at iggy's we choose to buy only the highest-quality ingredients, because we want to feel proud of our products and make the best breads that we possibly can. the ingredients that we purchase are all-natural always and organic whenever possible. our choices are made with the planet and the people in mind, as we work to nurture health for both.
for us, best-quality means the purest, most natural, least processed products available. we know that it is less expensive to buy canned peppers than it is to maintain a kitchen staff to slice and roast them ourselves. but we believe that the quality makes this practice worthwhile.
our first choice is to get organic, local, in-season ingredients. because we are located in new england, it is not always possible to buy produce from local growers. and while we have been wanting to create a 100% organic bakery, so far we have not been able to do so while also keeping our prices as low as possible. we are constantly trying to balance using high-quality ingredients with keeping our breads affordable.
our focus in making food purchases is on companies with small production and distribution. we love to support local farmers because we admire the role that they play in building and maintaining community. we seek out small businesses and companies to work with who share our value of protecting the planet. we want the purchases that we make to reflect our deepest values. our own process of baking bread is slow: it takes us two days to mix, proof, and bake bread; three days for croissants. we know that we could do it faster, but our quality would suffer. we seek partnership with other businesses that take the time necessary to produce high-quality products. we want warm encounters with our distributors. these are the factors that affect the decisions we make when buying ingredients for our breads.
in addition to buying high quality ingredients, we also give special care to the water that is used for making our doughs. the water line used for mixing runs through two filters. the first is a fairly conventional filter, which eliminates toxins and bacteria. the second filter was designed by an austrian scientist. according to his research, water retains an energetic memory pattern, influenced by its surroundings. much of the water on our planet has been damaged energetically by pollution. in order to help redevelop the life force of the water that comes into our bakery, this second filter is filled with healthy austrian spring water. the water passing through our pipes picks up the life force of this spring water and comes into the bakery with renewed life force.
ultimately, we are constantly seeking new ways to improve our products, to find ingredients that are healthier for our planet and for the people who choose to eat our bread.
old world style baking
there is something magical about old-world style bread: the strong golden crust, the moist airy center. there is a skill and attention necessary to create a bread like that. in days gone by, bread was made by hand from start to finish, with special attention given to gentle handling and expert timing. while we do use machines and modern equipment to facilitate our baking process, our goal is to maintain the fine craftsmanship necessary to produce a wonderful bread.
ever since we started, igor has been focused on buying only the best equipment (mixers, ovens, etc.). for him, buying the right oven is much like an artist choosing the finest tools for her craft. we have chosen to work with companies that make their equipment with the same pride that we have when we make our bread.
even though the use of machines is a modern addition to the bread making process, they afford us the ability to handle the dough less. the less the bread is manipulated, the more it is able to retain air, moisture, and shape. even with the use of machines for mixing, many of our breads are still cut by hand.
we honor and respect the time it takes to make good bread. our long fermentation and proofing times allow our doughs to develop in flavor and texture. at iggy's we do not rush our bread to the oven.
clean and happy hands
in our bakery, we start with a basis of cleanliness, of our bodies, our equipment, and our facilities. because bread cannot be washed, we approach our work with the highest care to maintaining a clean baking process.
in addition to this physical cleanliness, we work to foster an environment of positive energy for the bread. this we call the philosophy of "happy hands." throughout the day, we work with fresh ingredients, food that is carrying the life force and energy of the earth. when we roast peppers or chop rosemary for our focaccia, when we mould and shape the dough, when we sell a loaf to a customer, the energy that we use becomes a part of the food. when people then eat our bread, this energy enters their bodies. this belief, inspired by the teachings of macrobiotics, inspires in us an even greater sense of responsibility to the food that we are making, to the people who will eat it.
we hope to create an environment for our bread, and for the people who make and serve our bread, that fosters serenity, presence, harmony, and respect. for the people who work here, a big part of our lives is spent in the bakery. we honor the complexity of life, and we know that conflict sometimes enters the bakery. if someone comes to work with a conflict from home, we hope to help them place that conflict respectfully in a safe place that will not harm the bread. if conflict arises between co-workers, we spend time to work through the disharmony. it is our experience that conflict eventually shows itself in how we use our hands, and this affects the bread. it is our longing to treat each piece of bread as though it were a precious gift being given to a child, and we want to work with people who share this sense of mission. we want to encourage and inspire people to work with this ideal. the bakery, like all parts of our lives, is a place to practice our values of caring and respect.