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Let them eat bread

Rise bread makers a hit in Cazenovia

— Jasmeen Barnes, owner of Rise bread makers, simply cannot keep her bread in stock at the weekly Cazenovia Farmers Market. There have been two markets so far this season, and the shelves of Rise bread were bare within an hour at both.

“That’s a pretty cool feeling,” said Barnes — especially since her business idea sprouted last fall, recipes were perfected during the winter, her baking facility was only finalized a few weeks ago and the May 10 farmers market was her first commercial outing.

“The Cazenovia market was hungry for a great local bread,” said Aileen Randolph, Cazenovia Farmers Market manager. “The quality of Rise’s loaves, paired with Jasmeen’s love of Cazenovia, makes the business a tremendous asset to the market and area.”

The inception of Rise as a business was a humble one. “My husband loves food; I love to cook; and I’ve always loved bread,” she said.

The part-time hair stylist at Matthews Salon in Cazenovia and full-time mother said the idea popped when Claire Hershberger – her sole current employee and partner in bread making – moved into the house next door to her last fall, they became friends and, upon tasting Barnes’s bread, Hershberger said it was the best bread she had ever had. “And I said, Claire, we can make this,” Barnes said.

The two of them — “I couldn’t do anything without Claire,” Barnes said — began thinking, cooking in Barnes’s home and perfecting recipes over the winter. Barnes uses only natural ingredients in minimal proportions — no chemicals, preservatives or generically modified ingredients (GMOs). She said the flavors in her breads come from a long fermenting period. After preparing the dough, she lets it sit for 12 to 18 hours during which the yeast rises and creates the tantalizing flavors.

Her inspiration, she said, is Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City, and her first original recipe came from a bread recipe of Lahey’s which she “transformed and made my own.” This is now Rise’s basic “boule” artisan bread — a rustic loaf with minimal ingredients that comes out with a crisp crust and a chewy center.

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