Growing up in Philadelphia, I was surrounded by bakeries. Just like finding a Starbucks on every corner in Seattle, we had bakeries on every street. Each baker had their own unique specialty and shared their culture through fresh baked goods. I have vivid memories of picking out the perfect dessert with my grandparents, and happily carrying the little white box wrapped in red string. These sweet memories are what inspired me to open up my very own bakery in our new Carriage House building.
A 1960s bakery, similar to one of the many bakeries from my childhood.
The holidays are a time for feasting and sharing good food. As the weather changes and we move indoors, our kitchen beckons us to come in and bake. We anticipate chilly afternoons with our children and grandchildren, teaching them how to bake our favorite treats. We package our cookies in small tins to give away to our family and friends, eager to share our hearts through baking.
Sometimes my love language of feeding people is lost on those with gluten sensitivity. It is so disheartening to watch someone you care about be left out from partaking in a fabulous dessert. The first time this hit home for me was when my daughter-in-law became part of our family and we celebrated with a girls' trip to Texas. We were on a hunt to find the best Kolache, a Czechoslovakian treat we plan to offer in our future bakery. In every bakery we visited, there were plenty of options for all of us, except for my daughter-in-law. As we sat there eating fluffy, sweet pastries, she ate without complaining, on a bag of greasy potato chips and raw carrots. It was at that moment I decided to make my bakery an inclusive and safe place for people with gluten sensitivity.
We are excited to announce that Wren’s Nest Baking Co. is going to be an exclusively gluten-free bakery. We will have a brand-new kitchen and brand-new equipment, therefore making it safe for gluten intolerant guests to eat in our bakery without risk of cross-contamination.
We cannot wait to open our doors to you and your family. We hope that those of you with gluten sensitivity will be able to eat whatever your heart desires from our bakery menu. We hope that those of you without gluten intolerance will also come in and enjoy the best bakery in town!
Framing is coming along! We have the bakery, retail space, and the Wren & Willow offices all framed in. We even have stairs to the second floor! Come by for a tour, we would love to show off our progress.
The future Wren's Nest Baking Co.
Standing in the future Wren & Willow office!
Italian Apple Olive Oil Cake
By Laureen Skrivan
A delicious gluten-free cake to serve at your next holiday gathering.
2/3 C. Golden Raisins
2 Lg. Gala Apples, chopped fine
3 C. Gluten-Free Flour
1 tsp. Cinnamon3/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Lg. Eggs
Powdered Sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Soak the raisins in a bowl of water. Place chopped apples in a bowl and add enough orange juice to coat the apples to prevent browning. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a bowl of a stand mixer, add sugar and olive oil. Mix with the whisk on low for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue mixing for another 2 minutes. In the bowl with dry ingredients, make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Add the wet mixture into the well. Using a wooden spoon, mix until just blended. It will be a thick batter, but do not do anything to thin it out. Drain the raisins and the apples and add both to the batter. Mix well. Line a 9-inch pan with parchment paper. Spoon the batter into the pan and level the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 45 minutes or until a test knife comes out clean. Cool completely in pan, and lift parchment paper up to transfer cake to serving dish. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
From One-Hundred Italian Eats by Wren & Willow.
Do you love to bake? Are you passionate about gluten-free baking? Would you like to participate in our Wren & Willow test kitchen? We need test bakers to help us perfect our recipes and we would love your help! Sign up here.
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Photos by: Nathaniel Gutierrez, Effie Gurmeza, Aleks Akinshev, & pixabay.com