Windy Ridge Bakery gets its own digs
The only barrier to Windy Ridge’s new bakery kitchen is the register’s countertop and the glass display case, stocked with pies with unreal high bellies and perfectly smoothed chocolate cakes. There’s a chandelier hung high above as a reminder that the entrance side is for customers, but otherwise, you’re in the thick of it: there’s the candy maker pressing delicate green candy leaves beneath a hot lamp next to the deseeded pomegranates to garnish cake tops, and there’s the biscotti dipper making perfect half-chocolate rows.
With a wide-open 2,000 square-foot warehouse space and two-story-high ceilings, Windy Ridge Executive Pastry Chef Stephanie Krizman’s studio space has more than doubled since she left Windy Ridge Caf ‘s kitchen, a space she shared with the caf ‘s restaurant staff.
"Any time you throw waiters and other chefs into the mix, it gets hectic," she recalls. "The competition for fridge space was intense."
Krizman points out that there are no other bakeries in town quite like this one, especially one with room enough for Windy Ridge Bakery’s central 12-foot-by-eight-foot wooden bench, the traditional name for a baker’s table.
The move this November was undoubtedly a welcome relief for Krizman, and her sous chef Aimee Altizer, who are in charge of making all the pastries, bread and delectables for Bill White Enterprise’s consortium of Park City area restaurants: Grappa Italian Restaurant, Chimayo, Whaso Asian Grill, Windy Ridge Caf and Ghidotti’s Classic Italian Restaurant.
"We spin all the gelato and sorbets and hand-dip all of Whaso’s fortune cookies," she explains. "We press all of the waffle cones. We do it all which is unique for a bakery."
The first shift of bakers comes in at 4 a.m. to prepare orders for daily restaurant deliveries at 4 p.m. The bakery will close at 10 p.m. or as late as midnight during the busy winter season, according to Altizer. More than a dozen staff members work in the kitchen in the winter, whipping up sweets, pastries and bread loaves from scratch, she says.
Krizman and Altizer describe their collaborative creations as classical French-derivatives with a twist. Among those signature items, well-known by Bill White restaurant devotees are the mile-high apple pie, piled six to eight inches high with apple slices, and chocolate cake layered with sweetened chantilly cream and garnished with raspberries. Smaller items include chocolate clairs, fruit crumble bars and espresso brownies.
The bakery recently added a breakfast menu of brioches, almond-blueberry muffins, organic bran muffins, lemon current scones and three different flavors of croissants chocolate, almond and plain. To accompany pastries, the bakery offers a full-service coffee bar, including cappuccino.
Provided they have advance notice, the Windy Ridge Bakery will also fill custom order cookies and other special occasion treats, treats Krizman adds.
As customers enter the bakery, to the right they will find a wall of shelves full of flat breads and a variety of what Krizman describes as artisan rustic loaves — bread made with a thicker, crispier crust and chewier texture.
"It’s a reaction to what bread has become in the United States," she says. "It’s about reverting to a good-quality bread."
Krizman reveals the secret: patience and natural ingredients. Like sourdough bread, the bakery uses live yeast cultures as starters, then allows the bread to rise in a refrigerated room for 16 hours each day before placing it in the oven, she explains.
Krizman has used yeast from the same culture she has kept alive for over five years of her nine years at Windy Ridge, she says. For the record, neither Krizman nor her staff appear to mind an audience, though she admits it does mean that staff members have to be a bit more fastidious about the appearance of their aprons.
"This is really the only facility of its type in this area," she said. "It’s an exhibition kitchen, so we’re not hiding anything, and it seems to resonate with people a lot. You can actually see that everything we make is fresh."
The Windy Ridge Bakery is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. behind the Windy Ridge Caf at 1755 Ironhorse Drive. For more information, call 647-2906.
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