Pop-up Bread Bar at two Bridgehead Coffeehouses this Saturday!

We will have a pop-up bread bar at two of our shops this Saturday with some delicious breads baked fresh that morning in our kitchen! We will have brioche, baguette, ciabatta and a range of sourdough breads including whole wheat, a date & orange breakfast round, rye and walnut, and country loaf.  We’ll be there rain or shine, 8 am to noon at our Golden and Beechwood locations, 440 Richmond Rd. at Golden, and 131 Beechwood at Putman.

There may even be a surprise sandwich at the shops – Porchetta with bacon-onion marmalade, house bbq sauce and root slaw! Yum!

 

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Try our new products made without gluten!

Our kitchen staff have been working hard to get some great-tasting new products out for customers looking to reduce gluten in their diets!

– Cheese and Fruit Plate with Oat Crackers
– Almond Pecan Biscotti
– Double Chocolate Cookie
– Pumpkin Loaf

These foods are made without gluten, but they are prepared in an open kitchen and are displayed with items that contain gluten. For this reason, we cannot guarantee that they have not come into any contact with gluten.

All of our drinks are made without gluten except for the caramel syrup in our caramel flavoured latte.

Come into any of our shops and try them today!

Squash Harvest at Songberry Organic Farm

We came, we saw, we squashed!

Our team of six took to the fields at Songberry Organic Farm yesterday, lending a hand to Rob Wallbridge and his family with their squash harvest!

Songberry is a local organic farm in Bristol, Québec run by Rob Wallbridge and his wife Julie. They’ve been farming there since 2003 and now grow over 200 varieties of vegetables. Bridgehead buys produce from them on a regular basis for our sandwiches and salads. They are also the farm selected to benefit from our Growing Up Organic blend of coffee where a portion of the proceeds from every bag bought goes to them. They’ve put this money towards building a packing shed and washing station!

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful Fall day to do it on, and we’d like to thank Rob for letting us come and help out! To find out more about Songberry Organic Farm, check out their website!

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It’s Easy Being Green at Bridgehead!

Last week was Earth Day all across Canada, but we try to celebrate Earth Day every day here at Bridgehead!

Here are some of our most successful environmental projects:

Compost, Compost, Compost!

Approximately 74% of all the waste our stores produce is compostable. Only 17% of all Bridgehead waste (by weight) is thrown into traditional garbage pick-up. The good news just keeps on coming since we’ve also found that Bridgehead has reduced our volume of garbage from 73% of total waste produced in 2008 to 49% of total in 2010. We now even compost in the winter at most locations!

Shaking Up Take-Out

Even if you have to take out our products, almost everything except the hot cup lids and sandwich plastic wrap are biodegradable! That’s right! Hot and cold cups, straws, cutlery, soup and salad containers are all made from biodegradable materials. Even if they don’t make it to compost facilities, they will biodegrade in landfills within a couple of months which is still great news!

Clear Signage = Clear Waste Streaming

We are trying to help out our customers to dispose of their waste better in-store through new and improved signage so they know what’s compostable, recyclable and just plain old garbage. Check out the new stickers and labels popping up all over our stores and if you’re not sure if something is compostable, just ask!

Some other important environmental initiatives we’re proud of are:

  • using re-usable bins for all our shops deliveries of food items and dry goods and coffee from our warehouse
  • a growing emphasis on sourcing local, organic produce for our sandwiches, salads and other foods
  • heading towards a more paperless human resources format
  • making sure all of our lighting, HVAC and heating are being used efficiently
  • ensuring paper products  in all parts of our company are being recycled effectively
  • choosing energy-efficient equipment and building materials in our new and current stores

Bread School

Along with 15 other lucky people I’ve been attending the Artisan 1 bread workshop at the San Francisco Baking Institute. People have come from all over: Kuwait, Trinidad, Australia, Taiwan, and of course the US and Canada. Many are professional bakers who want to round out their technical knowledge, while others are hobbyists who want to perfect making bread at home.
The Artisan 1 course is about fundamentals. In the classroom we’ve learned about the chemistry of bread. How protease and amylase enzymes present in flour react with yeast in the presence of water (hydration) over time to create ‘crumb’; how mixing contributes to crumb structure; the role of flour and the characteristics of different types including ancient grains; how pre-ferments add flavor and lengthen shelf life. On the floor, where we’ve progressively spent more of our time, we’ve mastered the windowpane technique and learned the difference between short, improved and intensively mixed doughs (the short mixes followed by some folding are the ones that yield the desireable ‘regular irregularity’ or open crumb structure that are perfect for capturing whatever you like to put on your bread!). Also on the floor we are developing our hand skills, learning to divide and pre-shape and finally shape and score proper baguettes, boules and batards. According to Safa, our instructor, once you can do a hundred baguettes, all within a centimeter of each other in length, consistent girth, all well scored, with no spiraling of the ends, no bursting seams, with consistent internal structure – you’ve mastered it—and once you’ve mastered baguette, you can do anything.
About 10,000 more practice baguettes ought to do it ….
The first day we did a straight baguette. The second day we demonstrated the effect of mixing by preparing baguettes using short, improved and intensive mixing techniques. The third day, more baguettes, we compared the autolyse technique and the use of high protein flour. At the end of that day we made pate fermentee, a preferment to use the next day. The fourth day we used our preferment to make pan bread, egg bread, multigrain, rye and whole wheat breads. Today, the last day of this workshop, we will return to baguette, comparing the use of poolish, sponge and pate fermentee. At the end of each day there is ‘crit’ where Safa cuts open your bread
Next week, Artisan 2, using natural yeasts to make sourdough breads ….
day 2 definite improvement ... 9,998 days to goday 3 prepared for critcrit day 1day 4 harvest