Sunday, January 28, 2024

Delight your customers: Madison Sourdough Edition

Creating what in my view are the best croissants in Madison daily for decades is no small feat. Complementing said croissants with a wide variety of interesting breads, baked goods and entrees makes Madison Sourdough a compelling and frequent destination.

Obviously with a name like Madison Sourdough you know that bread is the focus. This attention to detail starts with the grain. It is milled on site. Madison Sourdough continues to innovate and hone the variables to create their namesake sourdough. The pastry and restaurant offerings are a feast for the eyes and palate.

We have an opportunity to hear from owner Drew Hutchison on Monday evening, 12 February 2024. The Madison Literary Club is hosting Drew's talk at 7:30p.m.

email if you'd like to attend this meeting as a Madison Literary Club guest.

A few appetizers for Drew's talk:

1. Wisconsin Foodie visits:

2. Celebrating 30 years of Madison Sourdough (!)

3. Milling in house.

Lindsay Christians:
Milling in-house allows Hutchison to control for issues in the grain and respond very quickly to problems. The flour is also fresher.

“The freshness — I noticed it right away,” Hutchison said. “It’s like a really good tomato next to a just-okay one.”

When a grain of wheat cracks, it begins to oxidize right away. Fresh flour is considered “unstable,” Hutchison explained, and oxidation equalizes it and makes it more stable and consistent.
Barry Adams:
“There’s more connection between the farmer, miller and baker and that really resonates with people,” said Hutchinson, whose products are sold at the cafe and at 12 grocery stores. “It’s demanding. You have to have the staff for it and you have to have the systems in place to do it. You either need to find a distributor or do the distributing on your own. It’s just demanding. Its 365 days a year for us.”
Anna Thomas Bates:
A traditional long fermentation is one of the ways Madison Sourdough sets itself apart from other bakers. This is the original way of leavening bread and it helps unlock nutrients. Hutchison lists a number of other ways Madison Sourdough is unique: “We pay our staff good wages, everything is made by hand, we use local grains that we mill ourselves, and the bread is pretty delicious.” Hutchison grew up working summer and part-time jobs in the food industry, so he was always comfortable in a kitchen, including working the wee morning hours of an opening baker. “There’s something romantic about it that I enjoy—the solitude, the focus, the discipline of getting up early.”
4. Student bakers:
Then the class got interactive. Apron-clad students each took a plug of Madison Sourdough’s 30-plus year old starter, added water and flour and began to work with it. Hutchison teaches a method called “slap and fold.” “Your bread is only ever going to be as good as your sourdough starter is healthy and vigorous,” he said.
## We're excited to announce that Ronnie Hess will serve as a Respondent for Andrew's talk.

.mp3 audio

Madison Sourdough.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Inn Above The Clouds

Location, location, location. Since 1912 the views of primeval forests and cool blue Pacific at the Mountain Home Inn have welcomed visitors.

As one winds their way up the road to the Mountain Home Inn the aroma of eucalyptus and the proximity to the primeval forest invites relaxation. It is so beautiful it almost seems like a simulation. The sweet staff and comfy relaxed California decor at the inn are welcoming. In addition to incredible views there is proximity to legendary hiking trails. The Inn is literally 1.5 miles from the Muir Woods trail and is atop the Mt.Tamalpais ridge line.

Even better nature puts on show for free as the stars come out at night. When the fog rolls in across the Bay and city below it almost seems surreal. Meals may be enjoyed on the deck with views of the Bay and Mt.Tampalpais.

The wood burning fireplaces in the dining room and lounge encourage one to kick back and adjust or recoup from “ mountain time”. Help yourself to board games or pick up a book while you lounge. An impressive binder includes overview of local hikes and includes complimentary trail maps.

The Inn offers dining options several nights a week. A bar is open nightly. Breakfast is included in the room rate, tipping is highly encouraged.

Book in advance as the inn is small and particularly popular on weekends and in the summer. Parking is free for inn guests. Live music and local entertainment occur throughout the year.The Inn also hosts weddings.

Explore the the Mountain Home Inn in amuz [App Store] [Play Store]