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Bake It Up 

August First offers classes

At August First, baker and co-owner Phil Merrick is getting ready to give up some trade secrets. Beginning on Sunday, December 13, he’ll teach an occasional course called “Intro to Artisan Baking for the Home Baker.”

“Phil taught classes in California where he learned to bake,” says his wife and co-owner, Jodi Whalen. “He knew that teaching … would be a great way to share his love of baking with a lot of people.”

The $90 class begins bright and early at 7:45 a.m. and lasts till 3:30 p.m. Participants will learn skills such as “baker’s math ... dough handling and the importance of temperature,” explains Whalen. At lunchtime, they’ll whip up seasonal flatbread pizza. Fresh bread to take home is part of the deal.

The first session is nearly full, Whalen notes. Those who miss out can register for one of two dates in January.

The baking lessons aren’t the only change at the bakery and café. A few weeks ago, daily soup and panini specials were added to the menu. Soups include cream of tomato, broccoli cheddar and French lentil; this week, one of the hot sandwiches combined smoked turkey, apples, cheddar, cranberry mayo and pecan bread.

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Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

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Contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the former Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose,... more

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