This blog is mostly a home baking chronicle, but over the years, it has also documented my slow entry into what I would call the semi-pro baking world. Thanks to Lily & Fig's generosity and encouragement, I've done a lot of growing as a baker this year, and a few months ago I took another plunge.
I began an apprenticeship at a badass Bed-Stuy bakery, called SCRATCHbread. I had been deeply impressed with Matthew Tilden's product and aesthetic over the last year of watching his business grow, and when he moved in just a few blocks north of me and started assembling a crew, I was lucky enough to be able to participate. A few days a week, I've been slinging scones, cutting croutons, and hauling around giant batches of dough, soft as the proverbial baby's bottom. I've learned a lot, about timing, about use of space, about bold tastes and unusual combinations, about putting chiles in everything, and there's much more to learn. As I slowly re-animated my pathetic biceps, I felt a little shy about discussing the experience in so public a forum, especially as the business isn't mine. However, two things have happened that have induced me to go public. First, Matthew has asked me to join the regular crew line-up. I'll still be part-time, as I'm still very committed to library work, but his recognition of my growth and usefulness was very gratifying.
Second, I wanted to make sure that the rest of my world knew about the great work that Matthew and the SCRATCHbread team were turning out--the bold, tasty food and the growth of a great community business. Yes, SCRATCHbread is growing, and in order to get bread to everyone who wants it and to open a retail window so the hungry passersby don't have to miss out, they're working very hard to expand the workshop's capacity. With a new oven and some more refrigeration, big things can happen. SCRATCHbread is raising money on Kickstarter to make all their ambitious dreams come true. Check out the campaign, and the great video by Liza de Guia of Food Curated. Check out the delicious bread and pastry menus on the website, and if you feel like it, help out by donating a little or coming down to the Brooklyn Flea at One Hanson Place on Saturdays for some baked goods.