Posts Tagged ‘Hough Bakery’

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Who is the Bakery Blogumentary about this time?

January 23, 2014

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Following the demise of the favorite bakery of my childhood (Hough Bakery) it has been my quest to discover excellent bakeries in the Western Reserve, or in places to which I travel. These are the subject of the Bakery Blogumentary.

This time the Bakery Blogumentary features Blackbird Baking Company in Lakewood, Ohio.  The folks at Blackbird specialize in a type of bread that uses a levain to make the bread rise:

Levain is not only this traditional French bread’s name, but levain is actually a bread starter used as a leavening agent and sometimes called “wild yeast.” Acting in much the way yeast does, levain helps dough rise but also effects the flavor and characteristics of the Pain au Levain (bread of a wild yeast.) The essence of levain rests in patience. To make levain, water and flour are mixed together and allowed to sit for up to several days to develop flavor and strength as the starter is exposed to air and grows good fungus (this fungus actually keeps bad bacteria away making levain safe.) A well-ripened levain will be bubbly, and extremely elastic. Levain can be kept for years if fed often and maintained.

The levain cannot be bought, making levain unique to each baker who begins to cultivate this starter. Some are soupy, some are firm and tough. Theses differences ultimately effect the mildness or sourness, the weight, texture and look of the finished bread.

Read more about levain here.

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In addition they make a variety of incredible baked goods, such as filled croissants (chocolate, apricot, raspberry, etc.), cream biscuits, cinnamon buns, pecan rolls, savory filled croissants, scones, and cookies.

blackbird 5And you can watch the busy bakers work.

blackbird2Stop here for a moment of silence for the chocolate chip cookies.  I read reviews of them before I tried them.  I wondered if any cookie could possibly rate that much devotion.  Yes – It – Can.  These cookies sell out quickly, but if you are fortunate to get to the bakery when there are still some left, the experience is indescribable.

blackbird1Mine.

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Who am I featuring on the Bakery Blogumentary?

November 6, 2013

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A couple of weeks ago I was lamenting the demise of Hough Bakery in Cleveland.  While I still miss their special treats, I have noticed that there are quite a few newer – and also wonderful – bakeries around.

In this installment of the Bakery Blogumentary, I am featuring Zoss the Swiss Baker.  Zoss is on the route I take to work every day, and it is an easy and quick stop for a croissant, a spinach tart for lunch, a box of cookies for the office (when the minions have been especially good) – so many wonderful things.  Their bakery has a continental favor and it is THE place to go for Bavarian pretzels, palmiers, macaroons, croissants, chocolate papillons.

I would love to show you a photo of the hazelnut macaroon I purchased this morning, but it just disappeared somehow – sorry.

zoss 2Perfect, flaky, buttery croissants.

zoss 7These are chocolate papillons.

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zoss 3Selections from the pastry counters.

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This post would not be complete without mentioning the bread and rolls that Zoss produces from their magical ovens. We are fortunate that Zoss bread is also available in local supermarkets so it is possible to find even when the mothership is closed.    They always do something special for the holidays – I’m looking forward to that.

Did I mention the brioche?

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Whose birthday is it today?

October 3, 2013

Whose birthday?  It is mine.

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When I was growing up, birthdays always meant a cake from Hough Bakery.   For my brother, born in March, the cake was covered in spring flowers.  For my sister’s June birthday, frosting roses decorated the cake.  I think I really got the best deal because for my October birthday, my mom would get a cake with the entire top covered in frosting mums in autumn colors.  I cannot describe how beautiful it was – and how delicious.

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Hough closed their retail stores in 1992.  You can tell a native Clevelander by the dreamy, far away look in their eyes when you mention the name Hough Bakery.  They will sigh, “Oh, yes, I remember the  . . .  “(filling in the blank – birthday cakes, corn toasties, brownies, blondies, hot cross buns, daffodil cakes, Hungarian delights, etc., etc., with whatever was their favorite.

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If you did not grow up on bakery from Hough’s, the names will mean nothing to you.  But to a native Clevelander, Hough’s was more than just a bakery, it was part of our history.

The daffodil cakes and so forth may be gone, but you can still get a Hough-style birthday cake at Archie’s Bakery.  Archie was a baker for Hough’s and he negotiated with the family to continue baking and selling their distinctive birthday cakes.

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I’ll get mine.