i am so so SO excited to share with you all our recent write up in mix magazine!!! it is a beautiful magazine all about the food & and drink scene in portland. you can find it at new seasons markets and fred meyer or you can read the article at their website at mixpdx.com. it is so awesome to see vegan baking on the cover of such an elegant magazine!!! i am still glowing as you can probably tell. here is a little excerpt from the article written by christina melander...
DOVETAIL BAKERY / INSPIRED BY FAMILY
Morgan Grundstein-Helvey is a deconstructionist baker: “You have to disassemble what a recipe is, then build up what you want it to be. You have to get inside the recipe.” Her Dovetail bakery specializes in breakfast and tea-time treats, such as tiny lemon-ginger cookies.
It seems counterintuitive, but one reason vegan pastries are so good is because bakers literally have to start from scratch. Vegan cookbooks are a growing genre but a meager one compared to the canon of conventional baking texts. The bakers I spoke with are all self-taught, relying on instinct and trial and error to tweak established recipes and devise solutions to problems. Unable to find palatable vegan cookies or a decent special-occasion cake, they invent their own, toying with mashed rice, silken tofu and canola oil to achieve correct consistency, texture and flavor.
“There are no straight-up substitutions — every recipe is its own challenge,” says Morgan Grundstein-Helvey, she of the impeccably moist and tender fig-anise scones. “You have to disassemble what it is, then build up what you want it to be. You have to get inside the recipe and really know your ingredients.” Grundstein-Helvey, a petite 32-year-old with an eager grin, became a vegetarian at age 12 and followed a vegan diet for five years during her teens. Growing up in Los Angeles, she frequented farmers markets and devoured the clafoutis and fruit cobblers prepared by her uncle, a professional cook who lived with her family.
Experimenting in the kitchen came naturally and Grundstein-Helvey amassed a solid arsenal of vegan recipes, including birthday cakes and biscuits, by her early 20s. She formalized the collection in a zine she published with her sister, and started baking on the side for a neighborhood market while living in San Francisco. She loved it. Soon, she was making enough money baking cookies to cover rent.
Grundstein-Helvey, who has a passion for languages, continued to work with deaf and hearing-impaired children and as a barista while baking for friends. After settling in Portland in 2005, the death of her father prompted her to take stock of her life and pursue baking full-bore. (She christened her business Dovetail in homage to her dad, a custom carpenter.) She found a commercial kitchen in St. Johns and began shopping her wares to the Divine Cafe (a vegetarian cart), Half & Half and other coffee shops. “There would be days when I didn’t want to cold-call another person,” Grundstein-Helvey says. But she kept at it and now carries about 20 wholesale accounts, including three New Seasons stores and Whole Foods in the Pearl. “My focus leans toward morning and afternoon stuff — scones, cookies and loaf cakes — not so much plated desserts,” Grundstein-Helvey says.
It’s a unique way of characterizing her repertoire. Though she’s inspired by seasonal produce, employing fresh pear, rhubarb and blueberries in various scones, she chooses spices and combines flavors according to what tastes best at different times of day. Her silver dollar sized lemon-ginger and orange-chocolate chip cookies resonate in the late afternoon, delivering a citrusy pick-me-up and subtle sweetness. Dovetail’s pecan sticky buns, a candy-sweet breakfast item, may be the exception, but man are they good.
A springy yeast bun topped with gooey chopped nuts, Grundstein-Helvey’s sticky bun has such a true caramel flavor, you’d never suspect it doesn’t contain butter. “They were my Mount Everest,” she confesses. “I wasn’t terribly familiar with yeast doughs and I had lots of disastrous dough explosions, but I really wanted to get it right.” Mission accomplished.
Grundstein-Helvey works all her magic using a single half-size convection oven. Her next big investment will be another oven and eventually, a bigger space with gas-fired appliances. She thinks about opening a retail bakery in the future but is content for now, intent on doing more catering and special orders. “I try to be open to what the world throws my way,” she says.
what more can i say? THANK YOU CHRISTINA & JAMIE AND MIX MAGAZINE!!! AND EVERYONE!!!!! EVERYWHERE!!!