Shamira Heinz, Heartfire Bakery

Update — it looks like Heartfire Bakery is closed…

Shamira Heinz is a baker, but she hasn’t chosen a easy subject — she is a gluten-free baker!  My one experience making a gluten free pizza was to create something that was closer in texture to playdough, and honestly, from my childhood recollections it might have tasted like that too!

So I am very fascinated by people who have blended the art of bread products with the relatively new science of getting them to behave like their gluten-filled cousins.  Sure, tortillas have been around for a very long time and have always been gluten free, I’m talking about quickbreads and muffins and loaves of crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside breads.  Shamira is one of our local entrepreneurs who has found the sweet spot.  Listen here to the interview.

Heartfire Bakery is located in Arcata!

Josh Bergen, JoshFox Bread

Ah seriously — who doesn’t love someone you’ve never met before who arrives for the interview carrying two freshly baked loaves of old world style bread and a box of cookies.  After thanking Josh Bergen (whom I mistakenly called Josh Fox), I sneaked back to the studio and Jessica Eden and I broke open the box of cookies — three varieties!  which to try first?!  Cocoa Rye Crinkle, 100% Whole Grain Oatmeal Raisin, and  100% Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie — Oh yeah — and we remembered to take photos after the box was…mostly empty!  IMG_1521

The loaf of bread I took home IMG_1522You are so lucky I remembered to photograph that before it was all gone too.  I smeared it with a big slab of butter (my grandmother used to say that I applied butter like some people apply cheese to a sandwich…was there something wrong with that?)  My new favorite butter is Rumiano — very inexpensively priced at the co-op but you have to buy it in a 1 lb block…obviously I don’t have any problem with a block of butter that size!

So here is the deal — Josh sells his bread to his faithful followers — how do you become a follower?  Text him — I know, I know you luddites — but trust me, it’s worth it.  He will text you a list of what he is baking up — you tell him what you want off that list (in a text – get over it already) and tell him when you will pick up your goods within the time frame he has told you.  Then you go to his home — yes, his home — where he bakes up these wonderful miraculous chewy — oh I salivate — anyway — go to his home at 1372 Lincoln Ave #A in Arcata, and pick them up.  His text number?  914-582-8806 — email at

In Bread We Trust — listen here!IMG_1523

Camp Grant Ranch, John LaBoyteaux

Update on Camp Grant Ranch — October 2016

If you hang around long enough and volunteer to pick pumpkins with John LaBoyteaux, then you are lucky enough to get an invitation to The Last Pumpkin Waltz harvest party.  The day was the stormiest on the north coast in a long time, water was pooling on Hwy 101 and coming from the sky in a great deluge.  I was a little worried I’d arrive to find that the party had been canceled — but of course, you know these tough Humboldt County folk — I wasn’t the only one who braved the storm to head down to Camp Grant Ranch.  Loads of home cooked foods were consumed, followed by pumpkin carving — which was good, because that was followed by a tasting of Alchemy Distillery Boldt Whiskey — in a fabulous drink that made all of that rain outside seem like a sunny day.  Not sure I would have handled the pumpkin carving knives well if I’d had whiskey first!big-ole-boldt-sunrise-recipe-card

Amy Bohner shows off a bottle of Boldt Whiskey -- which was promptly consumed by those attending!

Amy Bohner shows off a bottle of Boldt Whiskey — which was promptly consumed by those attending!


John LaBoyteaux checks out the label of his own personal bottle, a gift from Amy and Steve Bohner from Alchemy Distillery.


Sally carved this pumpkin before consuming the shot of Boldt Whiskey — honest!


However — Sally was happy to be the recipient of the first shot…


The label shows AGS-104 Rye as the grain varietal; the farm is Camp Grant Family Farm, Location is Clover Crossing, Lake County.

If you’ve followed the local food movement in Humboldt, I’m sure you’ve come across the name John LaBoyteaux — John generously donates much of his time to share his thoughts about supporting local farmers and land use issues.  He is one of the pioneers who is bringing wheat back to Humboldt.  That’s right, I said “back” to Humboldt.  In the early 1900’s Humboldt County was an award winning region for growing wheat.  These were smaller pieces of land that used smaller pieces of equipment to work them — not the giant combines you picture in the great plains region.  John recently helped with an effort to study different varieties at the College of the Redwoods farm down in Shively — soft and hard wheats that will soon be available at farmers markets.  John has worked with Rhonda Wiedenbeck from Beck’s Bakery to grow some varieties that she can include in her products so we can once again eat bread made from wheat grown in Humboldt.

At the end of August 2016 I was invited to a wheat harvest at Camp Grant Ranch — photos below give a small taste of the wondrous barrels of wheat that will make their way into Rhonda Wiedenbeck’s bread (Beck’s Bakery) and Steve and Amy’s spirits (Alchemy Distillery)…as well as some of my own pastries and breads!

rhonda-and-instagram rhonda-hand-winnowing-1 rhonda-hand-winnowing-2 steve-watches-the-process straw-1 straw-2 straw-3 tight-shot-grain-2 tight-shot-grain tractor-and-fig wheat-grain-in-the-hopper wheat-on-barrel and-the-belt-goes-on cutting-the-wheat cutting-wheat-2 full-tractor grain-and-chaff grain-in-barrels-1 grain-in-motion grain-in-the-hopper-in-motion john-checks-on-progress john-grain-in-barrel john-in-his-element john-on-tractor john-teaching-next-gen-farmer miss-america

Listen Now!

Los Bagels, Dennis Rael

So my own personal favorite Los Bagels story has to do with the fact that Los Bagels is my bagel place.  I’ve lived in Humboldt County for over 30 years and if I’m going to eat a bagel, that’s where I’m going.  A couple of years ago I was down in the Bay Area at Noah’s Bagels, stood in line, got to the register and asked for a Jalapeno Bagel with Cream Cheese and Guacamole.  Well…WHO KNEW?!  They don’t serve that fabulous item, they looked at me like I’d dropped in from another planet — well, I did!  Planet Humboldt — beam me up Scotty!

Listen Here

Los Bagels Website Here

Glee Brandon, Glee the Baker

I had been hearing about Glee for years — so I finally introduced myself at the Farmers Market in Arcata.  Glee is in touch with the farmers who are growing local grains, she mills the grain herself — and makes lots of delicious items using local grains and local produce.  To listen to an interview with Glee, click here.

Beck’s Bakery, Rhonda Wiedenbeck

FullSizeRender(4) FullSizeRender(5)I am so happy to be able to offer this interview with Rhonda Wiedenbeck.  Rhonda is a friend — I’ve been following her journey to opening this bakery for quite a while.  She has worked so hard to develop great recipes using local grain, she even has a mill in her bakery where she grinds Humboldt Grain.  Yes Humboldt Grain — I capitalized it on purpose!…so exciting —
To listen to the interview with Rhonda about her bakery, click here.

To go to her website, click here.

Reah Roberts, Arise Bakery

Reah Roberts, owner of Arise Bakery, makes gluten-free baked goods and is working to establish a CSB…that would be a Community Supported Bakery.  Members join and every week receive an assortment of the various items she is making. Reah also sells her tasty gluten-free items at the Saturday Farmers Market in Arcata.

To listen to an interview with Reah, click here.

Heidi Hansen, No Knead Bread

Heidi Hansen is Saint Heidi as far as I’m concerned. 

About 2 years ago, Laina (my co-worker in a previous life) told me about a revolutionary way of making bread.  Everyone loved it, it came out perfect every time.  Now…I make good bread…and have occasionally made great bread — the kind you gobble down as soon as it arrives steamy from the oven with loads of butter…mmmm — (I’m salivating just thinking about it — but, back to the story).  Even though I was pretty sure about my bread skills but thought…what the heck, I can always learn something new.  Laina says that her friend Heidi makes the bread, it’s so easy to make — and involves a dutch oven.  I’m intrigued… and a 12-24 hour first rise and absolutely no kneading.  What?! — Ok — I’m in.

To listen to an interview with St. Heidi, click here — then, go buy a 5 qt cast iron dutch oven if you don’t already have one and start baking!  Seriously beautiful delicious bread (use Shakefork Farm rye and barley flour for 2-3 cups of total flour) that is great warm and as sandwich bread for the rest of the week (really!)

Loleta Bakery

News: Sorry to say the news is that the Loleta Bakery is closed — I will really miss this place!  I hope all the best for Peter and Jeanne, don’t know why they closed but it certainly wasn’t for lack of great food. 

The Loleta Bakery is located on Main St. in the little village of Loleta and is owned by Peter and Jeanne Van Der Zee.  An interview will be posted at a later date.  The pastries, breads and lunches are fantastic, a must see when in the Eel River area.  Everyone in the bakery is warm and welcoming — I recommend a trip to the Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge and stopping at Loleta Bakery for a chocolate croissant…or parmesan pesto croissant — I’ve also stopped for lunch before going to the Ferndale Rep for a play — A few photos to tease you until you have a chance to stop by for warm buttery pastries!  To listen to the interview click here.

Peter and Jeanne Van der Zee, Owners of Loleta Bakery

Willis McCartney is pouring out some freshly ground wheat flour

Rosie Venza is cooking up lunch — looks like Lasagna today!

Season Pineda chops up some rich chocolate for a ganache…

Coming soon…sourdough bread as a regular feature! This is the starter…

Kristen LaFever wraps a loaf of honey wheat bread…

No Knead Bread Recipes

New Report from the No-Knead Bread Contingent…

August 2016 — Chef April Goess from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) made the sourdough no-knead bread…Chef Aprils Bread

Zeal’s Sourdough Starter — Bubble-licious!

Zeals starter

May 3rd, 2012 — Another posting from the No-Kneaders…this time in photos from Lee and Lea!

Kitchen Goddesses!

On April 10, 2012 the Northcoast Co-op once again allowed me to spread my evangelical fervor about the no-knead sourdough bread making — the result?  another convert and another perfect loaf — go Karen!

April 17, 2012 — “I took the bread dough to my friend’s house yesterday because I gave her some starter and thought it would be good to share the experience with her.  Here is the picture of our PERFECT bread.  Her husband took the picture and they emailed it to me this morning.  Thank you again.” Karen Furber

June 28, 2011 — Pat Bitton emailed to say her favorite way so far is bacon bread…so I had to ask…how?!  She sent this description and gave permission to post it — lucky us!

Hi Jennifer

John Salizzoni gave me the idea – and it worked!

I made the first rise of my basic bread – which is 2 cups bread flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour (Shakefork when possible) and 2 cups Shakefork barley flour – remainder as per your standard recipe. Then I mix in ½ lb of bacon that’s been cooked and chopped small (not quite crumbled – I like to be able to see the pieces), knead for 3-4 minutes, and do the second rise. Complete as normal.



Thank you for your bread making class. I have made two loaves so far.  The first loaf I know I made an error (forgot how much water I was putting in).  It was OK, but not Jennifer level.  The second loaf I paid attention and it turned out picture perfect (evidence below!).  This email is to follow through on your request for a report with a picture.  Attached is a full file-sized version of the photo on the left.
Carolyn and Charlie
Jennifer: I made my first loaf of “Jennifer’s No Knead Sourdough Bread”.  It was great.  Just as you described. Crunchy outside.  Soft and moist inside. Thanks.  Peggy

I made it, you were right, the end crusts are to die for!  The dough went in very off center… flopped up on one side….and came out like it went in perfectly flat.  I added barley flour and a hand full of ground flax seed (no extra H20) I wasn’t sure about that but it worked and made the bread have pleasing dark speckles.I did not send you a pic because we ate it for breakfast and lunch and whats left is not as pretty as it was when it popped out.Thank you thank you thank you for teaching us this sourdough bread recipe.

My Dad got in to sourdough when we went drove to Alaska when our family was young.  We popped 5 tires on the Alaskan Highway.  He read us books about the “Sourdough” men of Alaska fame and got some himself.  We had sourdough pancakes my whole childhood.  Now my Dad has passed on his love of sourdough to my sister her three grown kids and me and my grown kids.  However, try as we did we only made waffles, pancakes, and could never make bread.  I even thought I would see if I could help the night baker at the Co-op to find out how to make sourdough bread.

So thanks to you I have mailed copies of your recipes to my Dad, sister and her kids and will send them to mine as well!Oh by the way my sisters name is Jennifer too :)Great Bread to you always,Jan

hi jennifer
i took your so very enjoyable class monday night ,purchased a 5 qt dutch oven and made  a “sort of  okay but not really” loaf .can you help me?i used 5 cups white flour, 1 cup barley flour. everything seems like the same as you did, but i set my gas oven at 475 degrees.after 30 minutes, it was pretty pale, so i put it back in for about 7 or 8 minutes.this browned it a bit more, but it was not as brown as your work of art.  the crust was-is -nice and crunchy but inside is very moist and dense and i guess, underdonedo you think 500 degrees would have made a difference?  it seemed to be about the same size as your loaf,so i guess it rose okaysure had a great smell and i love that starter!
thanks again for sharing your knowledge.  i really want to get it right  thank you vicki (it seems some ovens need to be turned up to 500 degrees, either it is that the thermostat is off, but also gas ovens seem to need the higher temp, Jennifer)

This is from Harold from Eureka…”I attended your no-knead sourdough bread class at Eureka Co-op, I wasn’t able to find a thrift store dutch oven, so came up with a third best solution of using a blue enamel roasting pot. But, each time I made the dough, I didn’t allow for the time it takes to make it, so I ended up taking it over to my girlfriends house, and with her kitchen’s oven, the final step was achieved, but I always wanted to do all the steps myself, and today I did It, and I’m eating my own completely made myself sourdough bread, with cornmeal. Thank you for showing me the enjoyment of making sourdough bread. I don’t have the capability to take and send you a picture, but it looks and tastes great.”

In January the North Coast Co-op gave me the opportunity to teach a No-Knead Sourdough Bread class — and I asked participants to email photos of their bread and innovative techniques they used to improve on the original recipe.  Ellen, from Arcata sent the following…doesn’t it make you hungry?!

From Ellen…”I baked the loaf in my Dutch oven and sprayed water just before putting the lid on,which gives you a great top. I used 3 cups of unbleached organic white flour, 2 cups of organic whole wheat flour and 1 cup of Shakefork Egyptian barley flour (I grind this flour fresh in my flour mill), it turned out great. I had a starter at home already,but mine is much more sour than yours. Both are nice! I have baked 3 loaves already,and the 4th one is baking right now.The only peculiar thing is that my dough seems to rise much faster than 18-24 hrs., even though the dough is quite heavy duty.I can get the first rising done in about 8 hrs, then 1.5 hrs in the tea towel and then into the oven. Anyway, I thought you’d enjoy this little report.”

Heidi Hansen passed on her recipes to a friend of mine which got me started baking no-knead bread — and kicked off my evangelical desires to get everyone baking bread using these slow-rise methods.  Heidi’s recipe is as follows — my sourdough recipe which I adapted from other recipes is listed next.

Heidi’s Bread

 Mix  – in electric mixer!

3 Cups Flour

1¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Yeast

1 ½ Cups Water

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 12-18 Hrs.

Next Day:

–         Sprinkle kitchen counter with flour and turn dough onto counter.  Then sprinkle dough with more flour and cover lightly with dishtowel.  Let rise for another 2 Hrs.

–         Place Pot with lid in oven (Le Creuset, or other) and preheat to 500°F.

–         Turn dough into pot and put on lid.  Bake for 30 min.

–         Now take off lid and bake for another 5 min.  Cool on a rack!


I have a large Le Creuset pot and dbl. the amounts of ingredients, otherwise my bread will be kind of flat.  The above is a white bread recipe (very good), but I like to add all kind of grains.  Here is my recipe for that (dbl portion):


If you want to bake off a loaf during the work week, it works to mix ingredients before going to bed.  You can then finish the bread in the

afternoon after work and have fresh bread for your dinner.  Otherwise, mix in the afternoon and finish the next morning.

Heidi’s Whole Grain Bread

Mix (in electric mixer)

5 ½ – 6 Cups Flour

2 ½ tsp. Salt

¼ – ½ tsp. Yeast

¼ Cup each of Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Millet,  Black Sesame Seeds

1 ½ Tbsp. Flax meal  (keep in airtight container in fridge)

3 Cups Water

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 12-18 Hrs.

Next Day:

–         Sprinkle kitchen counter with flour and turn dough onto counter.  Then sprinkle dough with more flour and cover lightly with dishtowel.  Let rise for another 2 Hrs.

–         Place Pot with lid in oven (Le Creuset, or other) and preheat to 500°F.

–         Turn dough into pot and put on lid.  Bake for 30 min.

–         Now take off lid and bake for another 5 min.  Cool on a rack!


You can get creative with what you add to the basic recipe.  I have tried pecans and cranberries together, or shredded carrots with oats and pumpkins seeds.  You can make the bread even hardier by adding whole wheat berries (boiled for 20 min, drained and cooled before adding).  There are no rules – that’s the fun part.

Jennifer’s No Knead Sourdough Bread

This recipe has been adapted from two bread recipes, along with several successful trials. One recipe from Food: Field Report called Pane Integrale (Whole-Wheat Bread) and the other from for Sourdough bread.  This loaf is gigantic and will be as big as your dutch oven.  It lasts us about a week, but we eat a lot of bread.

4 c. organic white flour

2 c. organic whole wheat flour or 2 cups whole wheat, and 1 cup Shakefork Farm Barley or Rye flour

1 3/4 tbl  salt

1/4 tsp yeast

3/4 c. sourdough starter

2.5 cups cold water (non chlorinated – I use Britta filtered water.

Mix the 2 flours, salt and yeast together in a large mixing bowl (great results with 3 cups whole grain, 3 cups white).  Make a well, pour in sourdough starter and water, mix with a spoon (you can use your hands, it will be sticky though).  Cover with a towel and leave on a countertop – it shouldn’t be somewhere very warm because it will be raising for 18-24 hours.

After the dough has raised for 18-24 hours, pour a bit of flour (1/4 – ½ cup) over the dough and scrape the dough away from the side of the bowl with your fingers – squish it into a nice, round ball — using enough flour that it isn’t super sticky.  Set the dough on the middle of your tea towel and gently fold the flaps over the dough to cover.

In 1.5 hours put a dutch oven, including the lid on it, in the over at 460 (this is going to vary depending on the accuracy of your oven, some ovens need to be at 500)– Let it heat up for ½ hour.  Slide the oven rack with the dutch oven out a little bit, take the lid off and set on something heatproof on the counter, put some cornmeal on the bottom of the pot, and gently slide the dough into the pot.  Put the lid on and slide back into the oven.  Cook for 35 minutes without peeking! – Take the lid off and cook until top of bread is browned, about 5-10 minutes in my oven.

The oven part of this is very hot – it is like doing raku with ceramics – scary-fun!  — but I would be very very careful – cast iron at 460 is very likely to burn you badly.

As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, use a butter knife to pop it loose from the bottom of the pot and put it on a wire rack (using hotpads).  It should pop out very easily.  Be careful since the pot is still scalding hot.  Place the bread on a wire rack to cool.

This bread is very moist and dense –makes a great sandwich bread for several days (unusual for homemade bread) – it is very rustic, great with Italian meals or soup and makes the most excellent toast ever eaten (seriously!) –

Please, please, please – try this recipe – it will totally turn you on to bread making!

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