Welcome to another heartfelt feature from The Sourdough People, where we lovingly knead stories of passion, craft, and community from the warm ovens of the world’s most dedicated bakers. Today, we unravel the doughy tale of Erin Ferry, the resilient spirit and artisan behind Freya’s Kitchen in the picturesque landscapes of Centennial Colorado. Erin’s journey is delicately leavened with life’s profound ingredients – love, loss, healing, and an unwavering passion for sourdough bread. Her kitchen resonates with the therapeutic rhythms of sourdough baking, where each loaf is a canvas of her emotions, memories, and the cherished presence of her daughter, Freya. In the warm embrace of her home, Erin crafts more than just bread; she nurtures a sanctuary where organic, naturally leavened products rise with excellence and heartfelt dedication. Join us as we explore the intimate crevices of Erin’s baking journey, infused with the beauty and authenticity of homemade sourdough love.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how Freya’s Kitchen came into existence?
From a young age, a culinary spark ignited within me. My days were filled with culinary shows, absorbing the art from legends like Julia Childs and Gordon Ramsay. This passion navigated my journey through culinary school, landing me a significant role at Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza, where I evolved for 12 years. Life’s unpredictable tide brought me to Denver Colorado, intertwining personal transitions with a global pandemic. The phase of being a stay-at-home mom unveiled realities – a notable one being the inferior quality of store-bought bread. Inspired and encouraged, I dived into the world of sourdough baking, transforming my kitchen into an exploratory baker’s haven. A tragic personal loss during this period became the poignant cornerstone of ‘Freya’s Kitchen,’ a tribute to my daughter, interweaving grief with the therapeutic art of baking.
What ignited your passion for sourdough baking, and when did you decide to turn this passion into a career?
Sourdough wasn’t just a culinary experiment; it became a vessel carrying my financial contribution and a healer of my heart, morphing passions into a promising career avenue. It allowed me to weave the love and memory of my daughter, Freya, into an art form, cultivating a sense of purpose and therapeutic refuge through the delicate crafts of baking.
Why is it important to you to focus on organic and naturally leavened products at Freya’s Kitchen?
Navigating through the realms of sourdough opened my eyes to the purity of ingredients, steering clear of unnecessary additives and preservatives often found in commercial bread. It magnified a conscious approach to nourishment, ensuring that even a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my 5-year-old resonated with quality and natural goodness.
Can you discuss the impact of using organic ingredients on the quality and taste of your sourdough bread and baked goods?
Embracing organic ingredients elevated the sensory experience of my baked goods. It’s like discovering a gourmet realm where the symphony of grains, the essence of sea salt, and purity play a harmonious melody, crafting bread that’s a delightful celebration of authentic flavors and textures, making every slice a tribute to quality.
Can you walk us through the loving process of making your unique sourdough bread?
Guided initially by Maurizio Leo’s profound insights from ‘The Perfect Loaf’, my journey blossomed, crafting artisan loaves that resonated with personal touches. Adapting techniques like autolysing and adjusting fermentation times, each loaf bears a signature touch, marking the stages of my evolving journey, filled with dedication and artistic liberty.
How do you ensure the artisanal quality of your products, and what do you believe sets them apart?
The foundation of quality lies in choice ingredients, from the robust flours of Central Milling to the pure sea salts. Each bake is an ode to freshness, ensuring that the warm, crispy crust and tender insides are celebrated in their best form, resonating with the essence of artisanal brilliance and love.
Is there anyone in the baking industry who inspires you or whom you look up to?
In the vibrant community of bakers, Maurizio Leo holds a beacon of inspiration, guiding my initial steps with his approachable teachings, laying a robust foundation for my sourdough explorations and instilling confidence in my baking journey.
How has baking played a role in your life’s journey and personal growth?
Baking has been a heartwarming constant, evolving from a hobby to a therapeutic sanctuary. It became a luminous pathway through grief, a practice where emotions intertwine with the flour, water, and salt, cultivating healing, focus, and moments of joy amidst life’s turbulence.
What are the triumphs and tribulations of operating a micro-bakery in Colorado?
The dream of a micro-bakery emerged amidst the personal and global uncertainties, blending the nostalgia of a professional kitchen with the warmth of home. The vision is in its nurturing phase, slowly flourishing with aspirations of expansion, weaving dreams into the fabric of reality, whether in Colorado’s embrace or new horizons.
How does being a cottage foods baker influence your baking style and business operations?
Being a cottage foods baker embodies a celebration of handmade artistry, where each creation resonates with care, love, and a personal touch, reflecting in the joyful eyes and satisfied smiles of my family, reinforcing the value of crafted goodness.
How do you engage with your community, both locally and online through platforms like Instagram?
Instagram became a canvas, portraying my journey’s authenticity, the highs, the lows, the evolution, and the emotional landscapes. It is a platform where inspirations are shared, and a community thrives on genuine connections, shared passions, and collective learning.
Can you share any stories of connections or support from the community that have been meaningful to you?
Heartwarming gestures like the appreciation from a non-profit mom group showered encouragement, weaving threads of community support and acknowledgment, turning the solitary act of baking into a tapestry of shared joys, admiration, and mutual inspiration.
What are some of your cherished tools that aid you in your baking journey, and have you noticed any trends in baking tools lately?
Embracing tools like the wood pulp bannetons from Rosehill Sourdough, my baking process found new realms of efficiency and quality. These tools, paired with evolving trends, blend tradition with innovation, marking notable enhancements in the baking experience.
What is your all-time favorite sourdough bread or baked treat to make and why?
The canvas of sourdough brings to life various creations, but the Dark Chocolate, Orange and Cranberry Artisan Sourdough holds a special place, weaving the warmth of nostalgia, cherished holiday spirits, and a delightful interplay of flavors, crafting moments of culinary joy and satisfaction.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to Erin for sharing the intimate folds of her journey and the beautiful legacy of Freya’s Kitchen with us. Her story, radiant with love and resilience, adds a unique flavor to our global community of sourdough enthusiasts. Connect with Erin and witness the delightful blossoms of her sourdough journey on Instagram, where each post is a chapter of her passionate tale. Your engagement helps nourish the roots of our community, allowing the essence of artisan baking to flourish with shared wisdom and inspiration. If Erin’s story has stirred the yeasts of your curiosity, or if you wish to sprinkle the community with suggestions, we invite you to use our intake form. Share the stories, brands, products, and cherished recipes that have enriched your sourdough experience. Your contributions help us curate a vibrant and diverse array of features that continue to celebrate and uplift the warm-hearted community of The Sourdough People.