Radina’s Bakehouse

(Jim) Good morning folks. Welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, your host and we’re in luck today because we’re in Manhattan and as you can see behind me we’re at Radina’s Bakehouse where we’re gonna be meeting Wade Radina and we’re gonna be making some bread from scratch. So, come on back and see us in action.

Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

(Jim) Welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, your host. And today we’re in Manhattan, Kansas, Riley County and we’re at the Radina Bakehouse. We’re in luck because we have Wade Radina and he’s gonna be talking to us about how he got started in the baking business. And so Wade, kinda take off. Tell me how you got here. (Wade) Alright well thanks for having me. I am a Kansan, I suppose, not by birth but by privilege, my parents were both from Kansas, and raised the family in Chicago, but bought the family farm outside Scott City in the late ’70s. There was kind of a movement back to the farm. Kansas connection-I’m a K-State grad. And my wife and I wandered away for a while and found our way back in 2001, when we bought a coffee house in Aggieville and I also took a full-time teaching job at K-State, teaching business. And from 2001 to now, I left the teaching business in 2010, expanded the coffee business but always wanted to get into baking. We did bake in our coffee house but the bakery was very small and very limited. I wanted to get into artisan bread. So, we finally found a location and the opportunity to locate our bake house here in downtown Manhattan. This is a new building, new development, and opened in June of 2014. And the Bakehouse kind of has allowed us to expand our commitment to local sourcing, everything as local as we can. All the wheat we use is grown and milled in Kansas. And that’s a commitment we have. So, our primary wheat is coming out of Hudson, Kansas, with Stafford Flour. And we also use Farmer Direct out of Salina, the millhouse in Salina, for all of our whole wheat product. And so those are our primary flours that we use. (Jim) Well, it’s kind of interesting about the Stafford Mill, the Hudson Mill, is that, just tell me a little bit about the Hudson Mill. (Wade) Well, the Hudson Mill, of course, is outside Great Bend, a pretty big operation, but it is the only mill in the United States if I understand it correctly, that can trace their flour back to the farmer and the field that that wheat came out of when it was harvested. Which I think is pretty awesome. (Jim) That’s pretty awesome, that is. (Wade) And it’s great flour. It makes fantastic bread and we’re happy to use it. It’s a privilege to use it. (Jim) So, you’ve kind of put the coffee in with the Bakehouse here. You not only do breads but obviously you have pastries as well. (Wade) Yes, we do of course all of our…we’re very traditional in our approach to everything. You won’t find us Starbucking our coffee or anything like that. Our coffee, the way we serve it, the way we make it, the way we roast it, is traditional to Italy. And we do roast our coffee and that’s consistent with our philosophy, if we can do it from scratch, we do it from scratch. We’re not gonna take anything out of a box and throw it in an oven. We’re not gonna use pre-made doughs. So, that’s why we needed a big bakery with traditional equipment. And I’ll take a well trained human over a machine any day. (Jim) Yea. So, Wade stay with us. We’ve gotta take a break here now. So, folks at home now’s a good time to get a cup of coffee and we’ll be back with you in just a moment.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer and with us we have Wade Radina of Radina’s Bakehouse here in Manhattan, Kansas. And Wade I know you’re an artisan baker. So, tell me what artisan bakery is. (Wade) Alright. I’m glad you asked because that is a word that is misused and overused, I believe, a lot. Mostly for marketing reasons, but an artisan is a person who-it’s a crafts person who produces things, be it baked goods or crafts in traditional ways, using traditional methods, traditional techniques and traditional materials. And we often hear the term artisan bread. But it’s really misused. A bread can’t be a person. A bread can be artisanal. So, an artisanal product, like bread, baked goods or whatever it might be. These mugs, for instance, are made by a local artisan; it is the traditional method that we’re looking for. And it yields something unique and it yields something that you don’t find out of the industrialized process. And it’s not to say that industrialized processes don’t have their place, because they absolutely do. But there needs to be a place in the world for the artisan and the artisanal products and people certainly appreciate ‘em. (Jim) It’s a niche. Right? (Wade) It’s definitely a niche. (Jim) Well, tell us how you got the training. You don’t become an artisan baker just like that. There’s some training obviously. (Wade) Right. There’s a process and my process was kind of thrown into the fire because we had our bakery in Aggieville, which was a small operation, and as we started growing the coffee business, I actually came to a point where I promised my bakery manager that I wouldn’t open another store, without expanding the bakery first. (Jim) Uh huh. (Wade) So, the dream of this bakery was always there. And the dream was a bakery that not only could do traditional scones, muffins, pastries, but also do artisanal breads. And the difference is artisanal breads need a lot of space to become bread. It takes somewhere between 22 and 30 hours for a loaf to go from flour to bread. It needs a place to just hang out and do that. It needs a special oven to bake in, steam injected, stone lined. Our oven came from France. So, how do I get there from being a coffee guy… I was roasting my coffee which is a very complex and artisanal process, so it wasn’t a big reach to say, how do I make bread? And where I went for that information wasn’t oddly enough in Manhattan, cause we have a tremendous resource of bakery science and the American Institute of Baking here. But they don’t have the exclusively artisan approach. I ended up at the San Francisco Baking Institute in San Francisco. And that school was started by a gentleman named Michel Suas. He’s, and I may not be saying that right, cause it’s French, but he is you know, probably one of the top hundred bread bakers on the planet today. (Jim) Wade, don’t go anywhere, we’ve got more to do. And folks, you at home, don’t go anywhere either. We’ll be right back after these words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Good morning folks, welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer your host and with us we have Wade Rodina of Rodina’s Bakehouse here in Manhattan. And Wade, we’ve been here, as you know, we’ve been here since early this morning. And although I didn’t get to wear the uniform like you’re wearing, I got to help make some bread. (Wade) Yep. (Jim) Let’s kind of talk about the process. Cause it’s not just running into the grocery store and get a loaf of bread off the shelf, it’s a process. Let’s talk about that multi-grain up there. (Wade) Well, it is a process. That’s what artisanal products require. Our bread, this bread that we baked this morning was started on…so this is Wednesday morning… this bread was started on Monday night. So, Monday night we mixed up a levain, which is a natural starter. And we don’t use yeast in most of our breads, very few. We use just a starter, so for instance, this sourdough, is literally, the only ingredients are flour water and salt. That’s it. And that levain is what we are using to leaven most of our breads on here, so we build that up on Monday night. On Tuesday morning we mixed and shaped these loaves. We left them out for a set amount of time to proof. And then we put them into a large refrigerator to retard that proofing, slow it down. And that gives us some predictability in the rise. But also the longer the rise, the more flavor you’re gonna get in that bread, the acidity, the development in there, the complexity of flavor. And that’s why we don’t use commercial yeast, cause a commercial yeast would just kick start that bread and most commercial breads go through a total of, probably two to three hours of total rise time before they’re baked. Our breads go through somewhere between 22 and 30 hours of rising before we bake ‘em. And of course, the proof is in the bread, it’s in the crumb. (Jim) So, let’s talk a little bit about the sourdough here. What’s… how come there’s such a big break in that, right there in the middle? (Wade) Well, the sourdough is a good strong, I mean this is the powerhouse of all bread. And this is the very traditional. So, what we’ve got there is, we’ve got see if we can see it on there… when we score this bread, which is slicing it before it goes in the oven this bread is gonna rise one more time. When we put it in the oven all the fermentation in there is gonna go crazy. The gassing off is gonna rise that dough one more time. And if we don’t give it somewhere to go, by scoring it with a razor it’s just gonna blow the loaf apart. So, this is our score. This is how we want to control, this is the shape we were looking for in the loaf. And then what we see here, is that ear, it’s called raising and ear is a sign that we had the level of fermentation and the level of proofing in the loaf that we were looking for. So, that is something you’re looking for in an artisan loaf. And it’s also something you won’t get in a commercial fermented commercial yeast. And you see we also have a lot of small bubbles. Those bubbles are referred to as fermentation bubbles. And also a sign of a natural, very slow fermentation. With commercial yeast, what happens is that process, that metabolism is so fast that these things blow apart. (Jim) Right. (Wade) It happens so slowly in that 22-30 hour rise, that we end up being able to capture a lot of that gas and that acidity in the loaf. It just doesn’t get blown out. (Jim) So, what is this good loaf of bread supposed to sound like? (Wade) Well, you should hear it. You’re right. And I don’t know if I… (crackle sound). (Jim) Oh yea. (Wade) There’s a lot of crispiness. That’s one been out of the oven for a couple of hours. The baguette, this baguette is still warm so it’s not gonna… (crackle sound).. (Jim) Oh yea. (Wade) …quite be…once it’s at room temperature so… (Jim) I can hear it. (Wade) Baguettes should crunch. Bread should crunch. And when we get our bread from a grocery story you know, even if they call it artisan, you seldom get that level of crispness cause that’s really a reheated product. (Jim) Again, don’t go anywhere, we got another couple segments. And you folks at home, stay with us. We’ll be right back after these words.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer. We have Wade Rodina with us at Rodina’s Bakehouse. And we were just talking about the early process of the mixing time and the various aspects of the bread. Let’s continue after the proofing. Let’s continue with the process Wade. (Wade) OK. The process is, yesterday these breads after they shaped ‘em, before we went home, went into a large, for lack of a better term, retarder or refrigerator where we slowed ‘em down. When we got here this morning the first thing we do, we look at our levains. We see if they’re alive, see if they’re doing what they’re supposed to do, because if they don’t we’ve got a problem and we want to know about it as soon as possible. We check our oven, make sure it comes on; it comes on automatically. It’s heated up and where it’s supposed to be because if it’s not, we’d rather leave these in the refrigerator longer. (Jim) Right. (Wade) …before we bring ‘em back to life. And then we go and look at our breads. And when we look at ‘em, we’re pulling ‘em out. Of course they’re all on racks and we’re checking them for how long…how far did they move? And it varies from one day to the next. And it’s interesting. Despite having an air conditioned environment and everything’s controlled in there, the bread tends to behave the way the weather is outside. On a hot, humid day, the bread moves faster. Don’t ask me why. (Jim) Even though it’s cool inside. (Jim) Even though it’s still 70 degrees in our store. It’s… there’s a connection there. I don’t know if it’s mystical or whether you want to go down that road. But it’s certainly, as an artisan baker, something you have to be knowledgeable about and understand. So, we bring it out, we check it. And we’re looking for how much gas is in that bread. And if it’s ready we can load our oven. If it’s not ready, we’ll leave it out at room temperature for 15 minutes. We’ll probably go back to it about every 10 or 15 minutes. And sometimes it can be an hour. If you remember these loaves, which were in bannetons, in baskets, which is what this marking is from, they took about an hour and a half before we went into the oven with those. (Jim) You know, like you said earlier, this is an ugly loaf of bread, but let me tell you, that is tasty. That is very good. (Wade) Yea, that jalapeño cheddar, you make a grilled cheese out of that, you know you’ve got a sandwich. That’s typically our Wednesday night meal at the Rodina House, with some tomato soup. When it’s ready to go in the oven of course, we put it on a loader. This bread is proofed on what we call couche, which is a very thick linen. And that’s how we get the structure of the bread to hold while it’s going through the proofing process. We load it onto our loader and the last step before going in, and it’s a rookie mistake that some of us veterans make, is that you score the bread as we discussed earlier to get the bread to behave. And that final rise in the oven, what we call the oven bounce to control what it’s going to do. But our deck oven for bread is a still oven. So, we’re getting the heat out of the stone that’s rising up through the oven to rise our bread. And if you look at our breads, you’ll see on the bottom, that’s a hallmark of a hearth baked… we call that the foot of the bread… and that’s a hallmark of a hearth baked loaf. As a baker, personally there’s few things that get me as excited as a big oven, full of bread, baking properly. It’s just to me, it’s very beautiful. Next to a trout in a mountain stream, it’s hard to beat. (Jim) There you go, there you go. (Wade) A beautiful loaf of bread. (Jim) Hang on. We’ve gotta take a break. (Wade) OK. (Jim) Folks, stay with us, we’ll be right back after these words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, your host. And we’re in Manhattan with Wade Radina. And Wade, tell me, how does this all fit into your philosophy of Kansas, the people, the crops especially wheat, with your philosophy? (Wade) Well, you know my philosophy is, you have to control the quality. I want to serve the highest quality. And if you’re gonna do that you have to control as much production as you can. That’s why we roast our coffee. That’s why, if I can mill my flour, I’d do that too. I know I can, and I’m thinking about it. But anyway, the… you know when we get coffee in for instance, that green coffee comes in a 150 pound bag. And when I unload those trucks, when I’m roasting coffee, I am humbled to think of the work the farmer, halfway around the world, did. And I think we are so distanced, most people, from where our food comes from and the effort that goes into it. I am a Kansas kid. I was out in western Kansas harvesting wheat, shoveling wheat, 100 degrees, windy, dusty. People don’t get that when they eat their food. I do. I smell it. I taste it, every time I bake. I love that about the product. And so I want to honor that. I want to honor my ancestors who came to Kansas-Lucas, Kansas, and Scott City, Kansas, and I feel their presence, kind of looking over me sometimes. I enjoy that. You know if you look inside our store, that barn board on the wall is not something that we went down to a lumber yard and got. That came out of a granary outside of Lyons, Kansas. That was given to us by a friend’s family. And that grain mill was built in 1870. And so I believe the wood that lines our walls, and I made some of our tables out of it, has probably held at least 100 years…a 100 harvests, if you will, against it. And so when I see that and I think of all the work…you know one of the most awesome sights in the world for me personally is to see several combines working a field. (Jim) Oh yea. That’s great. (Wade) That’s moving for me. And it takes me back to my childhood and I see all those things when I see this. And I want my family to be aware of it and I want to bring that into my community. So, I hope that’s what we’re doing. (Jim) That’s great. Now, there’s one aspect we haven’t talked about. And that’s your wife Annette’s chocolate shop. (Wade) Aahh. We’d be remiss not to do that. (Jim) Exactly. (Wade) The best part of the operation is my wife and followed closely by her chocolate. She is a certified chocolatier from the school called On Chocolat, which is I’m sorry, not On Chocolat, Ecole Chocolat, which is a Canadian, French Canadian chocolate school. She makes her chocolate here in the Bakehouse. We have a separate room. Humidity and temperature controlled. Chocolate’s pretty finicky. And we sell that chocolate here and also in our cafes. (Jim) Now, how does someone get ahold of you or learn more about this operation? (Wade) Well, probably the fastest, easiest way, if you’re not in Manhattan is go to our website, which is rodinasbakehouse.com. So, that’s probably the easiest way. Or if you’re in Manhattan, Kansas, we’ve got of course, our Bakehouse located right here downtown. If you’re coming downtown, driving Fort Riley Boulevard, you’re gonna drive past it. And then we also have three other locations, coffee houses around town-one on campus, one in Aggieville and one on the west side. (Jim) Wade, thanks for taking time to be on That’s My Farm. I really appreciate it. (Wade) You bet. (Jim) And folks, thanks for being with us as well. Don’t forget next week, we’ll have another issue of That’s My Farm.

Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

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