Baker Arek Szewc of Loaf
Arek Szewc is from a town near Krakow, Poland and spent a number of years training and working in the UK before making Fernie home. As head baker of Loaf Bakery, Arek makes every single loaf of bread fresh each morning at the bakery. He is a gifted artisanal baker who prides himself on making loaves by hand in the old fashion and traditional ways.
Arek began baking at home with his grandmother when he was a young boy. The bread they made together was renowned as the best in town and Arek claims it was because it was made from a traditional recipe and baked in their old wood stove with a stone base. Local townspeople would often go to their home to buy their bread, or trade it for eggs and milk or other things they were interested in bartering.
When Arek’s grandmother passed away he carried on the tradition of making the bread for the family and to trade. At the time, he was in school studying to become an auto mechanic and it wasn’t long before he realized that there were few jobs in that field and that his real passion was baking. Arek decided to take a two-year bread-baking course in Poland. This led to a job working in a bakery in Dorset, England where he worked with a master baker for three years learning to make traditional bread such as sourdough and rye.
With an interest in learning to bake with organic ingredients Arek, found a job in Norfolk, England at an organic bakery. This was an exciting time for Arek as he worked with bakers from all over Europe and learned the bread making traditions from each culture - from French baguette to German rye and pumpernickel to name just a few.
Arek eventually moved back to Dorset to work for a large multinational company who specialized in delivering organic baked goods to people’s doorstep. It was around this time that he met Phil of Loaf who was in the process of leaving the UK to move to Fernie to open a bakery. Phil asked Arek if he would be interested in moving to Canada to be his head baker and luckily for all of us, Arek whole-heartedly agreed.
Loaf Bakery’s Chocolate Croissant Pudding
4 chocolate croissants
Butter for greasing
350ml/12fl oz milk
50ml/2fl oz thick cream
25g/1oz granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Icing sugar for dusting
- Grease a 1 litre/2 pint pie dish with the butter.
- Cut the croissants into thick slices and arrange them in the dish.
- Warm the milk and cream in a pan over a low heat to scalding point. Don’t let it boil.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar and vanilla essence then lightly whisk together.
- Pour the warm milk and cream mixture over the eggs and whisk well to create the custard.
- Pour the custard over the croissants and leave to stand while you preheat oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.
- Press the mix down into the dish to make sure the croissants are soaked in the custard.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden-brown.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve hot with ice cream or pouring cream.
This recipe works equally well with slices of bread (cut into triangles and buttered) – try raisin bread with a pinch of nutmeg instead of vanilla, or chocolate bread would be perfect too.
Local Food News ~
Max Restaurant, Park Place Lodge ~ Taking inspiration from its sister restaurant in Spokane, WA, the Park Place Lodge has rolled out a new menu including Tournedoes of Filet Mignon, Moroccan Couscous with Tofu & Portabello, Seared Ahi Tuna on Ciabatta with Sweet Potato Fries. Learn more at facebook.com/parkplacelodge.
Cincott Organic Market ~ The new location is now open at 561 L Hwy 3, from 10-6:30pm Mon-Sat and 10-4pm on Sunday. A great selection of grocery items, produce, drinks, dairy, and if all goes as planned organic meats. At the Cafe at 851 - 7th Ave they offer 1/2 price organic wine with mussels on Tuesdays and 1/2 price organic beers with a BBQ feature dish Thursdays.
Picnic Restaurant and Social ~ Martini Mondays are continuing, but no longer feature DJ Friendly Fire.
The Fernie Hotel ~ April 10 is their final Orphan Night. A great meal for a great deal - $9 for lasagna and salad.
Loaf Bakery, Café & Pizzeria ~ Loaf and the Fernie Brewing Co have teamed up to create a sourdough made with whole roasted malt grains and First Trax ale and a whole wheat made with FBC "mash", poppy seeds and honey. Loaf Pizzeria also has new menu items: a $10 entrée salad and $7 kids' pizzas available every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 5pm-close alongside Loaf's usual range 12" thin crust pizzas.