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New Amsterdam Market – Opening Day 2012

Yesterday marked the opening of what is probably my favorite local market in New York City: New Amsterdam Market.  To kick off their 2012 season, they featured breads made with locally-grown grains.  I love to eat good bread, especially ones with personality and heft, so this was a wonderful edible exploration for me.  It was so difficult to choose only a few loaves to bring home at the end of the day, especially as I also had to make room in my shopping bag for the other fantastic-tasting items that were also for sale in the market.

Local grains on display

For those bakers and chefs who are interested in finding out more about working with locally-grown grains and in learning additional details about how to source these products, there was a table at the market by Greenmarket Regional Grains Project and Organic Growers Research & Information Network.  Also check out the stand that Cayuga Pure Organics has at the Union Square Greenmarket.

Bakeri Baguettes

How cute would your bike look all decked out with one of these French baguettes from Bakeri in Brooklyn nestled in the basket?  A nibble of this bread might even make you feel as though you’d skipped off to Paris, albeit without the jet lag.

Bien Cuit Display

I haven’t yet made it over to this Brooklyn bakery, but I keep hearing rave reviews about it from the Twitterverse and others.  This was probably one of the most intricate baked displays that I saw all day.

BR Guest Rosemary-Raisin Rye Sourdough

One bite of this slightly tangy, deeply flavorful bread with woodsy and sweet notes combined, and my brain cells were musing, “So, could I really fit another loaf of bread in the freezer to have on standby?”  Alas, I couldn’t figure out how to do that just yet, but this bread is high on my list of ones to try to cram in there the next time I find it.

Lovely loaves from Bread Alone

I’ve long been a fan of the array of products made by Bread Alone, which I can find at the Greenmarkets, so I was glad to see them yesterday.  This Apple Cider Levain (made with local cider as well as locally-grown grains), would be idea for bringing along on a picnic.  I also encourage you to track down their other fantastic products as well.

Dean & Deluca Baguette Du Perche

Made of barley flour, this baguette had the perfect crisp exterior and fluffy interior.  It was light and delicate-tasting inside, and I never would have known that it wasn’t made with regular wheat.

Pane Integrale Regionale by Grandaisy Bakery

Hands down, one of my favorite, portable snacks to have when I’m on the go is a slice of potato, mushroom or zucchini pizza from Grandaisy Bakery in Soho.  Their whole wheat bread is tasty as well, so it was hard to resist picking up a loaf to tuck away in my freezer.

Fresh Tortillas from Hot Bread Kitchen

Almost every week, I stop by and pick up a Multi-grain Boule from Hot Bread Kitchen to keep on hand for toast and sandwiches.  They also have other kinds of breads, including another favorite of mine, the M’smen, and packets of tortillas, which would be a key ingredient to help celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend.

Ciabatta loaves from Il Buco Alimentari

Just looking at these incredible loaves of Ciabatta from Il Buco Alimentari, and I was whisked back to my life in Italy where a simple panino could be the tastiest of creations, especially when made on bread that looks as amazing as this.

Janet’s Quality Baked Goods Country Pain d’Oro

If I heard correctly when she was talking to one of my friends, Janet will be at New Amsterdam Market on other Sundays as well.  This is fantastic news as her soft, crispy loaves were another of the ones that I just wanted to pick up and stash away for later.  She said she also makes croissants and focaccia and other breads to sell at the markets.

Nordic Breads Finnish Rye Bread

This is another staple for my freezer, and I was badly in need of stocking up on some of the hearty and tangy Finnish Rye Bread by Nordic Breads.  Perfect with cheese, butter and jam, or smoked fish, these are a great platform for many culinary creations.  I used them as the base for the Smoked Salmon with Mustard Crème Fraîche appetizers for my holiday party last year.

Levain Locale by Orwasher’s Bakery

Would you look at these beauties?  Just seeing these incredible loaves made me stop in my tracks, even after I’d snapped this photo, to gaze at their loveliness.  It was a bit embarrassing as the person behind the table at Orwasher’s knows me from many a food event where they so graciously supply their rich, dense breads.  Eating locally?  This bread is made about 16 blocks from where I live, which is pretty local in this day and age.

Le Pain Quotidien‘s Sunflower Seed-Rye Fougasse

Perfect for grabbing a breakfast pastry or for having an afternoon coffee meeting, I’ve long enjoyed visiting Le Pain Quotidien‘s many locations in the city.  This is one bread I’ve never seen there, but after tasting it at the market, I’m going to be keeping my eyes peeled to find it again.  For those looking to learn how to make their breads at home, they are now offering baking classes.

Whole Wheat Olive Oil Brioche by Roberta’s

I know it probably sounds as though I enjoyed all the breads that were at the market yesterday, and the truth is that every one I tried was pretty great.  That said, however, this Whole Wheat Olive Oil Brioche was in a league of its own.  It was phenomenal!  What didn’t hurt, of course, was that the samples of this fragrant, light, supple loaf were served alongside Anarchy in a Jar fruit spread.  What a perfect marriage of sweet and savory flavors!

Runner & Stone‘s Roasted Potato & Garlic Chive Levain

Dense and hearty, this bread didn’t have the super strong garlicy-chive taste I was expecting, which would make it a great all-around bread to keep on hand.  I’ve been tasting this company’s products at a few markets lately, so I was glad to see that New Amsterdam Market will be a regular location for them.  It will be interesting to see what they come up with next to tempt our tastebuds.

Pizza by Co. coming out of the oven

Remember the No-Knead Pizza Dough recipe I tested out several weeks back?  The creator of it, as well as the No-Knead Bread Recipe, Jim Lahey was at the market yesterday doing a pizza-making demo.  Looking at my photos now and comparing it to what was pulled out of their portable oven, I can see a real difference that technique makes in pulling together this dish.  It would probably also help if my home oven could get up to the 800 degrees Fahrenheit (no, that is not a typo) that the one they used yesterday can generate to get that perfect char on the crust.

As much as I love baked things, even I cannot live on bread alone. The market yesterday was also filled with local produce, jams, preserves, meats, fish, sweets, and other edible delights. It was so much that I created a photostream in Flickr so that I could share my excursion with you.

Buon appetito!

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