Who doesn’t love visiting a bakery?? Walking in you’re instantly hit with smells of rustic breads as bakers pull them from the oven with a sweet background scent from the caramelized sugar on top of the creme brûlée. It’s not as common these days to find authentic neighborhood bakeries where the product is made completely in-house from start to finish. However, when you find an authentic bakery in a niche around your neighbor, you won’t be able to turn back to any grocery store bread.
Welcome to Ravelin Bakery
My parents opened up a small family bakery when I was just 5 years old. They named the business by combining me & my sister’s names to form Ravelin Bakery. So not only have I grown up in the bakery, but it’s a part of me. It’s become a second home through the years from sleeping in the back of the bakery as a child, playing mancala on flour sacks with my sister, & returning home to find chocolate smudges on my arms. I’ve done it all from managing to baking so I know all the ins & outs of the bakery life like the back of my hand.
I am passionate about my bakery as well as other authentic bakeries because of the love poured into the business & the community of customers. It is easy to stand behind top quality products when they are made with whole ingredients; No fillers, no preservatives, just cut & dry ingredients & that’s important to me. So, in all enjoyment & appreciation of tasty whole ingredients & baked goods, did you know that there are insider items you can ask for at your local bakery??
5 Insider Items To Ask Your Local Bakery For
- Sourdough Starter: Save yourself the stress of keeping your starter alive & ask for a cup of starter to bake with at home. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with customers over their frustration with sourdough starter dying. It can be a complex process between keeping it at the right temperature, feeding it regularly, & knowing when it is ready to use. Most authentic bakeries will just give you a cup for free or at a very low price. Creating starter at home is awesome providing unlimited access to bake with, however it’ll be a young starter increasing difficulty to keep alive while having a lighter, less distinct sourdough flavor. At Ravelin Bakery, the starter began when the bakery opened 19 years ago by fermenting grape skins & feeding it with water & flour.
- Pizza dough: This is a fun one. At the bakery, sometimes we’ll have pizza day during the busy season when everyone is running around without time to stop for a break. The unbaked sourdough is super easy to stretch out to preferred thickness, slap on some toppings & slide into the oven for rustic pizza. Pizza time baby! Ask for an unbaked sourdough & carry it out with some olive oil in a bag. Now, if your picturing a thick style pizza crust that’s light & fluffy, this does not quite match the vision. Instead, think thin & chewy like a Neapolitan style pizza. If you share the same love for wood fired pizza as me, than you’ll love the sourdough pizza crust.
- Breadcrumbs: Have you seen the rack of bread at bakeries when the doors open early in the morning? Loaves among loaves stacked on top of each other ready to be brought home & enjoyed in peoples’ daily diets. But before they make it to the hands of the customer, most people prefer their bread sliced for convenience. Think about all the bread crumbs that fall from slicing bread. When using the bread slicing machine, most of them fall into a tray underneath the slicer. Ask your server for these breadcrumbs to be put in a bag for you to use because they’ll just be thrown away at the end of the day. I love using these fresh bread crumbs because I know what’s in them, they’re crusty, whole-grain, have better flavor, & they’re free!
- Pie dough: Buttery, flaky pie dough for your dinner or dessert without the work. Skip the step & make dinner super easy with amazing pie dough ready to be laid on a chicken pot pie, quiche, or folded into turnovers. Being able to grab a flaky pie dough on-the-go is a great assistance in hosting last minute dinner guests. You’ll fool all your dinner guest with a top notch pie dough! Ask the baker for a pie dough round & it can be set on parchment paper & wrapped in plastic. Fast dessert ideas: Simmer some fruit in sugar for a deconstructed pie or simply bake the dough with cinnamon & sugar for pie dough “cookies”.
- Cookie dough: All right, last but definitely not least… Cookies! Bakeries typically have cookies, right? Duh! What’s a bakery without any cookies. When you make cookies at home, one of the best parts is being able to lick some of the batter of the beater. If you’re just craving some cookie dough or want some warm cookies to bake at home without the work, ask for some cookie dough. Notice which cookies they have available & you can ask for a specific flavor. This is also a great option for kids birthday parties if you want to provide amazing cookies to the kiddos… or to wow the parents. Home-baked, yes. Home-made, questionable but no one needs to know that. Delicious & worry free thanks to your local bakery!