Pain d’Epi for me…

I love it when a certain item at the market suddenly creates a buzz and a stir.
You never know what it’s going to be – Rich Brownies’ lemon bars, the avocado ice pops at Happy Belly Baby, but suddenly there’s a market item that everyone is talking about.
This week, I’m hearing a lot about the pain d’epi at Wave Hill Breads.
Epi is French for a “sheaf of wheat” and this bread is essentially a baguette shaped like a wheat stalk.
The epi was once baked only during harvest but its shape is so appealing it has become the staple of French picnics and outdoor dining.
Everyone gets to tear off an individual “flower or bud”  of the sheaf thereby getting, in essence, a fully formed “mini” baguette – in all its crusty glory.
While a baguette is pretty in a “girl next door” sort of way a pain d’epi cranks it up a notch in the dramatic flair department. An epi loaf on your brunch table just elevates the experience. Especially if served with some Consider Bardwell cheese, or Ronnybrook Dairy butter or a house-made pesto of carrot tops or kale.

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Margaret Sapir, who owns Wave Hill, says the dough for the epi is exactly the same as the dough in their other three-grain French breads (the batard, the demi, and the baguette). Like these, the epi is made with organic rye berries and organic spelt berries milled every day at the bakery.

But the difference is how the epi loaf is formed. “We use scissors to shape the epi,” says hill. “The beauty is that everyone gets a crusty end.”

The bakery offers “bread making parties” where students learn how to make epi loaves specifically.  And, because we at the Irvington Farmer’s Market believe in teaching a man to fish…here is a recipe to make your own pain d’epi at home.
image (10)Look out for a new visiting vendor this week: NY Chup: small-batch, artisanal ketchup (we’re not kidding – every bottle sold is numbered) in flavors like Bacon, Bourbon and Spicy Habanero from former NYC chef, Andy Blackman.
​Oh – and by the way – Rich Brownies and her lemon bars will be back at the market this week.​ And so will Happy Belly Baby and her fruit and veg pops.
See you at the market!

Music this week: Greg Jacquin followed by The Levins. (yay!)