Red Hen’s Local Bread – at City Market and on Sale in April

By Randy George, Owner of Red Hen Baking Co.
Since the end of last summer, I’ve been talking a lot about the high quality wheat that was grown in Vermont last year. Well, not only is it great wheat but there is a whole lot of it. Gleason Grains and Nitty Gritty Grains (Aurora Farms) are faced with a problem that we only could have dreamed of a few years ago:  what to do with all of this great wheat.

Although our all-local Cyrus Pringle loaf has been selling pretty well, it’s become clear that the supply and quality of local wheat (two issues that have limited our use of local flour in the past) is allowing us to broaden our usage to some other varieties.

Therefore, we are now making our Crossett Hill round and batard and the Mountain Miche (which will be renamed “Vermont Miche”) entirely with local wheat and rye. We were excited to find that Jack Lazor at Butterworks Farm has a good supply of very nice rye which he stone mills into a beautiful flour.  So these breads now contain grain from three different Vermont farms! I find this especially appropriate since this style of naturally leavened bread originated in Europe when it was common to find some rye growing in fields of wheat. 

Since we now have both grains growing in Vermont, this turns out to be a great bread to express what our local 21st century grain growers are doing. From the time I first began baking professionally, I have always had a particular passion for pain de campagne, the French country loaves that inspired the Crossett Hill and Miche.

Even a year ago, I never would have thought that it would be possible for Red Hen Baking Company to produce a bread of this style entirely from local sources. But since we have been making these breads with Vermont grains, I am pleasantly surprised (no, stunned!) to find that they may even be improved with this change. This is a tribute to the great work of these three farms.  

On sale in April 2011:

  • Crossett Batard—sale $2.89, reg. $3.50
  • Crossett Round—sale $3.29, reg. $4.00
  • Mountain Miche—sale $6.79, reg. $8.00