March on the Farm: The Egg & I

Egg production has been a little lackadaisical around here lately. We have seven chickens, and they are all from the first summer here. We lost a few a first year, but you’d think by now we’d have lost more by now, especially since they roam freely around the properly every day.

But these are hearty girls. We will be adding to the flock this year, but until then we've had to recently bridge the egg gap with store eggs.

The need for store eggs has reminded me how much I love having chickens—partly because that $3.50 for a dozen eggs, a price that you’d drop on a latte without a second thought, seems like so much money when you know you usually don’t have to pay it. But also because store eggs have yellow yolks, and farm eggs are orange. Most agree there isn’t a nutritional difference between the two, but the farm hens enjoy more “pigmented” food such as greens and insects during their daily roams and that is why their yolks are so orange.

But the reason I really love those orange eggs is because of what they do to your bread—they color the bread beautifully. I had a huge cooking flop the week before and wanted to do a little something to redeem myself, so I thumbed through Kathleen Weber’s brilliant cookbook, Della Fattoria Bread. Della Fattoria is an artisanal bakery up here in Sonoma County, and those of us who adore their bread (and really, who doesn’t?) have been anxiously awaiting this book. The recipes are delicious and throughout the book there are such interesting anecdotes are her life and her business. So far every recipe I’ve tried has turned out well (a testament to her wonderfully written recipes). To put my flop behind me I thought I’d tackle the sticky buns since it’s a family favorite that we don’t make from scratch all that often. Thanks to this book, that might now change.

Here's a photo of my tale of two eggs. The two bright orange eggs on the left were the last two I had from our girls, the ones on the right are from the store. It’s a marked difference, don’t you think?

And here’s the finished product. You can actually find the recipe in the amazon preview of this book, but if I were you I’d go ahead and buy the book, as there are so many delectable bread recipes to enjoy!

Happy Baking!

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