By Vera Moroney
It was a very hot day, one of our “heat wave” days, so sane people would have deferred visiting a bakery. Wrong. Greeted by some milk goats that made it clear that they wanted to be petted and nuzzled, and welcomed by a cool breeze, both of which made the visit delightful.
Who knew that choosing wheat varieties for breads is as complicated and sophisticated as selecting grape varietals for wine making?
Lynn and Jim Williams knew. They had run the Seven Stars bakery in Rhode Island where they honed their skills. The type and source of the wheat is critical, and each type of wheat produces a unique bread. Backdoor Bread teamed up with the Bread Lab at the University of Washington to obtain Skagit 1109 modern landrace wheat, which is bred for flavor and yield for the organic farmer.
But they still needed a way to grow the wheat. Enter Aura Farms/Nitty Gritty Grain Company of Charlotte, run by Tom Kenyon and son Dave. They planted eight acres of Skagit 1109 and named the wheat Aura 1109. The wheat, like grapes, takes on the characteristics of the soil and climate where it is planted, terroir, similar to grapes.
The crop did well. Now with grain in hand the next step was to mill it into flour. Always adaptive and inventive, they had built a custom mill to produce flour. The next step was to bake the bread. They use natural leavening, which is sourdough starter.
For those of us who have tried to make and keep going a sourdough starter this is very impressive.
How do you obtain this scrumptious bread? At this time the best way is to order online for Friday pick-up at the bakery at 710 Hinesburg Road in Charlotte. Well worth it! Do it!