Artisan baker opens her heart and oven
In the early mornings along Morelock Lane, the smell of fresh baked bread comes wafting from the kitchen of Becca Morelock, as she lovingly prepares her weekly offerings which she makes for her customers and folks who frequent the Artisan Market.
Becca utilizes social media to take orders on Tuesdays and on Thursdays she fills those orders, making fresh deliveries of tasty treats like artisan bread, vanilla bean scones, blueberry scones, cookies and petit tarts.
“I love baking, I always have,” Becca said.
And now, fresh from a week of schooling at the King Arthur Flour Company at Norwich, Vermont, she wants to share what she learned with the public. Through the classes, she learned techniques on making all types of baked goodness like hearth-fired pizza, pretzels, English muffins, crumpets, rye and sourdough bread.
She traveled to New England all alone and made her way to the campus. While at the legendary and historic company that started in 1790 and is one of the oldest in the country, she was in classes with baking aficionados that ranged from home cooks and grandmothers to pastry chefs.
“It was just so enlightening,” she said. And while in her off hours she explored the area, tasting traditional lobster rolls, and local artisan beer.
Upon her return, like the yeast she uses in her bread, her inspiration has risen and she is infused with enthusiasm and creativity, and is now preparing to expand her horizons. And, thanks to the Cottage Law, which went into effect in Texas on June 17, 2011, she and many others like her can sell the food they make from their homes.
There are many who recognize Becca, 33, who with others started the Artisan Market in the fall of 2016, where she sold her baked items. This past season, which ran from April to the end of June, the Artisan Market moved to the corner of Lakeway and West Commerce Ave.
“We had a successful season,” Becca said.
And now, she takes orders weekly and delivers to her customers, who sing her praises.
“We’ve been eating her bread regularly lately,” said Giles Setzler, who added that she makes weekly deliveries to the Riverside Park RV where he works with his father, Ross. “Brownwood needs more small business owners like Becca. It builds culture and adds a great element to the community.”
Folks may recognize Becca as the former pastry chef at the Hideout Grill, where she baked bread and other items for more than a year. She has also prepared food for the Star of Texas Bed and Breakfast owned by her mother and father-in-law, Debbie and Don Morelock. She also makes wedding cakes for the intimate weddings held at the B & B.
Her passion for baking began at the tender age of 7, when her mother and grandmother taught her to bake sugar cookies. Her mother Ginny Taylor gave her a “Better Homes and Gardens,” and that began her love of cooking. Her grandmother Geneva Webb, also baked with her.
“They always encouraged me,” Becca said.
She would become famous for her sugar and shortbread cookies and Snicker Doodles by friends and family. While in school she baked, while moving around with her mother and father, Randy Taylor, who was a band director in small school districts like Cross Plains, Ranger, Rotan and Clyde.
As her children, Arielle, now 12 and Cora, now 5, grew, she would start baking cakes for friends and family. In the winter of 2012, she ordered a sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour but she did not keep the starter fed properly so “it died.”
But then things began lining up and she decided to commit 100 percent to baking. Debbie Morelock gave her the “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg. Then after she and husband Jared, built their home, she would finally have a cook’s kitchen, complete with a baking station and she began baking bread in earnest.
“I got really serious,” she explained. “I realized baking is my true passion.”
The classes at King Arthur Flour officially expanded her horizons. Now each week she is offering sourdough bread and she offers her customers her usual specialties like Banneton Boule, Rye Sourdough Batard and pretzels, either salted or with cinnamon and sugar. Her offerings change weekly, she said.
She and her husband Jared are now remodeling a vintage trailer into a mobile breadstand which they plan to have completed by January of 2018. It will be called the “1934 Artisan” in honor of her grandfather Jim Webb of Cisco.
But for now, she is gearing up to get the Artisan Market up and going for the fall.
“We are looking forward to a wonderful fall season,” she said adding that there will be many other artisans who will be selling goods like farm fresh eggs, handcrafted items and soaps and toiletries.
The Market will open back up from 9 a.m. to noon on the second and fourth Saturday of each month starting Sept. 23 and running through Dec. 11.
“We are looking forward to seeing everyone there,” she said. “Bon apetit!”
For more information on her weekly offerings, find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Baked-Artisan-Goods-869976589768120/.