Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

No baked goods tomorrow

Hello all!

Since the weather is supposed to be messy tomorrow (December 14) we decided not to bake.  I’m sorry if some of you were counting on us!

Dave is tentatively planning on being at market with apples and cider, but if he wakes up and it’s snowing, he might just stay at home.

Today was going to be our last full day of baking, so we are done for the year.  However, if you still want to order something for next week, I will personally get it baked.  If you want to order something, you can call Dave’s cell – (717)314-7264 or e-mail handsontheearth@gmail.com.

To celebrate our being done baking, my sisters came over.  And we baked Christmas cookies.  Dave was a little perplexed at our mode of celebration.

Thank you all for supporting our baked goods this year!

Laura

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Baking Day

It has been such a long time since my last post, and I apologize.  I have a few catch-up pictures to show as well as updates on what’s going on around our farm these days.

Dave said that he promised some of your pictures of baking.  I intended to just post a few pictures of baking day, but I’m having a hard time choosing only a few, so you’re going to have to humor me while I show you all the pictures of baking.  I think I will split this post in two.  One for baking…the other for updates.

the bakers

Behold the bakers.  I am on the right side in the middle with the red shirt.  My sister Andi is in green and my sister Kate is in the back, also with a red shirt.  My sisters and I are the main bakers.  Usually one of them comes and helps me to mix up dough Thursday night and then Friday morning we all start baking.  Andi gave birth to a precious little girl at the beginning of baking season, so my mom and grandma came to help out.  Andi had a hard time staying away (we have a really great time together), so she came to bake even when she probably shouldn’t have.  We are filling apple turnovers in this picture.

I suppose I’ll show you pictures of our magnificent apple peeler  first.  This thing is amazing.  If we didn’t have the efficiency of this baby, it would literally add an hour onto our baking day.  Here my mom and grandma are peeling, coring, and slicing apples.  I’ll try to walk you through the process.

our magnificent apple peeler

It helps to have two people running this machine.  One person puts the apples on and peels while the other catches the peeled and cored apple as it rolls down the ramp, checks for any unpeeled or uncored sections and then slices.

apple on peeler

I wish I would have gotten a pictures from the others side.  The first step is to firmly push an apple onto the prongs.  To the right of the apple you can see a copper piece.  This is the piece that peels the apple.

peelingWhile it is being peeled, a second piece cores it.  The corer remains stationary while the apple spins and moves forward.  Once the apple is peeled and cored, the corer deposits it on the ramp by pivoting down , and the core which remains in the corer is discarded.

peeled apple ready to be slicedOnce the apple comes down the ramp, it is placed on this slicer which is pretty much an inverted home apple slicer.  Instead of pushing an apple slicer down onto the apple like you would at home, the apples is placed on top of the knives and the white plunger above is slammed down on the apple, pushing the slices into the waiting bus tub underneath.sliced apples

Dave did video me doing this.   We don’t have the most amazing video recorder, and I didn’t practice what I was going to say, but if you want to see it in action, here it is.

 

I am a baker by nature.  I get great satisfaction out of producing a delicious product from a few simple ingredients.  There’s something about rolling out and shaping dough that makes me happy, and for this reason, I suppose, the following pictures of pie making just thrill me.

rolling out dough  We found a marble pizza table at an auction, and it is absolutely perfect for rolling out pies.  Two of us can roll out pies at a time.  You can see the flecks of butter and lard in the dough…  It’s a beautiful thing.

before putting the top crust

ready for crimpingcrimpingMy sister Kate demonstrates her crimping skills.

unbaked pieThis is what the pie looks like right before it goes in the oven.  We bake our pies in pizza ovens.  I chose pizza ovens because it was most like my own oven at home.  It’s not quite as even as a convection oven which uses fans to circulate the heat, but I like the look of a pie baked in a pizza/deck oven.

finished pies

And here we have the finished pies.  Since we make our pies so full of apples, they do cook out a bit during baking.  My grandma loves to eat the boiled over apple on the parchment paper.  It’s almost like an apple taffy.  We line the pans with parchment paper, but it still takes a good bit of elbow grease to clean some of the pans.

glazing poptartsI failed to get any good pictures of making some of the other baked goods, but this is Andi glazing poptarts.  This is one of the last things we do before we finish.

I’m sorry if this post made you hungry for baked goods that will only appear next fall.  I hope you enjoyed a little look into what we do in the bakery.  We only bake on Fridays, and it’s a good thing too.  It’s an exhausting day!  Being moms to toddlers is one thing.  Running around all day, rolling out chilled dough, and rushing to get everything done makes for very tired mommas at the end of a day.  But one thing is for sure; we all take an immense amount of pride in our pastries and get immeasurable joy out of the tantalizing apple, cinnamon and butter smell which fills the bakery, golden pastries as they cool on the rack, and flaky goodness getting placed on trays and sent off to market.  Yes…we do love baking.