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Small Pleasures: Backdoor Bread Granola (and a Baguette)

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Backdoor Bread granola - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Backdoor Bread granola
One of my pandemic hobbies has been leaving home for food. I don’t mean walking three blocks to City Market, but rather driving to Shelburne for eggs or the Roots Farm Market in Middlesex to buy spinach, potatoes and onions. Before attacking me for this heedless waste of resources, consider the efficiency: Sometimes I get a brownie and hummus at Red Hen Baking, down the road from the market.

Consistent with this activity, on Tuesday I drove 10 miles to buy bread at Backdoor Bread in Charlotte. The whole-grain bread bakery is owned and operated by Jim and Lynn Williams, who formerly owned Seven Stars Bakery in Providence, R.I.

The bakery is in a renovated barn at the family’s home on Hinesburg Road. They opened a small retail shop there in late summer 2019, after selling bread for a few months at Philo Ridge Farm. The retail space, open Tuesdays and Fridays, is a consequence of customer requests, Jim said. People who bought his bread at Philo Ridge asked if they could get it at the bakery.



“So I asked the health department, I asked zoning, and they said, ‘Knock yourself out. Go for it,’ ‘’ Williams said.

Williams doesn't purchase any flour. He mills his own using a stone mill that's made in Elmore at New American Stone Mills. The grain is freshly milled for each bake.

I bought two loaves the other day, including a baguette whose golden-brown color on the inside is close in shade to the color of its crust. Not what you expect to find when you tear off a piece of baguette, but a beautiful sign of what’s to come when you eat it.

“Everything that I do is 100 percent whole grain,” Williams said. “I don’t use any white flour in anything.” Nothing is sifted out during milling.

The baguette is made with a variety of wheat called Redeemer, grown by Nitty Gritty Grain Co. of Charlotte. Its color and flavor come from the bran, Williams said.

“I want it to be good bread,” he said. “I don’t want it to be, Oh, it’s good, but it’s whole wheat. I want somebody to buy it because they think it tastes good.”

Backdoor Bread granola with yogurt and pears - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Backdoor Bread granola with yogurt and pears
I came upon a second taste treat on my trip to Backdoor Bread — an impulse buy of granola. It, too, is golden brown. Organic oats are mixed with almonds, raisins, sesame seeds, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and cardamom.

Granola is often too sweet for me, but Backdoor’s is not. It’s also the right consistency: crunchy and whole. The toasty oats aren’t clumped together but each its own little entity, like the seeds, nuts and raisins.

But Williams thinks it’s the maple syrup from up the road that makes the granola so good. He gets it from Pat Leclaire of Patalin’s Sugarworks.

“His syrup is great,” Williams said. “Old-fashioned, wood-fired, no reverse osmosis.”

Small Pleasures is an occasional column that features delicious and distinctive Vermont-made snacks or drinks that pack a punch. Send us your favorite little bites or sips with big payoff at food@sevendaysvt.com.

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