Local love in every loaf.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Dear shareholders and friends:

Please join us this SATURDAY DECEMBER 4th at 2 pm for our end-of-share meeting! It will be at the Fancy and Delicious HQ: 153 Eaton Street, Buffalo 14208. We are located just east of Main Street near Buffalo Reuse. Please let us know if you need directions.

We will be debriefing from the past share, and planning for the next one, which will begin in 2011.

Fancy and Delicious spent this past fall share growing as a collective. We trained two new bakers to use our beautiful earthen oven, continuing in our dedication to skills-sharing and food empowerment. In addition to our new bakers, we were joined by four other work-traders of varying skill sets. It turned out to be an exciting and experimental share, and now we want to sit down and hone all of its lessons. We'd love it if you'd join us at the table.

We'll be discussing available work trades, filling newcomers in on the way the bread share works, and talk about our goals to increase shareholders, detailing how to sell shares and how to talk about Fancy and Delicious--what we are and hope to become, with your help. We'll also be troubleshooting and discussing other facets of F and D, such as our monthly workshops and neighborhood outreach.

Whether you are a past shareholder who wants to become more involved, or a newcomer who knows very little about what we do, we welcome you.

There are always snacks when Fancy and Delicious gets together, but we hope this won't be the only reason you come.

In love and solidarity,
F & D

Fancy and Delicious Baking Co.
153 Eaton St. Buffalo, NY 14208

Maura cell. 716 994 8340
Matt cell. 716 307 7726

Friday, October 1, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

2 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c white flour
1 t salt
1 T honey (slightly fermented)
1 T olive oil
3/4 warmish water + 1 1/4 t dry active yeast
(if other yeast, use 1 t)
1/3 c milk

Bring all ingredients out to picnic tables, in sight of a wood-fired clay oven. Combine all dry ingredients. Combine with all wet ingredients. Stir. Knead. Listen to the master bread baker as they dispense advice like candy. Avoid accidentally kneading in the bees who are very interested in the honey. After 10-15 minutes, or when the master baker has so decreed, lightly coat dough, formed into a ball, in olive oil. Cover with warm damp cloth in a bowl. Place somewhere warmish. Let rise.

Hang out for an hour while the bread doubles in size. Play with the dog. Talk with the master baker. Marvel at the outdoor oven. Update your Twitter feed. Contemplate the Universe. Think about the fact that you're sitting in the back garden of a house on the East Side of Buffalo which was bought for $4,000, and is being slowly renovated, but meanwhile hosts a bakery, a housing co-op (still neonatal), and is the birthplace of apparently quite a lot of community awesomeness. Daydream about buying one of the $1 houses of Buffalo, and doing some renovation. Wonder about the sanity of such a notion when you really don't like manual labor, outside of gardening, even if you know how to do it in theory. Spend more time marveling at oven. Two kids with a dream and a library card. They got a book that taught them how, built a small prototype, and then the massive hulking thing that sits at the bottom of the yard. And now they bake bread. They sell bread and bread shares (as far as I can tell, guaranteed bread sales). They teach others how to bake bread.

Today we made whole wheat & cinnamon raisin, except that I hate raisins in baked goods, so I made the former and not the latter. The original recipe for the whole wheat was cut in 1/3, as the original makes 3 loaves and my effort will come out with just the one.

Talk and hang out. Eat yesterday's baked whole wheat. Eat fresh tomatoes, cucumbers & basil. Wonder about our current political climate. Drink tea. Muse about the beauty of bread; how simple, how fundamental. Attempt to contain laughter when the four year old consistently can't connect the act of sticking her bum in the dog's face and his tendency to attempt to hump her leg. Think more about living in a $4,000 house, living closer to the land, but how would I survive winter in a largely uninsulated or badly insulated house? But then, you know, if I'm actually making money, I could afford to improve the house. I wonder what the taxes would be on a house that you buy for $1. Hmm...

And after this, which has taken quite a while as it is a little cold, we could punch our bread down, but we won't today. Today we'll shape it into a log for a loaf of bread, or a sphere for a boule. I choose the log-loaf. So shape it, then let it sit for 30-45 minutes. Then we put it in the oven for 30-45 minutes. I've been told it's a cooler oven than the one used for Challah.

In the oven, the fire has been built, stoked, and allowed to burn down to ash, cinder & char - but it burns still. The master baker who knows the oven well enough to be on a first name basis, she pushes all of the ash and cinder to the back, scrapes it all again, and then with a wet rag rigged on the end of a stick, she wets the floor of the oven. The oven is so hot that the water evaporates instantly, but she covers the entire surface twice, and thoroughly at that.

There is a long paddle, the name of which I forget, but we spread a little Semolina flour on one side, because Semolina tastes better than cornmeal, and then turn out our loaves & boules onto it, one by one, place-shoving them into the oven. I over shot and my place-shoved mine right into the ash and then I had to get it out again. Halfway through the bake, the master turns all the loaves.

While still on the paddle before they go in, we score our loves. I put a double X on it, kisses to the Universe, with love, from Sarey. And then when my loaf came out, it was gorgeous. And a little ashy on one end. But definitely gorgeous. We let them cool for ten or so minutes before taking them away.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's not too late!

It's not too late to sign up for a Fancy and Delicious BREADSHARE. We have exciting bread surprises this share, and new recipes, and you don't want to miss out.


September 2/3-November 18/19. Pick up happens from 5-7 pm on Thursday, and 5-7 pm on Friday.

Thursday pick up happens at the Grant Street Neighborhood Center (271 Grant), across the street from Guercio's. Friday pick up happens at our oven, 153 Eaton St, right by Buffalo Reuse.

How much:
$50 for 12 weeks ($4/loaf). $4 for a loaf of local, artisan bread baked in a stunning clay oven named Beppe? That is officially a steal. (Yes, we named our oven).

Don't wait! Call 716.994.8340 today.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Friends and Shareholders:

In the recent share, Fancy and Delicious has gotten more and more direct involvement from shareholders, far beyond monetary contributions. In light of this, and to the point of our existence, we are formally taking on the identity of a collective, rather than that of an underground business. This means that all shareholders now have decision-making power. What kind of bread do you want to eat? Do you want F and D to be legal? Do you think we should teach a workshop on making scones? 

The first official F & D Shareholder meeting will occur on Saturday, August 28 at 2 pm at 153 Eaton St. You do not have to be a shareholder to attend--it's a great opportunity to get a better sense of what we are doing at Eaton Street, besides baking good bread. Come to learn more about our projects, find out about how our collective identity will increase accessibility to good bread for you and your neighbors, and contribute to our brainstorming/visioning session.

The next share will begin September 2nd and 3rdwith up to 30 more shares available for sale. Please help us spread the word. Thursday pick up remains on Grant St., 5-7 pm, and Friday pick up remains on Eaton St., from 5-7 pm. Reserve your spot today!

The next baking workshop will take place on Sunday, August 22 from 12-5 pm. As always, we will have a pizza lunch. Capacity is limited, so reserve a spot, and show up on time if you want to bake! Otherwise, stop by and say hello as we hang out in the garden, waiting for our bread to rise and bake. 

We know summer isn't over, but we're very excited about baking in the fall, and we hope you will join us again.

Til soon,
Fancy and Delicious Baking Company (Collective). 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dinner Fundraiser in the garden!

Friends and Shareholders:

Fancy and Delicious would like to invite you for dinner! On Saturday,  July 10th, we'll be hosting the first F and D fundraising dinner at the earth oven. There will be pizza, garden fresh salad, oven roasted veggies, and much more! 

We're all about local food and creating a sense of community through monthly workshops, but we need your support to continue this good work.  We hope to raise money for F + D to provide more reduced price shares and additional money for the free baking workshops. 

Please join us in our garden for delicious food, great company, and music. There will be a clay oven discussion at 5pm, and dinner will begin around 6 pm.  The address is 153 Eaton St, and the suggested donation is $15, although whatever you can give is much appreciated.  If you cannot make the event, but would like to donate, checks are payable to Maura Pellettieri and can be sent to Fancy and Delicious at 153 Eaton St. Buffalo, NY 14208.

We hope to see you at the dinner, but if you can't make it, you are welcome at the house anytime to chat with Maura about building and baking in the oven, thoughts on the local foods movement, or just to relax in our beautiful garden and enjoy fresh mint/lemon balm tea!

Please R.S.V.P to help us reduce waste.

In solidarity,
Fancy and Delicious

Monday, June 14, 2010

The gods must be smiling II

The rain stopped just as it was time to get baking yesterday, so we were able to hold the entirety of the workshop in the garden again. Megan and I realized that as the monthly workshops continue, workshop regulars will get to see the steady improvement on the state of the house. Last month, the kitchen was looking about 40% more drab than it does now. This month, we have a beautifully tiled floor and a crazy orange sink!

For me, everything becomes clear when I'm teaching, and it's nice to be able to share something as practical as bread-baking. As lovely as the purpose for our gathering is, the really special part of the baking workshops is the down time. Everyone had something to share--music, ideas, stories, recipes, unusual perspectives.  No energy is lost or gained. Everyone brought something to share and went home a little brighter, and a little sleepier.                    
IV. Mingling

V. The bread is done!

VI. Xela pulls a loaf out of the oven.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bread workshop take 2!

Our second bread-baking workshop will take place on Sunday, June 13th, from 12 to 5 pm, at 153 Eaton St. In the first workshop, we discussed the basics of bread-making. We worked with whole wheat flour, multi-grains, and herbs, and talked about the role that each ingredient plays in making a fine loaf of bread.

For June's workshop, we will be baking breads that use pre-ferments. We'll talk about the different types of pre-ferments, the benefits of baking with pre-ferments,  and how they differ from breads that only use yeast.

The first workshop was a lot of fun. So much so that I'm not convinced that the attendees learned more than I did. In any case, here's the deal. If you want to go through the whole process--and bake and bring home your own loaf of bread--you must arrive promptly at noon. Otherwise, you can drop in at any point during the day to enjoy a delicious cup of herbal tea (fresh from our garden!), or a cold beer. You can ask questions, observe, or just relax. And the Reuse store, always worth checking out, will be open.

Workshop space is limited, and baking spots will be given first to those who R.S.V.P. The workshop is completely free, although we will accept donations if you are able to give. All are welcome.

Til soon,

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Farmer Ground Flour

Shareholders, blog-readers:

For the better part of our existence, F and D has been using local flour, grown in Hamburg (Zittel Farms) and milled in Buffalo (Five Points Bakery). Five Points has decided not to continue wholesale milling, so we have got the locavore blues.

We are looking into the possibility of milling our own flour, but for a number of reasons, this solution may not be a real solution until the late summer or early fall. In the meantime, we need your immediate help. The next closest flour mill is Farmer Ground Flour in Ithaca, NY. We're talking organic wheat, cornmeal, pastry flour, and more! We tested out Farmer Greg's flour last September, and we think it's top notch. But right now, it is not being distributed to Buffalo.

Next time you go to the Lexington Coop, please take the time to fill out a  suggestion form and request that the coop carry Farmer Ground Flour in bulk. And for those of you who are home-bakers, or have started to come to our baking workshops, you will have access to the finest New York state flour money can buy.

Thanks for your help and continued support,
F and D

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If you know a guy...

Fancy and Delicious is currently, constantly searching for these things:

1) Straw (not hay!), or sawdust.
            -->This is to repair the insulation layer on our oven. Straw is ideal, but hard to find. If you know of someone who deals in straw, please direct us. If you have a big pile of clean sawdust, sans chemicals we will take that too. Hay is not useful because it has seeds: bugs will burrow inside to eat them, and break down the oven walls.

2) Clay from the subsoil.
            --> This is also to repair the insulation layer. We need to make a bunch of clay slip. We are also going to be collecting clay for more ovens, which we are going to be building this summer (details forthcoming). So, if you are digging for whatever reason, and coming up with that almost pure clay subsoil, please put it aside for us and we will come take it off your hands ASAP.

3) Kitchen cabinets.
            --> If you know of someone who is re-doing their kitchen, and wants to donate the old cabinets to a good cause, send them our way.

4) Burnable wood.
            --> We are always taking non-varnished and non-painted wood to burn in the oven.

5) Sand, gravel, and firebricks.
            -->These are all oven building materials. The sand should not be all fine, like play sand, but vary in size and be a little gritty. The gravel should be dirt-less. Firebricks are what we use for the hearth floor--maybe you know someone who takes down chimneys?

6) A small mill.
            --> We are hoping to start milling our own flour. If you are the sort of person who happens on unusual machines, keep your eyes peeled.

If you know a guy, or are a guy, for any of the above, call Maura at 994-8340, or email fancyanddelicious@gmail.com

Thanks as always,
with love,
your local, underground bakery.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

All the ingredients:

The weather could not have been lovelier today. The sun was sparkling on Megan's herb spiral, which is back in full force, and we were inspired to put lemon balm in our bread. I haven't tasted it yet. Workshop go-er's? Any comments? All of the loaves looked beautiful, and all had original scores--there was a star, a zig-zag, and initials, to name a few. Impressive. I'm very much looking forward to hearing your reactions and feedback. We had new friends and old friends, and a great brainstorming session on and off all day. I learned a lot too: how to extract the most nutrition from flax seeds, how estrogen activity may be linked to breast cancer, about the British invention of "curry," and someone even identified a mystery plant in the garden (it wasn't really a mystery, just a mystery to me). Thank you to everyone who came by throughout the day to bake bread, or just hang out. I had a great time.

If you missed the workshop, stay posted. We will be having another in one month.

And, please take a few minutes to watch this. It may seem unrelated to bread baking, but, in fact, it's related to everything. Elizabeth Cotten's story of how she learned to "play strings" speaks so much to the commitment that we should all bring to whatever we do. She plays with an immense grace: she draws emotion up from a patient well of inner strength.

Elizabeth Cotten's life story is incredible, and a microcosm of it is the story of how she learned to play music. As a child, she would take her brother's banjo off the wall when he went to work. She often broke the strings, and when he came home, she would hide. "Sometimes he wouldn't put the strings on in a long time--think he's punishing me. But I'd play with three strings," she says," four strings. It didn't have to be five. I'd play anyway."

This is the right attitude to take to baking, to our oven, and our neighborhood, our city, and our friends. Take whatever you've got, and make something of it.  The attitude and respect with which you approach someone or something is more important that the quality of the tools you have to work with. Elizabeth Cotten played "upside down," because she was left handed learning on a righthanded guitar. And because no one taught her what to do, she developed her own tunings, which later influenced scores of musicians.

The ingredients? Flour, water, honey, salt, yeast, and love. Obviously.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bread-baking workshop!

Please join us for our first bread-baking workshop, this Sunday, May 16th from 11 AM until 5 pm at 153 Eaton Street on the east side.

The reason for the long hours is that bread takes a little time to make. You are not required to come the whole time, and are welcome to leave whenever you want, or to straggle in late. However, if you want to make your own dough and take the loaf that YOU mix and shape home with you, you must arrive promptly at noon.

One of the reasons bread baking is so great is because it includes down time in which you get to do things you don't always get to fit in. Our favorite down time activities are reading, writing, doing laundry, jumping rope, and calling our mothers. On Sunday, we'll have some wine, and something to nibble, and when the waiting begins, you are welcome to sit and relax with us (it's Sunday after all). Chat to us, or bring a book. You can also explore the Reuse store, which will be open, or if you live nearby, go home and take a nap.

Please R.S.V.P., so we have a general idea of how many to be ready for. And make sure to bring your own bag to bring your bread home in.  We really love baking bread, and are very excited to share our recipes and tricks.

The workshop is FREE, but we will be accepting donations. And as always, if you have questions, or need directions, call Maura at 716.994.8340 or Matt at 716.307.7726.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Huzzah! It's bread day...

Thursday shareholders: don't forget to get your bread today! Pick up is at 271 Grant St from 5-7 pm. 

If you can't make it because you are going to the "Showdown on Wall Street" in New York, your bread will left in a box at the library for pick up when you return.

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are no longer providing free bags, so bring your own!  We will
be selling hand-made cloth bread bags (specially designed to hold bread and keep it fresh), which you will be able
to bring to the pick up every week. There will be some available tomorrow at the share, but they are not all done yet. 
So in the event that we run out, be prepared and bring a bag of your own, be it canvas or plastic.

See you soon!
Maura and Matt

Monday, April 26, 2010

Basic Bread

This past Saturday, Buffalo Reuse hosted an open house in honor of Earth Day. As part of this event, we did a little bread and pizza baking demo at the oven. It was a lot of fun and Matt and I baked and chatted to our heart's content (respectively). We talked a lot about our up and coming workshops, and one of our pizza eaters suggested we put a bread recipe on the blog, which I thought was a great idea. So here it is. This is as basic as bread gets, but it's a good place to start practicing from.  We hope that if you are starting to bake your own bread, you will come to our first baking workshop, on May 16th at 3 pm. It will be a great place to ask questions, and learn some good tricks that will bring your bread beyond the recipe. And, as always, feel free to email us with questions.

Basic Bread:

3 cups flour (wheat, white, or a mix of the two)
A dash of salt
2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2-3/4 cup warm water
A splash of olive oil
A tablespoon of sugar, honey, or molasses.

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine and stir the dry ingredients. Make a 'dent' in the flour, and add the wet ingredients. Stir the dough into a rough ball with a wooden spoon.

2) Sprinkle a clean, dry surface with flour and begin to knead dough.  You can knead the dough however you like, but basically you are softly punching it into the counter. It might stick a little at first, but be careful of adding too much flour or you will end up with a brick. The trick to getting is to keep it moving. Knead for 10-15 minutes, until the dough feels both tacky and soft.

3) Roll it into a ball and smooth a little olive oil over the surface. Put it into a mixing bowl, cover it with a warm, damp cloth, and put it in a warm, draft-free spot for an hour.

4) When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down (called degassing). Shape it into a log by flattening it, and then rolling it. Transfer it to an oiled bread pan to rise. Or, you can make a free standing loaf. To do this, put a clean rag in a small bowl, flour the rag, and shape your dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Recover the bread. Let rise until about doubled again.

5) Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Let cool. Eat and enjoy!

This recipe makes one loaf. It's best to practice in small quantities, but once you like your result, it makes sense to bake two or three loaves at once and either share, or freeze them. As you get comfortable with this recipe, you can do anything to alter it and make it your own--add herbs, seeds, chunks of garlic, or an egg for a crusty crust.

Milk is not necessary, but softens the wheat, so it's beneficial if you are using a high content whole wheat flour. If you omit milk, replace it with water. The liquid content will vary a little depending on what kind of flour you use. Aim for consistency, and trust your instincts.

Here's a great bread bakers resource that Matt and I have used many-a-time: The Fresh Loaf.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bread tasting at Eaton!

Fancy and Delicious cordially invites you and your friends to a free bread tasting party at our clay oven. You'll have the opportunity to sample several types of bread we make regularly, see the clay oven in person, and meet shareholders who have enjoyed our bread since August of 2009. We'll be there to take any questions and talk about how the share system works.
If you're interested in the breadshare, but haven't wanted to commit to a product you've never tasted, here's your opportunity to test the waters and see just how fancy and delicious we are.
Friday, April 16th, 4-6:30 pm.
153 Eaton St. (in the backyard diagonal from Buffalo Reuse).
For questions or directions, call Matt or Maura.

We hope to see you there.

Friday, April 2, 2010

SPRING 2010 Bread share!

Hello everybody!

Some developments happening this spring:

1) The third share will begin on April 29th and run to July 16th. 

Distribution days:
  • Thursday (271 Grant St.) 5-7 pm
  • Friday (153 Eaton St) 5-7 pm
  • One share is $50 for 12 weeks ($4/loaf).
  • NEW! Half shares for people who can't finish a whole loaf (1/2 loaf per week or 1 loaf every other week for $25).
We now offer free bicycle delivery if you can't make pick up times. Although, we encourage you to come to pick up if you can, because we like getting to know you. There is no extra charge for delivery, but we do ask that you consider tipping your bread peddler! You can do this by adding a tip to your payment.

2) Now introducing dessert shares. $50 for 12 weeks.
Each week, you will receive a variety of cookies, muffins, and other sweets. Some are one of a kind recipes invented by Delicious herself  (or her Italian aunts). Participating in a dessert share will award you the distinct pleasure of tasting some of these desserts below for the first time:
  • Beet cake
  • Mauradora's bonkers everything sunshine muffins
  • Power cookies
  • Aunt Tina's Long Branch rugelah

3) The Good Neighbor Fund is our subsidy program in which you can voluntarily raise the cost of your own share to offset the cost of someone else's. Be a good neighbor, and help us increase access to healthy food. Add a dollar amount to your share payment. Contribute to the Good Neighbor Fund, and receive a little something fancy at the start of the third share. The more you give, the fancier you'll be. 

4) Bread bags. Beginning with the third share, we will charge 10 cents for every plastic bag we give you. We want to encourage you to bring your own bag. To make this easy and fun, we will be selling some very special Fancy and Delicious cloth bread bags at distribution, or by mail. 

5) Workshops. Our first official bread baking workshop will take place on Sunday, May 16th at 3 pm. Stay posted for more baking workshops and oven building workshops, later this summer.

If you have any questions, ideas, or comments, or want to reserve your share(s), as always, we look forward to hearing from you.

Fancy and Delicious

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

City of Good Neighbors

Fancy and Delicious is getting ready for a lot of exciting new things happening this spring. First, we want to announce the start of the Good Neighbor Fund. If you have a few extra dollars to spare per week, you can voluntarily up the cost of your own bread to offset the cost of a neighbor's share--someone who might not buy one otherwise. You decide how much you want to give. The math is simple: if you give $75 (the cost of your share plus $25), someone can afford a share at $25 ($2/loaf). The more you give, the more people get to eat our bread. Help us increase access to healthy food, and start to level the playing field.

The third share will begin on April 19th, so you have a little time to figure out if and how much you want to participate (and we hope you will). However, the sooner you tell us, the better. To thank you for joining up, Fancy and Delicious will give you a little something extra, a little something F and D at the start of the third share.

If you have any questions about the Good Neighbor Fund, or want to sign up, call Maura at (716) 994-8340, or email us at fancyanddelicious@gmail.com. As always, please tell your friends and neighbors about us. Your local underground bakery depends on the good word (of mouth).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Help F & D grow!

Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the 'Challenge Your World' contest. We didn't win, but we made it into the top ten, with a total of 284 votes, which is pretty rad. Plus we were up against some incredible ideas. You can read about them here.

We're now entering a similar contest to support some of the cool projects we want to work on this spring and summer. You can read about it and support us with your comments here. You will be able to vote for us between June 9 and June 30, but we will remind you about this later on.

Thanks, as always, for your support,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Spring!

Hi everybody,

This blog has been a long time coming. We'll still update you via email but from now on, we'll keep you in the loop here as well. If you want updates on our space, check out Megan's blog: http://buffalobasics.blogspot.com/

More soon!