From The Farm Cooking School presents Cynthia Peters’ Local Food Heroes, a series of posts on the innovative food and wine producers of Prince Edward County and the delicious things they make. Click here to see all the posts.
Henry Willis a.k.a. Chief Baking Officer of Humble Bread has been stoking fires and turning out hundreds of loaves of his all natural hand crafted breads to rave reviews. Located in a heritage barn in Prince Edward County, this is the closest you’ll find to an authentic bread bakery. A former chef from Toronto, Henry and his partner Natalie Normand traded in the city life to find the dream spot to create bread that celebrates the true meaning of artisan.
Started as a hobby in their back yard in Scarborough, this couple has mastered the craft over the last 8 years and made the move last year to The County. They purchased an old restored farmhouse and went to work, creating a state-of-the art bakery in their 130-year-old barn. Baking in a barn has its challenges and surprises. The heart of the operation is the large wood oven, measuring approximately 6 feet wide and 11 feet deep. They covered the façade of the oven front with bricks from a former local church. With temperatures reaching 900 degrees, this oven was built to last.
It’s truly a County loaf. From the locally sourced wood to the wheat and the water, even naturally fermented yeast. The varieties include, calamata olive (my favourite), sourdough, sunflower…made with different flours including, rye, whole wheat, white and spelt. Future plans include an on-site retail stand, but for now their main audiences are at local farmers markets and County restaurants.
You can grab a taste of this amazing bread this weekend at Prince Edward County’s annual epicurean experience, TASTE community grown. TASTE features the finest regional wines, beers, ciders, artisanal products and cuisine under one roof. Set against the backdrop of Picton’s historic Crystal Palace, the event runs from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, September 29th. 2012. To purchase tickets for TASTE community grown visit www.tastecelebration.ca or call 866-845-6644.