The Silly Yak Bakery is distinguished by its fresh-baked gluten-free and whole wheat breads and treats. Located at the top of State Street as part of the Dane County Farmers' Market for years when it was known as the Bread Barn, its booth is now located across the Square on West Main Street.
Operating from its home base on Mineral Point Road by the Beltline, Silly Yak Bakery offers a broad array of baked goods, including breads, pies, pizza crusts, dry mixes, muffins, cookies, scones, and many other pastries, many available gluten-free and casein-free. Its flours are made fresh, with wheat berries ground into flour in a stone mill located behind the bakery, while none of its products contain preservatives. Co-owned by Holly Beach and Brian Roberts, who joined the business in January, the bakery also offers its goods at the downtown Madison market on Wednesdays, as well as at markets in Middleton and Oregon.
Miguel Marshall, who is married to Beach, answered some questions about Silly Yak Bakery.
The Daily Page: How did you become a Farmers' Market vendor?
The Bread Barn was a participant in the farmers' market before Holly purchased the business. It was only natural that we continue to stay with the market and bring all our yummy goodies to all the folks that currently enjoy them and those that soon will.
What else do you offer through the summer season?
We periodically change the "specialty breads" to bring new flavors to our customers. One bake schedule may feature a bread flavored with Cheddar Cheese, while another month will feature something like Rosemary Red Onion or Dark Bavarian Rye.
What's your most popular product? What's your most remarked upon offering?
This is the easiest question to answer! On the whole wheat side, we have a bread called Cinnamon Swirl. With that bread, you can pick up a recipe that makes Double-Decker French Toast with fruit in between each slice. On the gluten-free side, we have 200 items to choose from. One treat is an item called Majestic Valley Sour Cream Coffee Cake. The gluten-free pizzas are also a treat, especially when a person can also pick up one of our many flavors of gluten-free beer that we sell. We're probably the only bakery in Wisconsin with a liquor license!
What's your favorite product elsewhere at the market?
After the Silly Yak Bakery truck is unloaded, I park it elsewhere then use the return walk to "scout" the other vendors at the market. I may be biased to things that go well with our bread, but to be honest, there are so many quality foods to choose from. I love shopping the cheese folks, especially for a great cheddar or jalapeno cheese. The veggies are my next stop -- I could (almost) be a vegetarian. Then of course there's the fresh-made jams, jellies -- even pasta!
Move over Gordon Ramsey, I'm back from the Dane County Farmers' Market and ready to cook a fantastic dinner for my lovely bride.
What's your pre-packaged, supermarket-shelved guilty pleasure?
Anything with dark chocolate.
If you were to make a dish incorporating your products, what would you make?
Ok, I have to stick with the aforementioned Double Decker French Toast that uses our Cinnamon Swirl Bread.
Here's the spine-tingling, mouth-watering recipe:
8 slices Bread Barn's Cinnamon Swirl Bread
2 medium bananas; cut in ¼" slices (*)
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. milk
3 Tbsp. flour
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 slices of Cinnamon Swirl Bread in a single layer in a buttered 9" square baking dish. Top with bananas & 4 more slices of Cinnamon Swirl. Blend milk, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour & vanilla in a blender until smooth. Pour over Cinnamon Swirl stack. Let stand five minutes or refrigerate overnight. Bake 40-45 Min (50-55 minutes if refrigerated), until top is toasted. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut French toast into diagonal halves & remove with a spatula. Dust with powdered sugar or use pure maple syrup if desired. Enjoy! (*) Can also use thin-sliced apples or cranberries.