By Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread
Lighting the Oven
Day two of camp begins early. We light a fire in our brick ovens, then help with the morning’s harvest of squash blossoms and lambs quarter. We hear from a representative from the Illinois Stewardship Alliance about farm policy and how to get involved in changing a system that is often geared towards supporting factory farming. Once our ovens are heated, we bake and Meg Galus, Executive Pastry Chef of the Boka Restaurant Group in Chicago, talks about incorporating whole grains into pastry production. This year, she made madeleines with oat flour. Meg does not dub them “oat madeleines,” because that’s not quite the point for her. She says that the oat flour creates a more dynamic flavor profile in the product and that for her, these are now just “her madeleines” because the point isn’t to flaunt that they are whole grain, the point is to make the best product she can.
Fresh from the Hearth
Our loaves come out of the oven and we analyze. Baking on a farm is quite different than baking in a bakery. There are many variables we can’t control, but this year, the breads we made over the two-day camp turned out quite well. Campers have already been convinced of the health and flavor benefits of the farm grains but as we try our farm flour products side by side with the commodity grains, eyes again light up. They are forever committed to quality sourcing, knowing their farmers, and building this growing community. I love being part of this culture of baking, where we support each other and share knowledge, which seems to come naturally to us. Bakers here are invited to spread that sense of community to include their farmers, then to their neighbors and then the newcomers to their stores. Together we can build something better, but it takes all of us working together towards this common goal to make it happen and Bread Camp is working to tie all of these pieces together.
Regenerate is a regional collaboration between charities, not for profits, culinary educators, restaurants and businesses that seek to build a better food system to serve consumers in South Western Ontario.
What is Bread Camp?
Bread Camp is a 2-day experience educating and connecting growers, millers, bakers and chefs who are creating a rise in demand for local grains. This program will increase a baker’s capacity to procure and utilize regionally grown whole grains to build and develop the regional foodshed.
Greg Wade, Head Baker
Publican Quality Bread
As Publican Quality Bread’s Head Baker, Wade oversees the bread program for all of the One Off Hospitality Group, with a focus on local farm whole grains and natural fermentation. At Publican Quality Bread, Wade received a nomination for the Outstanding Baker category of the James Beard Awards in 2017. On graduation from culinary school, he worked at Taxim, specializing in bread and pastries. From there, Greg joined the opening team at Girl & the Goat in 2010. He excelled under Chef Stephanie Izard’s tutelage, and in 2013, he moved to Little Goat to oversee bread baking at Girl & the Goat, Little Goat and Little Goat French Market. Now at the helm of Publican Quality Bread’s bakery operations, Greg works hand in hand with the company’s chef de cuisines to develop new bread’s to fit each restaurant’s menu.