Frequently asked questions
Do you bake the same types of bread every week?
No. We generally bake Gary's Bread, Sunflower Farmers Bread, Ciabatta, and Vollkornbrot every week. The other varieties are "Baker's Choice." We try to mix it up, and we use seasonal ingredients when we can.
Why can't I request the type of load I get when I sign up for a bread share?
Our Crust Fund works a lot like a vegetable CSA. If you were to go to a farm, you get what was harvested that week--what is in season. Perhaps you'd get to choose between different kinds of squash or select the tomatoes that suit your fancy. But, ultimately, saying you want sugar snap peas in mid-November isn't so realistic.
With the Crust Fund, we offer you an assortment of breads to choose from. If you are SUPER particular about your loaf, please do
stop by the pick-up on the earlier side to maximize your choices. Imagine if we took requests to bake very specific kinds of bread for each and every individual Crust Fund member- we would essentially be baking tiny batches of 50 + different types of bread. Instead, we bake the favorites week to week and switch up the rest. Try something new!
I forgot to put my account on hold. Can you make an exception just this once?
PLEASE don't forget this very important thing! We start baking bread THREE DAYS IN ADVANCE based on the number of Crust Fund members. Specifically, we plan which types of bread and how much to bake plus scale out all of the flour on day one, do the mix and pre-shaping on day two, and then bake the bread on day three. If your account is active, so is your bread! One fix we like to recommend after forgetting to put your account on hold: Have a friend come pick up your loaf- they can enjoy it for themselves or freeze it for you while they await your return.
How many loaves of bread can your oven hold at once?
Our oven can hold about 70 loaves of bread at once, but because the hearth rotates, the first loaves may be coming out just as later loaves are going in. It's a flow.
Do you deliver bread to New York City? Rochester? Connecticut? Ireland? South Korea? Mars?
No, we do not. We like to keep it local.
Can I come to the Farmers Market and buy 60 loaves on the spot?
We would love for you to buy bread from us for a big dinner, a wedding, or a poppin' party. We do ask that you please tell us in advance so that we can bake more bread! That way, you can have all of the bread you desire and we can still show up to the farmer's market with an abundant offering for our community. Our rule of thumb is: If you want more than 10 loaves of bread in one shot, please e-mail us at least three days ahead of time so that we can plan accordingly.
What is a Crust Fund and how does it work?
A Crust Fund, or Breadshare, is essentially the same model as a "CSA", or, in this case a "CSB"—a Community Supported Bakery.
You put money on account to hire us to bake for you. You specify in advance the number of loaves you would like, and the place you would like to pick them up.
It takes time to make your bread. If you sign up for, say, one loaf every Friday at Ithaca Made, we'll start your loaf each Wednesday, and then bake it for you each Friday. Then we'll bring it to Ithaca Made for you to pick up.
We don't actually bake a specific loaf for you; we bake you
a loaf, which you pick from all the loaves remaining at the table when you get there. We come with lots of bread of many types, so early birds get lots of choice. Late comers not so much. But we always try to have plenty of everything, and we are always ready to work with you to make things easier if we can.
The crustfund can be a little confusing at first. It is not the same as "paying for a loaf of bread in advance," or "joining a bread club." You can think of it this way: you are
hiring us to bake for you, and
to bring what we bake to the distribution, and
to hold it for you until the distribution is over.
What if I have to go out of town?
Let's say…you are invited to go to Moscow to discuss a new hotel. What then? Such deals, I’m told, can take some time to work out, and you might not want to fly home just to pick up your bread! We have thought of this!
Here's what you can do: when you set up your Crust Fund, you automatically set up your own account page. On that page is a "delivery hold" tab. Click that tab and you will find a neat little widget that lets you put your bread on hold. We won't bake it. You won't get it. And you won't be charged for it. You can make your deals without worry. Simple!
Once we've started baking for you, the window for change closes, and you can't put your bread on hold. That window closes THREE DAYS before the bake. Why three days? Because it takes that long to bake your bread!
Is the bakery certified organic?
No, the bakery is not "certified organic". We bake with organic flours and organic grains, and we make every effort to find the best possible local, organic ingredients. We may decide in the future that organic certification is worthwhile for us, but for now we are simply making the best bread we can.
Is your bread vegan?
The short answer: Yes.
The long answer: The foundation of most of our breads are these THREE simple ingredients: FLOUR, WATER, SALT. That's Vegan! We may add dried fruits, seeds, herbs, vegetables, and other fun stuff to the bread, but.... Still vegan! The same foundation applies to our pasta. Vegan!
We also make "enriched" breads with milk or butter in them. We'll tell you when we do that. Those breads, and most of our cookies, and all of our laminated pastries, are NOT vegan!
Do you bake any gluten free breads or cookies?
No, we do not bake any gluten free breads or cookies. And, if we did, we would technically not be able to tell you that they are "gluten free" because they would have been made in our bakery, where there is flour... everywhere.
But...many people find that their reactions to "wheat" and "gluten" are actually reactions to unfermented wheat and industrial food. Most modern bread is made using "no-time" methods that replace fermentation with a mix of emulsification, whipping, and air injection. Our bread is fully fermented, gently mixed, and given a slow rise.
How much salt is in each loaf?
If we were going to be super-precise about this, we’d have to account for small variables, such as the quantity of water in the bread, which can vary by the humidity of the day, and by the quality of the flour. If we’re willing to settle a bit, we could say, as we do in the bakery, that every kilo of flour makes 2.5 loaves of bread. There’s some play in there, but it’s pretty close. So every 10 kilos of flour makes 25 loaves of bread. Because every 10 kilos of flour gets 200 grams of salt, then each loaf has in it 8 grams of salt.
How much sodium is in each loaf?
There are approximately 3.2 grams of sodium in each loaf.
How much sodium in each serving?
It depends on how big a serving is.
how you eat your bread. If you cut 10 slices per loaf, then you’ve got 320mg of sodium in each slice. Cut it into 20 slices and you’ve got 160mg in each slice. Of course, the shape of the loaf matters, and it matters whether it’s a slice from the heel or a slice from the middle. A heel slice from a boule is significantly smaller than a center slice. The differences among slices are less pronounced in a baguette, but baguette slices are generally smaller than boule slices, and there are lots of them in a single baguette. A rye bread that is fully rectilinear, like our Vollkornbrot, will generally have slices of equal size from end to end, but that bread likes a VERY thin slice, so likely the quantities of sodium in a single serving are smaller than in other breads. Oh brother.
So the answer is: Although we always put the same amount of salt in our bread each time, and although the amount of salt we put in our bread is basically the same as every other baker puts in her bread, the amount of salt in a serving of bread varies a lot! And that’s good, because it makes it easier for you to manage your sodium intake.
Is there such a thing as “no-salt bread”? Is there such a thing as “low-salt bread”?
Yes. But if we confine our conversation to bread made by fermenting and baking wheat and rye flours, you know, “BREAD,” then.. not so much. Even “Tuscan no-salt bread” and suchlike are so bland that you’ve got to slather them with anchovies to make them worth eating. And quite a few of the “no-salt bread” formulas actually contain… salt!
How much salt do bread baker's typically use?
Here’s the thing: bakers, all bakers, use between 1.8% and 2.2% salt. To clarify, that means 1.8% of the flour weight, or 2.2% of the flour weight. Every 100g of flour gets between 1.8g and 2.2g of salt. Every kilo (1000g) of flour gets from 18-22g of salt.
In our experience, 2% is just right, and at our bakery, we always put in 2% salt. That means, for every 1000g of flour, we use 20g of salt.
If we were on the lower end of the salt spectrum, we’d put in 18g of salt per kilo of flour, using 1.8%.
Can I come be an apprentice for a day, a week, a month, or a year?
We are so very flattered by this question and the overall interest in coming to see how we do things. We are often on tight schedules. While we would love to show you how it's done, this is not always possible, especially at the height of our season. This is why we offer full-day baking classes where anyone and everyone can get an inside look at what's happening around here. We do offer scholarships to attend a class. If you are truly interested in working as a baker here, please do send us an e-mail with some details about yourself.
How many loaves of bread can the oven hold?
How much wood do you burn to keep the oven going?
We burn about one cord of wood per month.
Who designed and built the Wide Awake oven?
Bily O'Brien and Stefan Senders. That's why the oven is
Does burning wood produce a lot of pollution?
Not in this case. We use special design and materials to make this oven extraordinarily clea-burning and efficient.
Will you build me an oven like this for my bakery?
Probably not, but you're welcome to call us and we can talk!
How long does it take for the oven to get hot? To cool down?
It takes about 6 weeks for the oven to get fully hot, and about 3 weeks for it to fully cool down.