By Sarah Mausert
Are you a fan of La Farm Bakery? If so, anticipate new and exciting things from the popular Cary bakery. If you are not yet, I do not think it would take more than a few bites of some of their delicious breads and pastries to convert you. The bakery has a new production facility on Chatham Street in downtown Cary that they are excited to share with you.
Master Baker Lionel Vatinet and his wife, Missy, opened La Farm in Cary in 1999. In 2009, the bakery expanded to include a café that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have a truck that serves breads, pastries, and sandwiches. Additionally, you can find their products at several local Whole Foods locations and local farmers markets. At La Farm, there is a focus on sourcing local ingredients like flours from Asheville and Pinehurst. They also sell products from local places such as the Goat Lady Dairy.
The new facility is exciting for several reasons. The first and most obvious is space. Bakers now have plenty of room to work. There is also ample cooler space to store grains in order to keep them as fresh as possible and new proofing coolers to allow breads to rise 12 to 18 hours to fully develop depth of flavor and complexity of fermentation. The extra space will also allow increased experimentation with fermentation with the intention of creating new breads, new techniques, and increased grain variety. The state of the art duct system circulates air throughout the facility to ensure that crust does not form on the dough during production. There is also a separate, temperature-controlled pastry room. Baking bread requires a warmer room temperature to foster fermentation than what is usually optimal for working with finicky pastries. The facility also boasts two ovens, one of which has six stones, for baking all of that delicious, hand-shaped bread. Below, M. Vatinet demonstrates how bread is inserted into and retrieved from the oven.
The bakery offers a variety of breads using different grains like rye, whole wheat, and multigrain. When I visited the new production facility, a crowd favorite was made with buckwheat, which had a natural sweetness to it. We also sampled several sandwiches; my personal favorite was the Mediterraneo which had oven-roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinaigrette on toasted focaccia. Also available is a tasty granola with sesame seeds in it.
The new facility will be open Monday through Saturday 7AM-6PM. Although initially available items will be limited to grab-and-go items such as breads, pastries, water, and tea, there are several tables available for customers who prefer to eat in. The plan is to expand soon with sandwiches, lattes, and cappuccinos. The La Farm Bread Truck will also be on hand 10:30-2:30 offering breakfast and lunch items. Lastly, you can check out their website for classes as M. Vatinet continues to honor his pledge to educate others in the art of baking as a guild member of Les Compagnons du Devoir.
Head to La Farm and get your bread on!