Hi, I’m Jill. I’m the heart and hands behind crumb. I won’t go into a long story (and bore you) about who I am and how I got here, so let me just share a few things about me and let you know what I care about:
I grew up in a small rice farming community in Northern California, which probably explains my love for small farms and local businesses.
I value community. Being part of a small town gave me an appreciation for relationships with neighbors and my community.
I firmly believe that our bodies deserve health, love, and nourishment through eating wholesome food.
I feel creativity can be expressed through what you are passionate about. A loaf of bread is the perfect canvas for expressing that creativity.
My hope is that people who buy my bread will gather around their table, slow down, share about their day, and nourish their bodies and souls.
What are the main reasons people are turning to authentically made sourdough? Because it contains the same friendly cultures as homemade yogurt and other naturally fermented foods. The sourdough cultures work chemically on the whole grains during the fermentation process, making the most of flavors and nutrients, while making it much easier for the body to digest. Sourdough promotes gut and metabolic health, keeps you fuller for longer, and lasts longer in the bread bin too. My wild sourdough culture (I call her Laverne) was born from flour, water, and slow natural fermentation that took several weeks of constant discarding and feeding sessions. Years later, she is still going strong with daily feedings on the same flour and water diet to keep the process going. There is no substitute for the traditionally fermented sourdough made from three simple ingredients: flour, water, and salt.
fresh milled grains
In addition to using premium quality organic bread flours, I blend between 15-25 percent of freshly milled grains into my breads. I am constantly experimenting with a mix of grains to bring out the best crust, crumb, flavor, and texture in each loaf. Stone grinding these in my home mill before mixing the flours is a great way to provide unique and flavorful breads not found in most bakeries or stores.
In keeping with my goal of supporting local farms and businesses, I have come across three LOCAL CALIFORNIA grown wheat grains that I am very excited to incorporate in my breads:
SUMMIT Hard Red Wheat: Sustainably grown in Clarksburg CA, less than 10 miles from my home, this prized hard red wheat gives a hearty boost of nutrition and a deep complex flavor. The phenols from the bran give this wheat a reddish color and make for a beautiful dark crust. This wheat is the predominant milled grain in my “Rustic California Summit" loaf, now being offered. I had the privilege of meeting the dedicated and knowledgeable farmer of this wheat, Larry Hunn, who explained his sustainable farming practices and virtues of this grain he is now offering to specialty bakers. I collected a barrelful from his small milling operation and will be back for more soon!
PATWIN Hard White Wheat: This wheat is organically grown in Capay, CA in the Northern Central Valley. It was developed by UC Davis as part of their wheat breeding program through the Dubcovsky Lab. It makes beautiful, buttery, and creamy aromatic loaves of bread with a toasty exterior and moist crumb. Hard white wheats blend well with the more robust red wheats, so I use it in many of my loaves..
White SONORA Wheat: This soft white wheat is organically grown in California's Central Valley. Introduced in the early 1700s, White Sonora has been a staple wheat in the United States for over 200 years. It is an heirloom variety with a buttery yellow color and a sweet, nutty flavor, making it ideal for many of my cookies and some breads.
Other GRAINS used: In addition to my predominant use of local grains listed above, I blend in a portion of specialty grains including the following: Khorasan, Rye, Spelt, Einkorn, Emmer, Durum, and others. Additions of these grains can bring out a crispier crust, flavor, or other characteristic I am looking for. It’s always fun to see how small adjustments can change a bread.