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    We Love Fresh-Baked Goods from the Farmers’ Market

    By Debra Morris–

    We’re expressing our love for farmers’ markets this month! Share what you love about your farmers’ market on Facebook and Instagram

    ( https://www.pcfma.org/ ) while we share what we love: our local farmers, the amazing produce our farmers provide, and the local community that supports the farmers’ market. Bring on the love for your market this month!

    One of the things that we love about farmers’ markets is biting into a just-baked slice of artisan sourdough or munching a soft buttery croissant, or treating ourselves to a sweet flaky pastry from the bakeries that participate in your farmers’ market. They offer everything from dinner rolls and breadsticks to cookies, pastries and loaf breads, all in a variety of artisan flavors and textures.

    Bread, considered the “staff of life” and one of the oldest prepared foods, has provided sustenance for mankind from the dawn of time. Rye, corn, wheat, millet and rice have all been used to make bread. A simple mixture of grain or cereal flours and water with a leavening agent (yeast) can create the simplest and most delicious concoctions. Add a bit of this and a bit of that—nuts, cheese, olives, honey, herbs—and you have over-the top goodness.

    A large variety of bread can be found these days, depending on the inventiveness of the baker and the history behind its shape and taste. Historically, flatbreads, pita and naan came from India and the Middle East; focaccia and baguettes from Europe and Italy; loaf breads, challah, breadsticks and an array of buns and rolls came to our shores from a variety of other countries in every conceivable flavor and texture imaginable.

    Farmers’ markets are the perfect place to get a taste of all of the wonderful baked goods that can be found in your neighborhood. Try a simple breadstick or a loaf of crusty sourdough and you’re hooked on what these bakers create from simple, local ingredients.

    Beckmann’s Old World Bakery at the Divisadero Farmers’ Market offers a wide array of breads, pastries, dinner rolls, baguettes, pies and more. The bakery was founded by Peter Beckmann in November 1985. Son of a craftsman family, he apprenticed in bread-making in Heidelberg, Germany. After moving to the United States in 1982, Peter had a longing for the traditional breads of his home country. He baked the first commercial loaves in his kitchen oven and hand-delivered those first samples on his bicycle to four local Santa Cruz grocery stores. This was the start of a bakery that, to this day, has been honoring the German commitment to traditional artisan bread making.

    You’ll find market favorites like the cheesy breadsticks, whole grain loaf breads, asiago sourdough and Francese rolls. There is focaccia, rye breads and sandwich rolls to round out their selection. Stop by and pick up some of their fantastic breads.

    Debra Morris is a spokesperson for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA). Check out the PCFMA website for recipes, information about farmers’ markets throughout the region and for much more: https://www.pcfma.org/