At Little Hat Creek Farm we bake naturally-leavened bread that is worked entirely by hand and baked in the radiant heat of a wood-fired oven. The oven traps steam naturally, which results in a gorgeously shiny and crisp crust.
We strive for bread that contrasts this flavorful crust with an open, tender, and moist crumb. This is achieved through using lower gluten flours, high hydration (water content) and gentle handling. In the intense heat of the oven, the water in the dough turns to steam and opens up the structure created during the long fermentation.
The slow fermentation process releases nutrients, sugars, and mild acids that add depth of flavor and help the bread keep longer. And because many of the complex carbohydrates and proteins are broken down by the sourdough culture, sourdoughs are naturally more digestible than breads leavened with commercial yeast.
We specialize in using locally grown and milled flour, so when you eat our bread, you are participating in supporting the growing community of grain growers and millers in the Southeast. Local small-batch flours are fresher, more nutritious, and often more variable than blended industrial flours, which means that both flavor and baking characteristics can change from batch to batch. We have developed techniques that allow us to adapt to these changes so that you can savor the taste of grain grown in your community.
We are also developing a line of pastries that feature the fruits and vegetables that we grow, our own eggs, and hand-laminated pastry. We have discovered that the oven is perfect for pastry, so we are very excited about the prospects for more sweet treats.
Our bakery is currently closed for the winter of 2016 because we are building a bakery building to house the oven (stay tuned to our blog for updates on this exciting project)! This will allow us to expand and make our bread accessible to more people. If you have a suggestion for a retailer or restaurant who might be interested in carrying our products, please let us know! We will reopen the bakery in Spring 2016, where you will be able to find our bread and pastries at your local farmer’s market, through our CSA, and at a retailer near you.