Side Dishes: Red Hen Baking Co. introduces a uniquely local loaf
Cyrus Guernsey Pringle left this mortal coil in 1911. His namesake, a Vermont-grown bread from Red Hen Baking Co., began shipping to stores and restaurants this October 23. The “Cyrus Pringle” honors the botanist and wheat breeder from Charlotte with a product baked from grains grown in that same town by Tom Kenyon of Aurora Farms.
Kenyon began testing a crop of hard red winter wheat in 2006. Randy George, who co-owns Red Hen with his wife, Liza Cain, admits that “Only a few months ago, I was still saying that we were years away from baking a bread made exclusively from Vermont-grown wheat.” On testing this year’s crop in the mixing bowl, however, George was pleasantly surprised to find the texture of the dough no different from that of batches made with the Kansas-grown organic wheat flour Red Hen usually uses. For a hearty dash of whole wheat, the Cyrus Pringle incorporates flour from Gleason Grains, already a staple in Red Hen bread. The Bridport farm harvests 45 tons of whole wheat each year.