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Running Stone Bread Goes for Toast

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Running Stone Bread - COURTESY OF RUNNING STONE BREAD
  • Courtesy of Running Stone Bread
  • Running Stone Bread

In a gristmill, the "bed" stone is fixed, while the "running" stone moves. Grain is crushed into flour between them. When Bread & Butter Farm cofounder Adam Wilson left the Shelburne farm to focus on baking, he renamed his operation Running Stone Bread.

The bakery, like its namesake, is mobile. Although it's currently situated on rented land in Huntington, the business, complete with wood-fired oven, is built inside shipping containers. When the baker moves, his operation can move with him.

Soon — using a new mill built by Andrew Heyn of Elmore Mountain Bread — Wilson will grind 100 percent of the flour he uses. Much of Running Stone's grain comes from Vermont farmers, and his focus is turning it into dense, European-style breads that are full-flavored and delicious. Given their high levels of hydration, the loaves also keep for a long time.

With the help of partner Erik Weil, Wilson turns out more than 600 loaves per week, including polenta-rosemary, seed-and-grain and a new gluten-free variety. He sells them at the Burlington Farmers Market, as well as to co-ops, stores and, recently, Winooski's Misery Loves Co.

At the market, hungry shoppers can try out "fat toast," a little snack that Wilson and Weil like to make at home using pan drippings. They offer at least three varieties: Mountain Home Farm butter and jam; coconut oil and honey; and spiced, rendered beef tallow smeared with Does' Leap goat cheese and fresh herbs from their garden. Brisket toast with pickled red onion is a frequent special.

The toast's wild popularity may spur Wilson to hire a third person to help at the market, he said. Selling toast has eliminated the need for Running Stone to offer costly free samples, and it's lucrative: "It's not equal to bread sales, but it's a great addition," Wilson says.


The original print version of this article was headlined "Toast of the Town"

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