Congratulations to Sweet Water Baking Company for being named “Best Bread” in Main Line Today‘s July 2014 issue. Sweet Water Baking Company was recognized as the Best of Main Line and Western Suburbs: Best of Towns, Phoenixville.
We all knew it was the best bread around, but how wonderful to see others recognize it, too!
All of the bakery’s products are made here in Kimberton Hills, with the highest quality organic ingredients.
The whole wheat is ground by hand in a mill, making the process slower, and therefore keeping the wheat cooler. The dough is mixed by hand rather than machine because, like the grinding, it is gentler on the bread, simple, and easy to clean up after. A starter dough is added into the mix, and left to slowly ferment and rise. The starter is a bit of dough that is saved after a good leavening. It is put to sleep in the fridge, and then woken up by being fed for several days with flour until it grows to about 10 pounds before being added to the larger mixture of dough. Unlike conventional bread baked with baker’s yeast that has been used for only about 100 years, phytic acid, enzymes and complex carbohydrates in naturally-leavened sourdough breads are broken down by wild yeast in the slow fermenting process. This leaves the bread a little bit predigested before baking and makes it easier for the body to process. As the dough is left to rise, the fire in the hardbrick oven is brought to high heat, cleaned out the next morning, and the radiant heat of the bricks bakes the many loaves of bread and cookies.
But what else makes Sweet Water’s bread so good? As baker Saul Schwartz describes it:
We find ourselves each day, faced with the tasks of mixing dough, scooping cookies, baking bread, washing dishes. We face the challenges of working together, resolving conflict, keeping our spirits light. Each day we attempt to rise to these challenges as best we can: To bake the best possible bread, the most delicious cookies, and to do it in a place of care, respect, and joy.
Saul and Natalie Schwartz have been baking in brick ovens for over 14 years. A few years ago, they wanted to move to this area to get closer to their roots and for their children to attend the local Waldorf School. In 2007, they serendipitously discovered that the bakery at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills needed leadership, and was even originally designed in the 1980s to someday accommodate a wood-fired brick oven. They have been baking a variety of delicious breads and cookies, and preparing granolas, side by side with the villagers ever since. They were pleased to discover that Kimberton Hills’ grinding mill could work seamlessly into their bread making cycle. To Saul and Natalie, the whole process is simple and elegant, the renewable energy of scrap wood is free, and the taste speaks for itself.
To learn more about Sweet Water Baking Company’s products, and how to order, visit http://www.camphillkimberton.org/bakery.