Saturday, September 4, 2010

Harvest Bakery

Terre Haute actually has a lot of good local bakeries and cupcakeries and such.  Our family gets bread products from a number of different sources, especially as my own baking skills are how shall we say ... "progressing."  (My wife has been a professional baker at one point, and it's a rare week that 2 other bakers or ex-bakers don't drop by our house, so the bar is pretty high in our family).  Spring Mills bakery is available in several local stores and has their own store front, and I may post about them later.  But Harvest Bakery is more of a secret.  They sell at the Downtown Farmer's Market, but other than that you just have to call them (at (812) 235-7515) to place an order, and I suspect a lot of people don't know as much as they should about this outfit. 

Harvest Bakery is run by Marta and Amelia Shelton, and has been going since spring of 2009.  Marta is a wonderful, passionate, scatterbrained individual who loves tackling baking challenges.  I'm pretty sure part of Amelia's job is grounding her mom, and keeping an eye on the business side of things.  We've mostly turned to Harvest Bakery for fancy birthday cakes, although we buy snacks from them at the Farmer's market sometimes too.  The birthday cakes I've ordered from them have all been very high quality and reasonably priced.  I got to eat a slice of birthday cake a friend ordered from them that was a European-style Black Forest Cherry Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte).  This was doubtlessly the most difficult-to-bake cake I've ever had, other than perhaps my own wedding cake.  It had at least 4 very different layers of cake within it; a rich chocolate layer, a cherry liquor soaked layer, a dense chocolate almost ginger-bready layer, (probably a chocolate biscuit of some kind inspired by the related Zuger Kirschtorte), and an airy layer.  Oh and several different kinds of icing and cherry fillings.  It was flawless and exquisite.  American black forest cakes tend to be rich and decadent and not much else.  This was complex and subtle, full of contrasting textures and flavors, refined rather than merely decadent.

I'm told that Harvest Bakery runs a "bread share," where you can pay a monthly fee and get a certain number of artisanal loaves per week.  We've never tried that deal, but have toyed with it several times.  Today my family split a round loaf of their banana bread at the market, and it was yummy, but well, even I can make a decent banana bread.  Harvest bakery is a great source of high-end artisanal baked goods at modest prices.  They have passion for experimentation, but only release the products that they are very happy with.  They are a great place to turn to for "special" baked goods, (and snacks) and if someone here has tried them for "routine" baked goods too, tell us about it in the comments.  Marta and Amelia Shelton of Harvest Bakery are ...

Just one more reason I am proud of Terre Haute.


  1. Oh I'm now informed of several other breads that Robyn has brought home, were in fact from Harvest Bakery, although she didn't mention it at the time, like the "Seed Bread" she gets occasionally or their sourdough. I had no idea I'd had their sourdough.

  2. (From Marta Shelton)

    Thank you so kind for the generous words expressed here in this blog. The sourdough is very special to me. The wild yeast in the bread are from the starter created August of 2007 from the grapes that were juiced that summer from our gardens. The starter celebrated its third birthday this year. Harvest Bakery supports Terre Haute and believes in this place where people gather and celebrate the potential we can be to ourselves and others.

    I could not or rather I do not know how to post a response onto Brian's blog...... Harvest Bakery appreciated the post so very much! If you would like to share what I wrote of you can post it I would be grateful.