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Fresh from the Farmhouse

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 12th, 2013

photo by Jon Stinnett Ben Daniels and Rex Barry (in back) slice loaves of multi-grain bread in preparation for shipping to area grocery stores.

Part of an occasional series discussing Cottage Grove's family-owned businesses

By mid-morning, a scent many would describe as the best in the world, that of fresh-baked bread, floods the air at Cottage Grove’s Farmhouse Bakery. By then, though, it’s already been a pretty full day for owner Bob Daniels, who’s up at 5 a.m. three days a week mixing and kneading dough, baking loaves and placing them on racks to cool. Of course, if you ask Daniels or his wife and co-owner Pat, the real secret to their bread’s taste happens long before hands touch dough.

“We mill our own wheat to make fresh flour every day,” Bob Daniels said. “That’s the unique thing about us. Where most people buy flour, it’s milled maybe once a month. We use it the day it’s milled for maximum freshness.”

In a back room at Farmhouse Bakery rests the machine that makes all this possible, a mill that utilizes 400-pound stones to grind organic wheat that comes mostly from Montana. According to the company’s website, fresh flour also adds numerous health benefits (not to mention flavor) to bread:

“Whole grain wheat bread is one of the few foods which has an entire compliment of B vitamins and is extremely rich in vitamin E. The wheat germ is one of the richest sources of vitamin E, which has been shown to be important in heart health.

Modern day milling techniques have sifted the bran and wheat germ from the flour, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the nutrition of the flour. Farmhouse breads are rich in the full nutrients of the whole grain…”

The website also states that the revelation that came to Bob Daniels regarding fresh-milled wheat helped convince the couple to start their own bakery, a process that began 15 years ago.

“I was home-schooling our kids, so it was a pretty natural transition,” Pat Daniels said. “As the kids started getting older, I started making bread, and people liked it a lot.”

Daniels began taking her loaves to area businesses such as banks and health clubs and to Lane Community College. At the same time, Bob Daniels saw the decline of the retail business he’d worked in as another reason for the couple to venture out on its own.

For the complete article see the 06-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-12-2013 paper.

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