime, you can make this meatball recipe, from The Pizza Book but with all real credit to Frankies 457.

We love any kind of meatball, but our favorite variety is Italian. Of the Italian kind, the best meatball can be found at our favorite restaurant in Brooklyn, Frankies Spuntino in Carroll Gardens (named after the two Franks who own and operate the business). People travel from all over to try their incredible food, and when they finally released their cookbook, The Frankies Spuntino Cooking Manual, we devoured nearly every recipe in the book. To say it was an inspiration for this book would be an understatement. The meatballs, more than anything else, have become a staple dish in both our kitchens. These meatballs are studded with sweet and savory flavors. We like making big batches, eating some immediately and freezing the rest to top one our favorite pizzas.

We’ve slightly adapted the Frankies recipe to fit our needs. Instead of adding ingredients whole or roughly chopped, we take a short cut and pulse them all together in a food processor (or roughly together with a knife). By having smaller pieces of each ingredient we ensure that each meatball has all of the delicious flavors we love in every single bite, and one broken up and topped on a pizza.

Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices of white or Italian bread
  • ½ cup (60g) Pecorino Romano
  • ¼ cup (40g) raisins
  • ¼ cup (40g) pine nuts
  • ½ cup (30g) fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 (5g) cloves garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons (10g) kosher salt
  • 2 lbs. (900g) ground beef
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5g black pepper
  • ½ cup (50g) panko or other coarse bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In a small bowl, submerge the bread in water for 10 minutes. Drain and carefully wring out the bread, trying to squeeze as much water out as possible. Add to a very large bowl.

Chop the Pecorino into ½" chunks. To the bowl of a food processor add the chunked Pecorino, raisins, pine nuts, parsley, garlic, and salt. Pulse until the mixture forms uniform small pieces, but before it becomes paste-like. Transfer the mixture to the large bowl with the soaked bread.

Add the beef, eggs, and pepper to the bowl and use your hands to mix well. The mixture should appear uniformly spiked with green, red, yellow, and black. Feel the texture of the mixture: it should feel wet and sticky. Add the panko or breadcrumbs to the mixture and combine; it should start to feel a little more dry and malleable. If it’s not sticking together and feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Take a ping pong size piece of the mixture and roll it between your palms into balls. Place the finished balls in rows on the parchment paper giving them room to breathe (at least 1" between each meatball). Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until slightly browned on the outside but still spongy to the touch.

At this point, you can take as many as you’ll eat tonight and simmer them slowly in your favorite tomato sauce (not to cook them, but to add the meatball flavor to the sauce). Take the rest and freeze them for sandwiches or pizza.

Now Playing: Milo - Who Told You to Think??!!?!?! (Spotify)

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Milo has been making some of the most unique and truly interesting hip-hop for a while now. His new album (which dropped last week) has been in heavy rotation. It's melodic and jazz inflected, conscious without being pretentious. Listen!

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint
Week 2

We’ve officially STARTED. The first week felt like a success to me and it was awesome to see all of your faces and get to chat for a bit. How was the bread for you? What did you do with it? I’m always looking for feedback and ideas. I’m hoping to have some news about some collaborations in the near future, in the meantime, some updates and this weeks info.

Wednesday Bakes

Starting yesterday, I’m going to do smaller weekly bakes on Wednesdays. Weds bakes are going to be a bit different than Saturday as I’m going to use it as my ‘EXPERIMENTS’ day. This will be recipes or bread styles that I’m still trying out/working on perfecting (in the spirit of the LAB). If you miss a Saturday pickup, you can pickup a Weds loaf instead. If you have a share and just want an extra loaf, check Twitter/Instagram for details every Weds.

This Weeks Loaf: Upstate Levain

The Upstate Levain is special because it features a majority of NY state grown and milled grain. Farmer Ground Flour is based in Trumansburg, NY and sells their flours all over the area (you can find it locally at the High Falls Food Coop). These loaves are made with their 85% Extraction Flour, which is from Hard Red Winter Wheat. Extraction refers to how much of the whole grain remains after sifting, so 85% is mostly whole wheat, but a little less than full whole wheat. I love the freshness, flavor, and strength of this flour and it’s been really exciting to work with it. I got to meet the family who grows the grain for the flour recently at The Kneading Conference in Maine and hope to actually visit them soon. Overall, this loaf contains a lot more whole wheat than the Spelt loaf from last week, which will make it a little more hearty, but with a very high hydration, it should still be super-moist and not taste too healthy.

Recipe: Bacon + Scallion Breakfast Sandwich

OK, so the photo doesn't capture the actual bread you’ll be getting this week, but I can tell you from experience I’ve done the same thing with this exact bread and it's just as good.

Opinions on Breakfast Sandwiches verge on religious, so I’m not going to say this is the best breakfast sandwich, though I will say it is a very good one that is great for a Sunday Morning at home. This makes two sandwiches.

4 Slices of Levain Bread
4 large eggs
4 strips thick cut smoked bacon
2–4 scallions (more if you can find small ones at the market)
Mayo
2-4 Slices of Provolone Cheese

Cut the bacon into small batons, and thinly slice the scallions.

In a well-seasoned skillet or non-stick pan, cook the bacon over low heat until very browned and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a small plate.

While, the bacon is cooking, heat a broiler or toaster oven. Spread a thick coating of mayo on one side of each of the bread slices and toast until the mayo is bubbling and the bread is a nice shade of brown.

Crack the eggs into a bowl, and lightly beat so that the yolks are broken, but not enough that it is uniform.

Dump the fat from the pan leaving about 1 tbsp. Bring back to low-medium heat and dump in the eggs. Let them cook for about 10 seconds, then use a spatula to start pulling in the cooked edges. After about 30 seconds, dump in the scallions and the bacon in the center of the pan and start mixing it all together. Once the eggs are almost completely set, try to fold into a relatively neat shape and remove from the heat. The whole thing should take about 1.5 minutes.

Divide the eggs between two of the slices of toast (mayo on the inside), cover with the provolone (it should just melt from the heat of the eggs). Cover with the other slice of toast and serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Now Playing: Ali Farka Touré + Toumani Diabaté - In the Heart of the Moon (Spotify)

TBH most of what gets played in our house these days is the Moana soundtrack, but this week I’ve been at the house alone most of the time. I’ve going back through some of my favorite albums from Africa which always make me feel good even when I’m screaming SERENITY NOW. This is one of my all time favorites.

Weekly UpdatesAaron Quint
Week 1

Each week, I'm sending out an email on Thursday to let everyone know about the bread for the upcoming weekend. I'll be posting the previous weeks update a week after, but you can get the latest in your inbox by subscribing to the mailing list below.


I’m so excited this is actually happening. I know it seems small (and it is) but being able to make bread, have people buy, and love it, is really one of the things that keeps me going.

This is the first week of what I hope are very many and I’m excited you are all on the journey.

Each week I’ll be sending this email on Thursday with a little bit about the bread I’m making, a quick recipe/tip, and some of the music that’s powering this little bakery that could.

Pickup is this Saturday, starting at 11AM. There are still shares available. I’ll also be making a small number of extra loaves available for $8 on a first come basis (I take cards, too!).

This Weeks Loaf: Spelt Levain

Spelt is one of my favorite grains to bake with. It has a flavor that reminds me of the wheatiest wheat and because it's so high in protein, it makes for loaves that have a beautiful open crumb and light texture. My Spelt Levain bread is made with 15% fresh ground (really fresh! i.e. Friday morning) whole Spelt and 85% King Arthur Bread Flour. Even at only 15% you can really taste the flavor of the grain.

Recipe: Toast with Labneh, Za’atar and Olive Oil

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This recipe doesn't have much to do with actually cooking but it’s the middle of the summer, the less cooking the better (says the guy who will have his oven on for hours a week baking). The real reason I want to share this recipe is that I love labneh and finally found a source in Kingston.

I grew up eating buckets of Labneh and Hummus from Sahadi’s on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn. It’s one of those ingredients that seems really close to a lot of other things (Is it yogurt? Is it cream cheese?) but when it’s good, it's really uniquely delicious. A couple months ago, I found out that Adams actually carries this ‘local’ brand (Karoun) of Labneh and I’ve been buying it regularly ever since. It’s packed with flavor and is thick enough to spread on your favorite bread.

In this case, the large holes on the Spelt loaf are ideal for holding copious amounts of sour cheese spread. The tartness of the labneh is amped up by the slight tang of the bread, and somehow you end up tasting the wheat’s natural sweetness more than anything. Add a sprinkle of a favorite middle eastern spice blend, Za’atar, and a drizzle of your favorite olive oil and you have a couple magical bites. Like the best food, this combination is a port-key for me - transporting me to hot afternoons in Jerusalem eating fresh Za’atar bread from the market.

Now Playing: Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder (Spotify)

Broken Social Scene helped me through a lot of travel in my life (You Forgot It In People is my #1 sleeping on planes record) and the new album has been in regular rotation in the kitchen as we worked up to the first big bake.

Aaron Quint
Announcing Season 1

I couldn’t be more excited to announce the first season of my burgeoning bakery: Kingston Bread Lab. Instead of just making a bunch of loaves and trying to sell or barter them, I wanted to try something different that would make more sense for my current setup and run this as a Community Supported Bakery or CSB. The idea of a CSB is a lot like a CSA that you’ve participated in or been a part of. Instead of produce, each week you’ll receive bread. 

Each week you’ll have a choice between two different loaves or bread styles, and will receive one (~1.75lb) loaf of bread. Most weeks there will be a couple extra loaves for purchase on a first-come-first-serve basis. Keep an eye on Instagram or Twitter for availability. 

Signups are organized into ‘seasons’. The first season will be 8 weeks (though over the course of 10 weeks, with at least 2 off weeks) and will start Saturday, Aug 5th. Pickups will be Saturday Morning starting at 11 AM and loaves will be fresh and warm. 

Each week I’ll also be writing and sending out an email describing a little bit about this weeks bread, the process, and even some recipe and other ideas.

My biggest constraint right now is really just my oven and how many loaves I can bake at a time, so signups are limited based on that. My hope is to be able to expand slowly with demand.

There are more questions answered in the FAQ.

This first season we’re offering three different types of shares:

Full Share

The standard share. This is for one loaf for each Saturday of the season (total of 8).

Half Share

This is for bread every other Saturday of the season (total of 4).

Founders Share

This is the extra special share that I’ll only offer now and each time I’m actually able to increase production. The idea here is not only are you committing to the full share, but you’re putting in a little extra to help me get this started. In return, you’ll get a special founders tote bag for carrying your loaves and more importantly, first dibs on any future seasons, extras, or additional shares.

If you’re interested, let me know ASAP and at what level. I’ll be putting up the shares to the general public by the end of the week, but I wanted to make sure friends and neighbors got in first. I’ll be able to accept credit cards later this week and I’m happy to take cash if that’s easier.

Can't wait to start baking.

SharesAaron Quint
A Bread Lab
My trusty and well stained notebook, where I keep tabs on all my dough experiments

My trusty and well stained notebook, where I keep tabs on all my dough experiments

As with a lot of projects, the idea of starting a little bakery started way before it had a name. My bread obsession has been a constant for the last seven years, with few breaks here and there, crescendoing recently as I started to feel like I was crossing some new thresholds of fermentation. I felt like the only way to get to the next level was to bake more and the only way to bake more was to start to sell my bread (there’s really only so much I can convince my family to eat in a day).

Going from baking a couple loaves a week to baking a dozen or more is a big leap. I want this to be about process not just about the product. In other words, the point for me is to learn, research, explore, and get better at the craft. The final product, ideally a beautiful loaf of flavorful bread, is one of the goals, but the point isn't just to churn out the same thing every day or even every week.

This is not a production bakery, it’s a lab - it’s a place for me to experiment and push my abilities and the bread to some mysterious and ultimate goal.

I’m very aware that there is already THE BREAD LAB and I’m grateful for the work that they do and I’m certainly not in the same league (though I would love to visit some day). I think the idea of a bread lab fits perfectly with my current situation. If I’m doing my job, I’m learning something new every week and then sharing my knowledge in the form of bread and writing about my process.

I’ve spent a while now tweaking recipes, writing notes in a progressively more stained notebook, and the bread keeps getting better. More importantly, I know more about the science and the process. I still have a seemingly endless amount to learn, but I’m excited to share it all.

 

Aaron Quint