Thursday, November 15, 2012

Food Dance Adds Bread Baking to Repertoire

Food Dance – West Michigan’s premier farm-to-table eatery – has added bread breaking to its impressive list of hand-made offerings, with the recent purchase of a German MIWE oven.

“I have always wanted Food Dance to produce as much of the food on each plate as possible,” says executive chef Robb Hammond – who has been with the restaurant for years. “Once we moved into our amazing new facility in 2007, we realized that the opportunity to create foods that could only be found here was immense. Whether it’s ketchup or bacon, sausage or bread, we pride ourselves on giving an experience unique to Food Dance.”

Chef Robb admits that changing a product from one used – successfully – for many years, comes with some trepidation. For years, Food Dance has sourced its various breads from the internationally-recognized Zingerman’s Bakery in Ann Arbor.

“For over a year, our pastry chef, Amber Burns, has been bringing us delicious bread she’s been baking at home. I knew with the right oven and her talent, we could bake great bread,” says Chef Robb. “I feel confident in our abilitly to take on this large undertaking and add to the overall experience for our guests here at Food Dance.”

According to Chef Robb, the process of baking bread is dependent on so many variables you can’t control. The weather on the day of baking or the day the flour was milled can have as much to do with the final product as the temperature of the oven or the correct kneading. It is a very intuitive craft that can only be learned through years of work, in various conditions.

“Why did we want to make our own bread? Because we are so passionately committed to making traditional artisan foods right here at Food Dance,” says owner Julie Stanley. “Besides, our bakers just LOVE to bake! With so much passion to be found under our own roof, we decided to push forward and try our hand at making bread. We are excited to share these new breads with you, and we plan to keep introducing new flavors as time goes on!”

This new MIWE oven will allow Food Dance to produce a variety of breads for its menu and marketplace, including sourdough, potato rosemary, ciabatta, whole wheat, focaccia, brioche and rye (on weekends).

Food Dance’s bakers will put hours into their breads – 18-24 hours for rising alone – to allow for the great flavors to develop. Other ingredients include naturally-fermented sourdough starters, yeast, unbleached spring patent flour, whole wheat berries, whole oats, local potatoes, free range eggs, fresh Wisconsin Grassland unsalted butter, Michigan honey, toasted caraway seeds, fresh rosemary, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil, resulting in a truly tasty loaf of bread.

As one of the original West Michigan farm-to-fork restaurants dedicated to using locally-produced food, the culinary team at Food Dance works to provide a positive environmental impact and educates its staff and guests on the importance that this mindset has to the culture and community in which we live. Food Dance also supports the belief that we are all mutually-accountable to obtain excellence, by providing opportunities that create community engagement through great food and great service.

401 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007

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