Made By Hand: A&J King Bakery

Andy and Jackie King, artisanal bakers based in New England, have certainly made a splash with their perfectly imperfect hand-made breads and baked goods at their headquarters cafe and bakery.

After opening up in 2006, A&J King quickly established themselves as a go-to for beautiful, well-made breads, utilizing traditional methods that match the historic ambience of Salem, MA, where they are located.

Andy and Jackie are no one trick ponies, also offering up delicious pastries, signature sandwiches and more in their full-service cafe.

The magic starts in the kitchen, where each step of the baking process is performed by hand, from kneading the dough to cutting the beautiful patterns on each loaf that are brought out during the baking process.

In 2013, Andy and Jackie published their first cookbook, Baking by Hand (MacMillan), further elaborating their philosophy on baking and the quality of craft they live by. They’ve shared with us their favorite recipe for the holiday season – bread pudding!

Bread pudding is one of Andy and Jackie’s favorite things to make at the bakery, and they’ve been making them since Day One! It is simple, can be adapted to whatever fruits or flavors are in season (or whichever ones you have one hand), tastes great hot, cold, or room temperature. There’s not a lot of science to it. You need a bread product to soak up your custard, and you need enough custard to soak into the bread. That’s pretty much it!

Pro tip — make sure to use stale bread (or stale it yourself by leaving it on your counter for a few hours, as fresh bread tends to fall apart when absorbing the liquid). Once you get the idea of how to assemble bread pudding, you’ll be off and running with your own unique flavor combinations.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 lb stale croissant, brioche, challah, or other enriched dough, 1” dice

3  large eggs

7 oz whole milk

7 oz half and half

2/3 cup sugar

6 oz roasted, pureed pumpkin or canned pumpkin

1.25 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Whisk eggs, milk, half and half, sugar, pumpkin puree and spices in a large bowl until combined and smooth.

Add the bread, and toss with your hands or spoon until all the bread is coated with the custard. Let it sit at least 30 minutes (but no longer than an hour) stirring occasionally.

Put all of the bread and custard mixture into a greased circular 8″ pan or paper mold.

Bake at 375˚F until golden brown and it feels firm when pressed, about 45 minutes. When cooled, drizzle with maple sugar icing.

Maple Sugar Icing

(Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and lump free)

6.5 oz Maple Sugar

2 oz Confectioner’s Sugar

2 oz Half and Half

Learn more about Andy and Jackie at www.AJkingbakery.com.

The Month of Meaning

Last fall, Minnetonka dedicated one week to raising money to build a new school room in partnership with Free the Children in Marialapa, Haiti.  This fall they broke ground to begin building the school room that will help Free The Children provide quality education and a conducive learning environment to the growing number of students in Marialapa.

Inspired by the acts of good we see young people and adults alike doing every day, we are dedicating the entire month of November to raising money in support of this community and their needs. There are two ways to get involved in this effort!

1.  1 Purchase = $1. For every purchase made on minnetonkamoccasin.com during the Month of Meaning (November), we will donate $1 to the Marialapa community.

2.  1 Photo = $1. Share your acts of good! We will donate $1 to the Marialapa community for every photo you share showing how you are making a difference in the community. Click here for more details.

 

CLEAN WATER FOR A BETTER WORLD

All of the funds raised this month will be put towards building a rain catchment system in Marialapa. This is a very dry region which has experienced significant deforestation and the water table is very low. Through the work of Free the Children, we can exploit one of Haiti’s greatest national resources – rain – through rainwater harvesting to serve the school community.

Free the Children will install eaves on all the roof surfaces and construct a reservoir to capture rain during the rainy season. The new rain catchment system will be sufficient to provide clean water to the entire school community.

WHY HAITI?

Our own factory is located in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. When the January 12, 2010 earthquake struck Haiti, the devastation that followed was very close to home. Two hundred thousand people were feared to be dead and millions were left homeless. Haitians have shown resilience in the face of grinding poverty and natural disasters. We were able to help in the earthquake recovery and continue to seek out ways to improve this community.

FREE THE CHILDREN MODEL

Adopt a Village is Free The Children’s holistic and sustainable development model designed to empower communities, break the cycle of poverty and remove barriers to education. This model has five core pillars: Education, Water & Sanitation, Health, Alternative Income & Livelihood, and Agriculture & Food Security. Each pillar serves to enhance the others, ensuring the greatest overall impact in each area of intervention and achieving long-term sustainability.

 

Made By Hand: Camp Wolf

A few months ago we were introduced to the adorable, handcrafted designs of Camp Wolf.  Designers, Cristin and Cora, repurpose denim along with Pendleton wool to create one-of-a-kind pieces that endure the active lifestyles of little ones.

Check out our Q&A with Cristin and Cora to learn more about Camp Wolf and the inspiration behind each of their handcrafted designs.

Plus be sure to enter the Minnetonka + Camp Wolf giveaway for the chance to win a Camp Wolf vest for you and your little one, along with matching Minnetonka mocs!

Tell us about yourself and your background and how Camp Wolf came to be?

Camp Wolf was born in Portland, Oregon out of a love for the Pacific Northwest and our passion for making unique things for the people we love.  Camp Wolf started as a kid’s clothing and accessories line, but since our launch in September 2013 has grown to include styles for men and women, too.

Believe it or not, we met through Instagram just over a year ago and live on opposite sides of the country (Portland OR & Richmond VA)!  We are both mamas to boys (Miles, 2; Henry, 3; Jack, 2) who keep us super busy.  We’re pretty amazed by how much we’ve grown in our first year, and sometimes we still just can’t get over seeing photos of our amazing customers and their children wearing things that we’ve made!

Tell us about the handcraftsmanship that goes into each Camp Wolf piece. How is each piece unique?

When it comes to our products, we believe in function, craftsmanship, and above all, individuality. All of our denim garments are repurposed and feature authentic, 100% pure virgin Pendleton wool, made right here in the USA.

Because all of our denim has been carefully selected from all over the country and is embellished by hand, no two pieces are exactly alike. This is what makes them truly unique!

Describe your design process.

If we had to pick one area of our business where living so far apart presents the most challenges, it’s here!  Since we aren’t able to work together in the same studio space, we begin designing a lot of our products independently.

Thankfully, it’s really easy to stay connected between endless phone calls, texts, emails, Skype sessions, and the good ol’ USPS, so we’re still able to be involved in one another’s creative processes.  Naturally we are drawn to different styles, and the way we create new products allows for each of them to be represented within our line.  We love that!

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

We are endlessly inspired by the gorgeous materials that we use daily for our line.  Pendleton wool comes in so many beautiful prints and colors, and we love challenging ourselves to find new ways to use it.

Our boys are also a constant source of inspiration!  They all have such different personalities, and it’s so much fun to see our designs come to life on them.  It’s also a great way to test the durability of our products.

What’s been your favorite piece that you’ve created so far?

Our denim jackets are, hands down, our favorite pieces.  They are what started it all, and they are what truly embody our line.  The process of hand-picking a jacket and pairing it with the perfect Pendleton print to give it a whole new life is so much fun, and we’re always in love with the final product.  Knowing that our garments will be worn with love on adventures great and small is awesome!

 Photography by:

Margaret Jacobsen
Aspen Summit
Clair Morgan

Craftsmanship + Color: Limited Edition Thunderbird II Moc

Our iconic Thunderbird II moccasins have been infused with a fresh, citrus hue. These limited edition nectarine mocs are the must-have accessory for every summer adventure. They feature the same quality and hand construction everyone’s come to love.

A few weeks ago we got the chance to see how these handcrafted beauties begin.

It all starts with the best materials around. Quality, suede leather is cut with steel dies.

Each piece will become part of our iconic moccasin. The only way these reach our feet is by hand, which makes each pair totally unique.

Here the collar is expertly stitched. Hand sewing ensures an attention to detail unlike any other.

Next it’s time to sew the sporty sole to the moc. These rubber bottoms are key to comfort. They bend and flex with every step.

Hand lacing closes the moccasin around its round toe, which features our iconic hand-beaded Thunderbird detail.

Handcraftsmanship and a distinctive style meets a fun, new color. Pair these limited edition nectarine mocs with skinny jeans, skirts or shorts for a stylish, summer look.

 

Tucked Away Gold with a Side of Brown Bread

Her name was Evelyn Day Bruner. She lived in Brooklyn but was born in the Midwest.

While sorting through some boxes in my grandmother’s house, I found a tiny black book. And when I read the cover, I had to know more.

So I investigated, and discovered my great-great grandmother, Evelyn Day Brunner’s recipe book, my version of gold tucked away in an old drawer.

It’s frayed in all the right places, peeled and chipped to reveal the red under the black cover and gold script. I loved it immediately.

It has a tassel for marking your place.

And a proclamation that it was an “Elite” cooking recipe book. Not just an average one, in case there was any doubt in the 1800’s.

I had heard about this Brown Bread recipe in the family my whole life, but I had never tasted it.

And as I flipped I discovered she in fact had several Brown Bread recipes of various kinds.

I recognized other quirky family traditions within the pages, for example in a dessert of tapioca, she suggests no sugar at all, a particular habit of so many of her descendants, to eliminate sugar in order to accentuate the other flavors

On a page of Chicken Croquettes were the markings where she had dripped on the page while trying the recipe.

And from time to time there was an extra note slipped into the pages of the book…

Someone else’s Brown Bread, someone named Mrs. Core, had the most wonderful line of all: “Sometimes we cram as many chopped raisins and chopped nuts in as our conscience will allow.”

There were three more Brown Bread recipes I stumbled upon in the book that day.

And shortly after, on my doorstep, I received the latest edition of our modern family recipe book in the mail, a compilation of six generations of recipes from the family tree. Each new addition of the book keeps the recipes of the old books, and adds the new ones collected from all of the new family members born since the last addition. It had been over 25 years since the last edition and guess what was in it?

More brown bread.

It was then that I was seized with the overwhelming realization that I wasn’t a legitimate member of the family tree.

I had never tasted, let alone made brown bread.

It was time.

It was my destiny.

Brown Bread and Me would finally intersect in the history books.

I took a moment of silence to reflect on how good this was warm with butter…

And lemon curd…

Evelyn Day Bruner would approve.

Brown Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat or graham flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Sift and mix the dry ingredients, except the baking soda.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the soda, buttermilk and molasses.
4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Stir in the walnuts.
6. Pour the mixture into a greased bread baking pan and cook for about an hour until well risen and browned on top.

 

About Georgia Pellegrini:
Georgia’s taste for simple food and outdoor adventure evolved as she grew up in the Hudson Valley. She followed her passion to the French Culinary Institute and then to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and La Chassagnette in France. Georgia is the author of “Food Heroes,” “Girl Hunter,” and the new book “Modern Pioneering.” She has appeared on Today, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Iron Chef, and much more, and her outdoor Adventure Getaways have been featured everywhere from the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal, to HBO. She lives in Austin, Texas and chronicles her adventures on her wildly popular website GeorgiaPellegrini.com and her Facebook fan page.