Give Now  »

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

A Neighborhood Pop-Up Bakery With A Backyard Brick Oven

Keith Romaine wearing face mask cutting bread dough with baked loaves and baskets of dough on table, outdoor brick oven behind him and rainbow flag above.

Keith Romaine prepares sourdough for the brick oven in his backyard. His recipe includes flax and chia seeds, for texture as well as nutrition. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

"I found that making smaller loaves is better, so they're little guys. They look like little animals when they get done."

This week on our show, we visit a backyard brick oven and talk with Keith Romaine and Amy Roche about their neighborhood pop-up bakery. 

And we head over to Cardinal Spirits for a fall cocktail recipe featuring fresh apples.

A Neighborhood Pop-up Bakery

When Keith Romaine dreamed of building a brick oven in his backyard almost 7 years ago, he was picturing neighborhood gatherings and festive evenings featuring hot pizzas, steamy loaves of fresh baked bread and bottles of wine and cold sparkling water passed across tables. In other words, he wasn’t picturing life in a global pandemic. 

But now that his wood-fired brick oven is finished and his backyard has been transformed into a lovely garden piazza, he’s finally ready to start baking bread, and sharing it with his community. 

He and a friend have recently started a pop-up bake sale on Friday evenings in Bloomington, Indiana. I paid a visit to Keith’s place, which is just a few blocks away from my house. Here are a few photos from my visit:

Four uniquely shaped loaves of bread on a metal pizza peel, at the entrance of a brick oven.

The brick oven holds about 16 small loaves at a time, and at peak temperatures of 700F they bake in about 15 minutes. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

Rustic fruit tarts filled with peaches and blueberries arranged in  box.
Amy Roche takes all the orders for the pop-up bakery, and sells her own hand-crafted sweet and savory galettes made with organic, local & seasonal ingredients.(Kayte Young/WFIU)
Two women wearing facemasks with arms outstretched, reaching across a distance, to pass a small paper bag. They are on a patio with outdoor furniture a fountain and plants and trees.
Bakery customer, Dena El Saffar reaches out to take her galette from baker, Amy Roche at a backyard pop-up bakery in the Mc Doel Gardens neighborhood. (Kayte Young/WFIU)
View of a person in front of a brick oven, with a small roof, a rainbow flag and a table with baked bread and dough on a long table, outside in a patio space surrounded by plants and trees.
Keith Romaine's brick oven is set in a lush piazza, sourounded by plants and trees and complete with a gurgling fountain.(Kayte Young/WFIU)
Three small, golden brown, rustic tarts with tomato filling and parmesan cheese in a metal pan.
Amy and Keith are still working out the temperatures and timing for baking Amy's galettes in the brick oven. These savory tarts baked quickly and filled the piazza with delightful aromas. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

The Earth Eats theme music is composed by Erin Tobey and performed by Erin and Matt Tobey.

Additional music on this episode from Universal Production Music.

Stories On This Episode

Scott Lowe's Apple A Day Cocktail

Light green cocktail with a thin apple slice on rim, with spirit bottles in the background.

With Cardinal Spirits Gin and local apple cider, Scott Lowe's crisp cocktail is perfect for Fall.

Black Farmers Sue Bayer, Urging Federal Court To Take Roundup Off The Market

Close up photo of large bottles of Round Up.

A group of Black farmers say Monsanto’s nearly 11 billion dollar settlement of Roundup-related lawsuits earlier this summer wasn’t enough.

USDA Suddenly Reverses Stance On School Lunch Waivers

A hand holding a plastic spork with a piece of yellow pepper, from a pre-packaged meal

Amid public pressure from lawmakers and child health advocates, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on August 31 that school meal waivers would be extended through the end of this year.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Harvest Public Media