Saturday, March 27, 2010

Local Organic Vegan Kosher Whole Wheat Bread Stone Ground

NYC 3-24-10
10:14 a.m.
Union Square Farmers' Market

Fluffy and crusty on the outside bread made from wheat grown in Ithica, stone ground, and sold at a stand, the first grain vendor allowed at the Union Square farmers' market. The farm, Cayuga Pure Organic,  was founded by Tycho Dan, among others. 

"Vegan, organic, and kosher," says one Tycho Dan's partners to vendors to passersby. "Not sure about the vegan part," Tycho Dan says to me. A half a loaf of whole wheat bread sells for $4.50 causes quite a stir, even in New York.

I learn that it is made from hard spring wheat flour, stone ground on the farm. No white flour, all local. This bread has the kind of rise no seen ever with bread made with the whole wheat, no matter hot fine those grains are ground. When pressed, Tycho Dan reveals that baker Keith Cohen uses a secret mixture combining sourdough starter and yeast.

He cannot reveal the ratio. In fact, Tycho Dan can't even tell me where the bread is baked. The Union Square Farmers' Market's vendor criteria prevents it, due to the fact that the bakery is not a farm.  

A customer walks up and asks for a sample. She chews, frowns and asks, "Is this bread baked in a wood fired oven?"  Tycho Dan replies,  "No, but the oven is brick and was built back in 1926." She nods sagely and walks away. "People think they know it all," he says and laughs. Tycho Dan has been up since 3 am when the truck was packed, the crew drove down to the city, and set up in the dark. To try the bread if you can't make the Wednesday Farmers' Market in NYC, try Orwasher's Bakery on the upper east side.