Thursday, 17 April 2014

Easter at Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company

The Christopsomo bread at Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company is the only bread Tabitha Langel knows that will melt in your mouth – and she knows bread.

Tabitha is one of the founders of the bakery, which opened at The Forks in 2002, 12 years after the original Wolseley location opened and became instantly popular. The bakery functions with a huge emphasis on supporting local, organic, sustainable farming, and the community.

The traditional Greek Orthodox Christopsomo sweet bread, which Tabitha says is made up of butter, sugar, eggs and as little flour to hold it together as possible, is flavoured with anise. She says it will make your whole house smell amazing when you toast it.

But that’s not the only Easter treat the bakers at Tall Grass are prepping for the special holiday on Sunday.

Hot cross buns were coming out of the oven smelling spicy and delicious as I was touring through the bakery, where they mill the grain on the same day they bake with it.

Tabitha says often the spices in hot cross buns are dumbed down, but she’s a big fan of flavour, so her hot cross buns are spicy and full of fruit. They are an ancient British tradition and were later adopted into the Christian faith – hence the cross. The buns, along with prayer, were intended to protect families from fire, rats, accidents and shipwreck – all the more reason to invest in some this Easter.

Louis, one of the head bakers, was egg-washing the beautifully braided Easter saffron bread while I was there. The combination of organic flour, rum-soaked raisins, saffron and a little hint of orange makes this lovely bread taste as good as it looks.

One extra-special addition to your Easter basket could be one of Tall Grass’s butter lambs. Leni, an employee from The Netherlands graciously offered up the use of an artifact that has been in her family for over 100 years – a wooden butter press that makes adorable, lamb-shaped butter sculptures. The lambs are $4.75.

Tabitha believes there is no greater miracle than the Earth, and she is doing her part to preserve it by supporting sustainable farming in Manitoba, and she’s offering another little miracle for Easter for each customer – a little satchel of organic grain to plant in time to have a little sprout on your Easter table on Sunday – this one was just planted yesterday:

The Forks Market is open 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. all weekend, including Good Friday. Place your order for Easter treats at the bakery counter, or by calling 204-957-5097 and be sure to check out the Easter specials at Grass Roots Prairie Kitchen, across the way from Tall Grass, including lamb stew, lamb meatballs and saffron rice pilaf.

By The Forks communications intern, Larissa Peck

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