Blog

  • “Teaching By Enthusiasm”

    An interview with Nikki Lohmann, class instructor

    By: Kelly Zelna, Bakehouse

    Let me introduce you to Nikki Lohmann, one of our talented teachers here at BAKE!, the hands-on baking school at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Nikki is an Ann Arbor native, lifelong baker, Princess Bride expert, and a mother of one son (and one cat). “I grew up in Ann Arbor, but I’ve lived in several other states as well. I have a really crazy, fun family. I grew up loving to bake, I loved making mine and my siblings’ birthday cakes when I was younger. I have an almost 5 year old son who is about to start kindergarten, he’s just my world! I also have a cat named Mowgli, he’s very sweet! My favorite movie is The Princess Bride. I have the entire movie memorized, although, that means no one wants to watch it with me because I can't not say every line.”

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  • 2 New Breads

    Introducing Miss Kim’s Baguette and Country Miche

    by Frank Carollo, Bakehouse co-owner

    This spring we we’ve perfected two new loaves at the Bakehouse, Miss Kim’s Baguette and Country Miche. They are both full flavored, crusty, moist and using interesting grains and method for production.

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  • “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

    An Interview with Arie Bates, instructor at BAKE!

    By Kelly Zelna, Zingerman’s Bakehouse

    Meet Arie Bates, a Michigan native and instructor here at BAKE!, our teaching school for home bakers. I’m not sure when I first met Arie, but I had the good fortune of taking a BAKE! class that he was assisting in. I was lucky to get to see the joy he gets from working at BAKE! Arie began his career at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in our bread bakery, and after a short time made the transition to BAKE! He started as an assistant, then began teaching classes. It’s easy to tell Arie loves his job. He describes his daily work and student engagement with infectious enthusiasm.

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  • Not a lady of leisure

    An Interview with class instructor Sara Molinaro

    -by Sara Whipple, Zingerman’s Bakehouse

    I’d like to introduce you to Sara Molinaro. She’s the principal of BAKE!, our little school for home bakers doing big things. I’m thrilled to work with her, not just because we have so much in common -same name (correct spelling too), same age and same love for food-, but because she is one of the hardest working people I have ever met.

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  • Goin' More Organic at the Bakehouse

    Now Using 100% organic All Purpose Flour

    We’re super excited to announce that as of April 1st, 2017 the artisan all purpose wheat flour we use in our baking is 100% organic. (That’s a mouthful!) This is a huge change for us. We’re thrilled to have made it and to let you know about it.

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  • Cake Is A Part Of Life

    An Interview with Stephanie Gasinski

    By Sara Whipple, Zingerman’s Bakehouse

    Meet Stephanie Gasinski, one of our dedicated and creative cake designers. She’s been part of the Bakehouse team for 12 years, but still remembers the details of her first day of work vividly. It was a Sunday in 2005, happened to be Mother’s Day actually. She arrived at 4am to shape and bake bread and was welcomed from the start. “I liked the training. The expectations were clear and that helped me a lot. And I liked the people. They were great people, like an instant family.”

    Stephanie’s path to the Zingerman’s was one of determination and luck. Or maybe some would call it fate. It began after graduating culinary school, while working at another bakery and then a short stint as a restaurant pastry chef. She didn’t know what was next for her, but knew she wanted to bake. So she boldly made a list of bakeries to walk in and ask if they were hiring. Zingerman’s Bakehouse was furthest away from her home, so the plan was to start there and work her way back.

    “I got lost. I came in the back door looking very confused. Todd was cleaning, but kindly took me to Amy the bread manager. I asked if they we were hiring and got an interview and tour on the spot. I felt so accomplished with my first day of job hunting I went home! A couple days later I did a trial shift with Frank and was hired.” Just like that the journey began.

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  • Steadfast Soul

    An interview with Amy Berger, 20 year Bakehouse staffer

    For Amy Berger, it all began when she was back home in Michigan for a short visit. She had been living in Alaska with her family since the early ‘90s, but decided to make a trip back home to visit her family.

    Having lived in Michigan for much of her life, she was familiar with Zingerman’s Delicatessen. But, when she left for Alaska, the Bakehouse was not yet a reality.

    During her stay in Michigan, she stopped by the Deli and visited the bread box for the very first time. She remembers buying a loaf of bread, a memory that has stayed with her over the years.

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  • Putting His Passions To Work

    “We Zingerman’s Bakehouse are passionately committed to the relentless pursuit of being the best bakery we can imagine.”

    The mission of the Bakehouse has always been twofold. Of course we are committed to making the best-tasting breads (and pastries and cakes). But we are also committed to challenging ourselves and our recipes, limiting ourselves only to our imagination.

    How do we do that? We taste and evaluate. We try new methods of baking, different ingredients. We are constantly moving. Because it’s hard to get better if you’re sitting still.

    With that in mind, let us introduce you to a new addition to our Bakehouse team- Hazim Tugun. His passion for bread baking and his long history with the craft is what led him to the Bakehouse. And here, he is putting those passions to work, helping us fine-tune recipes and try new methods of baking and continue living our commitment to excellence.

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  • Purim: The Rowdy Jewish Holiday & Time to Enjoy Hamentaschen

    As a child I went to Shabbat services twice every weekend for many years, Friday night for about an hour and Saturday morning for a good two and a half hours. Wow! That’s a lot of sitting and being quiet for a child. Practically 40 years later it’s a little difficult to remember what that young Amy thought about this and what I took from being there. I think probably each week was a little different – some day dreaming with the familiar Hebrew prayers being softly chanted in the background, some nice moments sitting with my Nanny holding her hand and leaning on her, talkative weeks when my friends and I got shooshed by the contemplative adults and plenty of face making at the boys who sat on the other side of the synagogue from us. Oh yes, and some energetic singing of the songs which marked the end of the services!  Attending services was a ritual. It structured the week and I accepted it as what we did. I don’t remember ever asking not to go. Must have been appealing in some ways.

    Celebrating Purim was a different story. It was almost like having a party in Synagogue and I remember enthusiastically anticipating it every year and vividly remember the celebrations. Purim typically lands in late winter or early spring. It celebrates the foiling of a plot to commit genocide against the Jews of Persia. Hamen was a vizier of ancient Persia who plotted to kill all the Jews in the empire. His plan was stopped by the Persian (and Jewish) queen Esther. Go Esther, hurray for a female heroine! 

    Zingerman's Bakehouse Hamentaschen Purim

     

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  • Off the Beaten Pastry Path

    Growing up, I remember my mom taking me to Zingerman’s Deli Next Door. They were our special mother-daughter outings. She would get her afternoon cup of coffee and I picked out a sweet treat. Usually, I went with a Funky Chunky Chocolate Chip cookie. A standard kid pick.

    That desire to pick a cookie or a brownie over something more adventurous stuck with me for quite some time. It wasn’t necessarily that I didn’t want to TRY something new, but when a big chocolate chip cookie and an unfamiliar pastry sat in front of me waiting for me to pick just one, I found myself leaning toward the cookie. Why? Well, I knew what to expect. And as silly as it sounds, there was no guarantee for the unknown.

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