Pannier week 7: Mimi’s ramp sourdough

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Those of you who know me know that I can’t stay away from West Virginia.  I am in love with the music and dance of course, and the ancient mountains and valleys. But last summer I also fell in love with the people.  I spent a month on a small market farm near Elkins, WV, which is where I met Mimi and Alain.

Mimi was the first baker to welcome me, a complete novice, into her bakery.  And what an inspiration!  Mimi bakes twice a week out of her–dare I say gorgeous–garage, supporting herself and her artist husband Alain.  With the generosity that seems to go with the trade, she fielded all of my questions and freely shared her knowledge.  Much of what I have put into Pannier can be directly traced to that warm August afternoon!

And what did we tackle that day?  Oh just croissants.  Three different recipes, no less!  Yes, there was a tasting, in the garden of course, with coffee served on a tray. There is nothing I would have changed about that day!

Once a year Mimi makes a ramp sourdough for the customers of LaFontaine Bakery.  Ramps are wild leeks, that show up for a week or two in early spring.  They are nearly always foraged; I am getting mine this week from the good folks at Forbes Wild Foods at the Sorauren Farmer’s Market.  Mimi has generously shared her recipe with me, which I have modified to work with my mixing method and schedule.

Here’s to you Mimi!  Thanks for everything.