The Warm Spirit: Sharon Burns-Leader, Co-owner of Bread Alone Bakery

By / Photography By Damon Jacoby | May 15, 2017
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Sharon Burns-Leader gets ready to put some loaves in the oven.
Burns-Leader after getting a batch of loaves in the oven at Bread Alone.

The first thing Sharon Burns-Leader ever baked was a pretzel. She was 9 years old.

“My mother didn’t know what to do with me—I was always asking her for ingredients she’d never heard of before, like yeast and buttermilk,” says Burns-Leader.

She found her way to Bread Alone in the mid-’80s and never left. “I walked into that building and I found my home,” she recalls. “I loved the wood ovens. I loved everything about it.”

Her latest project is experimenting with the growing array of regionally grown and milled grains. Inspired by the rye bread she sampled on a trip to Denmark a few years ago, Burns-Leader has developed a line of Nordic breads using einkorn, rye and spelt flours. To bring things full circle, she’s also developed a wonderfully hearty pretzel made with regionally grown grains, sweetened with a little honey and topped with mineral salt. There’s also a rich shortbread cookie, two favors of babka muffin, a puff pastry pear tart made with spelt and rye flour, a whole-wheat sourdough bread she calls Ashokan Miche, and more. Her line of boutique baked goods is available only at Bread Alone’s Boiceville location and at the Woodstock Farm Festival on Wednesday afternoons.

BREAD ALONE BAKERY | Kingston, Rhinebeck, Woodstock, Boiceville

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