The Homestead Oven began in our small home kitchen, baking a few loaves of gluten-free sourdough for family and friends each week. As word spread and demand grew, we decided to try offering a small selection of breads at our local Charlottesville farmers market. After an unexpectedly busy year, we outgrew our home kitchen and were unable to meet the increasing demand. After our community generously stepped forward to support us, we were able to move into a proper brick & mortar production space not far from home.
Our gluten-free bread is made with a blend organic grains, including millet, buckwheat and oat, as well as other flours (organic as much as possible), depending on the loaf. With an ear to the seasons and customer requests, we may add different herbs, spices, fruits and seeds to create a variety of both traditional and unique flavors.
We stone-mill most of our grains, fresh for each week of baking. Using fresh stone-milled grain preserves as much of the nutritional benefits as possible, and creates the most flavorful flour one can get. Each loaf is naturally leavened with our trusty sourdough culture, which imparts a satisfying depth of flavor and all the benefits that slow-fermented, naturally leavened bread can provide. From start to finish, each loaf takes about 72 hours to make.
It is our passion to make hearty, nutritious, wholegrain gluten-free sourdough bread. Many of the gluten-free breads and baking mixes available today have high levels of refined/modified starches, gums, dough conditioners, chemical leaveners and other additives to make them more attractive, lighter, and shelf-stable. This approach robs the final product of any nutritional value and makes our bodies work harder to digest it. Our goal is different: gluten-free sourdough that is good for you, and good for the planet; slow fermented, freshly milled, mostly wholegrain, mostly organic and with as few ingredients as possible.
The Homestead Oven is currently a single-baker operation, run entirely by myself, Ryan Lee. I share my kitchen space with another dedicated gluten-free entrepreneur, Stacy Miller of Good Phyte Foods. Stacy makes the nutritious and delicious grain-free crackers, energy bars and other snacks you’ll find east or west of the Blue Ridge mountains.