Tag Archives: northwest

Building a Great Small Thing

The growth of Essential Confection feels like building a great small thing. Many forms of effort are required every day to mold the component pieces into the whole and, on many days there is no clear path in sight.

Then, literally without notice, the pieces fall silently into place.

Test-baking Essential Panettone for today’s launch involved the requisite two-day forcing of sourdough starter nearly to its limit, then patiently and methodically adding key ingredients that add richness and character in a deliberate attempt to challenge the starter to support them.

In the end, there is a metamorphosis, and a fragrant, supple, lithe dough arises as validation of the effort. So comforting as a baker.

The christening of such a product deserves special marketing. We’re introducing Essential Panettone Artisan Milanese and Essential Panettone Northwest with our first video. It’s even more special in HD, if you have that option! Have a look:

https://youtu.be/ytyU652HAw4

One other key update. We’ve successfully re-established shipping relationships for individual purchases and for the Ultimate annual purchase. Portland Metro is now serviced by a local courier for $5 per shipment or $20 per annual purchase. All other national residential destinations are $12 per shipment or $48 for annual purchase.

Join us. Our order window is 3 weeks only.

www.EssentialConfection.com

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How I Terrify Myself into the Glorious State of Baking

Thrusts of gluten  evolve into an elegant savoring…

That pastry chefs seek challenge in our daily work is inherent in the role.  Working in the sweet spot of math, science and creativity every day is the best part of the challenge. Ingredient performance changes, evolves, is subject to barometric swings, increased or decreased humidity and deterioration of the ingredients themselves. What worked once may not perform the same way again.

The epitome of baking accomplishment is an artisan panettone loaf, the pinnacle of elegance, flavor and texture having its roots in the Milanese baking culture.

The best loaves are light, tall, ethereal cathedrals of pull-apart quality historically housing internal garnishes of golden sultanas and candied orange peel. Most significantly, the way to get there is through the use of only a sourdough starter – sans commercial yeast of any kind.

Essential Panettone is such a cathedral – an absolute joy to savor and an unmitigated challenge to execute, every single time. Our process takes 60 hours, devoted in the early stages to pushing the gluten-rich starter to its limit of performance. There are two doughs mixed on consecutive days designed to be built upon each other with 4-12 hour rest and rise times interspersed in between. Post-baking at 340 degrees to a 200-degree internal temperature, the loaves must hang  for 12 hours – upside down – to prevent collapse.

It’s the most stress and the most fun.

Essential Panettone is in two flavors: Essential Panettone Northwest garnished with Oregon cherries and toasted local hazelnuts, and candied Valencia orange peel. Essential Panettone  Artisan Milanese showcases traditional garnishes of golden sultanas and candied Valencia orange peel, the dough effused with lemon and orange zest.

This holiday season both panettone will be available. Unlike Italian-legislated size requirements of 1 kilo, ours is a half kilo and is perfect for gift giving to family and friends and gifting to business colleagues. They’ll be baked as orders are placed.

And, oh yes, they ship. One of the magical benefits of a 60-hour process is an extended shelf life – without sacrificing quality or tenderness.

We celebrate the events of our guests’ lives, one event at a time.

We serve joy. Celebrate with us.