Tuesday, 26 February 2008

A Visit to Golden Hearth Baking Co.

On Saturday, we popped into Golden Hearth Baking in downtown Kitchener. They are located directly opposite the Kitchener Farmer's Market, and have been open there for 1 year as of March.

Golden Hearth Baking in KitchenerWe arrived around 2:00 pm, and found that they were down to their last half dozen loaves of bread, and just a few of their croissants and other pastries.

A List of Breads Made at Golden Hearth BakingI'll retype that list of breads that they sell - Epi, Olive Fougasse, Pain Levain, Rosemary Focaccia, Schiacciata con l'uva, Classic French Brioche, Whole Wheat Multigrain, Organic Whole Grain Spelt, Whole Wheat Rye, Flax Raisin Walnut, and 90% Dark Rye. They make 300 to 400 loaves every Saturday as well as 500 croissants - but you should still get there before noon as they do sell out. On Saturdays they open at 7:00 am to run concurrently with the Farmers Market.

Aura Hertzog of Golden Hearth BakingThe bakery is run by Aura Hertzog and her partner Tim Simpson. They are both graduates of George Brown College, and returned to the area after a number of years away to be closer to relatives. They purchased an old pizzeria that came equiped with ovens, so that their only other major purchase was equipment for the production of croissants.

Their croissants, by the way, are excellent - the perfect balance of butter and flakiness. Their pain au chocolat was full of rich dark chocolate, and their almond croissants very flavourful. We went away with a few other pastries as well, but I wasn't quick enough on my feet and didn't get to try them. I can report, however, that they were consumed with enthusiasm.

In addition to their baked goods, they have a small but interesting selection of jams, juices, flours, and other bits and pieces.

The baking area at the back of the shop.

Their pain levain; the only bread they had left by the time we arrived, which was fine with us as that's a very popular loaf in this household. It's a nice bubbly, chewy sourdough loaf with a delicate but definite tang; it would make very good sandwiches. As mentioned, we also got some of their croissants and other pastries, but those did not last long enough to be photographed.

At Golden Hearth they use a mixture of organic and conventional flours; both from local sources. I'm looking forward to visiting them again!

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