Thursday, June 23, 2011
Good Spirit Bakery & Café, Watson, SK
When I heard that Peyton Leavitt and Jonathan Lee had opened a bakery in Watson, I knew it was time to take a drive in the country. And I am very glad I did!
Peyton and Jonathan own a farm near Naicam. They hoped to raise sheep and goats, but when that didn’t work out, they built a wood-fired oven and started selling bread at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.
It’s a two-hour journey to Saskatoon from Naicam after a sleepless night spent making bread and that’s extremely tiring, so the couple started looking at other options and finally decided to open a bakery in Watson, 40 kilometers from Humboldt and a local hub for the region.
“We’re still a farm-based business,” says Peyton. “The farm supplies all the meat and eggs, and we’ve planted a huge garden that will soon supply us with fresh produce.”
But the quality of the baked goods hasn’t changed. The loaves are made with 100% organic flour, honey, olive oil and sea salt. All the bread is started the night before so that it can rise slowly at a cool temperature. The pizzas are made with cold-fermented sourdough and mine was accompanied by a mixed salad topped with fresh berries. Prairie Sun Orchard ice cream is available for dessert.
Asher serves an all-day brunch every Saturday, and it sounds fabulous. There is a rotating selection of specialty omelettes, crepes (apple pie, strawberries and cream or spinach and goat cheese) and quiche served with salad, roasted herb potatoes and farm-fresh ham, bacon and eggs.
As I was finishing my lunch, Asher pulled a fragrant coffee cake out of the oven and I took a generous helping home with me.
It was amazing – a rich sour cream, orange-flavoured cake layered with chocolate-almond streusel. It’s a long drive to Watson, but I may have to go back just for another piece of cake.
Asher prides himself on making authentic French croissants. It’s a three-day process as the dough sits overnight before the butter is folded and rolled into the dough four times, resting in the refrigerator between each process. On the third day, the dough is shaped into croissants and then left to rise one last time before going into the oven.
“The secret to great croissants is the layers of butter,” explains Asher. “If you rush, the dough layers aren’t as well separated so you don’t get the same light texture.”
History and crafts
The Good Spirit Bakery & Café is located at 112 1st Street West, Watson, Saskatchewan, and is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 10 to 4. You can call ahead (to order coffee cake!) at 287-3922.
Good Spirit Bakery, Saskatoon Farmers’ Market