My brother in law, Justin, is our local “foodie” source and while I was out of town one weekend my husband told me that they all went to a new bakery near Wanderin Star Farms in the back of Treaty Oak‘s property called Abby Jane Bakeshop.
He told me how good the pizza was and how the treats looked amazing! I was interested right away!
I had to check this place out for myself when I got back and ran by one day and found the driveway behind Treaty Oak Distilling off Fitzhugh close to Ranch Road 12 and saw a huge metal building with Abby Jane Bakeshop and Barton Springs Mill. It was really hidden back there!
I saw tempting goodies glistening in the light at me behind that beautiful display and laid claim to the flakiest, best chocolate croissant I’ve ever had!
I knew that Abby would be an amazing person to feature on my blog since her business is so amazing and new to Dripp! This secret spot won’t be so secret for much longer.
It is a hopping place on Thursday-Friday while it’s open from 8 AM-4 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM-4 PM. You’ve got to go and try it this weekend at 16604 Fitzhugh Road in Dripping Springs, Texas.
Hey Abby! Tell us more about yourself…
When did you first get interested in baking?
I have been a hobby baker all my life.
I had a major sweet tooth as a kid, so as soon as I could work the mixer and the oven, I was trying to make sweets so I could lick the bowl.
I started baking professionally in grad school around 2008. I took a part time job at a little bakery in Boston and loved it so much I quit school and never looked back.
Did you have a moment in childhood when you knew you would become a baker?
No, I have always leaned toward the creative.
Never knew exactly how that would pan out.
Where do you get the inspiration for your recipes?
The seasons and the flavors of what is grown locally. I know “local” has become a buzzword, but the superiority of a strawberry grown in season down the road blows a July grocery-store-strawberry out of the water. They’re not even comparable.
It is endlessly delightful to get to take the best of what’s around and turn it into the treats we love to eat and serve.
If you could only choose one item to bake for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sourdough bread, hands down.
What made you choose the town of Dripping Springs to open up a bakery in?
I’ve been in Austin for a few years and while I enjoy the buzz of the dining scene in town, I am wired for a slower pace and a simpler way of life.
When Barton Springs Mill approached me about putting a bakery inside their milling facility, I couldn’t believe my luck! I grew up in a small town in north Louisiana and being in Dripping feels really comfortable to me.
Tell us more about your collaboration with Barton Springs Mill…
James Brown and I have been colleagues since he opened the mill in 2016, and I’ve been using his flour since the early days. Seeing as I’m not one to do things halfway, I was eager to switch my baking completely over to using stone-milled flours grown in our region, but it wasn’t that easy.
There are a lot of technical differences about going from store-bought white flour to fresh, stone-milled grains, but I was determined to learn them. AM determined I should say because there is still a lot of learning going on.
What makes fresh milled grain different than store bought grain?
Where do I start?
First off, ours is grown from heritage varieties so nothing that’s been cross-bread and industrialized to be high-yield and pesticide-resistant and fertilizer-responsive.
Just good, old-fashioned grain varieties.
Think about the difference between a bag of frozen Green Giant broccoli florets that you thawed out sitting on your counter. Then open up your CSA box and pull out that gorgeous stalk of broccoli that was plucked out of the sun that morning.
Think they’re gonna taste the same?
Don’t forget, grain is produce too! The aroma, flavor, nutrition, and nuance of fresh grain is worlds away from the bleached and stabilized white powder that’s sitting in those grocery store bags.
I can’t ever go back!
I’ve been spoiled!
Do you offer cooking classes?
Beginning next month, yes.
I will be teaching some classes through Barton Springs Mill’s education program. They have an amazing classroom and are featuring many instructor who will teach on a variety of subjects.
I’ll be teaching beginner sourdough classes to start.
What other bakeries in the Austin area would you recommend us checking out?
Sour Duck is delicious and uses lots of Barton Springs Mill flours.
The pastries at Manana (inside the South Congress Hotel) can’t be beat.
If you like Middle Eastern sweets, Peace Bakery is the JAM.
Since you’ve worked in the food industry, what is your favorite restaurant and dish to eat in Austin?
Tacos from Nixta Taqueria.
Cauliflower and Labneh from TLV.
Sushi from Otoko.
Basically, all the foods from around the world that are cooked with love and care by the people who grew up on them.
What does the perfect day off in Dripping Springs look like to you?
I’m outside somewhere.
If you could tell your customers one interesting thing about you, what would it be?
I’m super introverted!
I’m good at pretending to be outgoing and I do really love people but, man, my favorite part of the day is 5am before anyone arrives.
Where can we find you on social media? (I will write up your hours and location in the header)
There you have it folks! You can seriously TASTE the difference in Abby’s sweets because of the fresh milled grains.
Go try it out and let me know what your favorite thing was!
Aren’t you enjoying all of these fun features? Dripping Springs has the coolest people and businesses and I love meeting, photographing and featuring them on my blog. Do you know of another cool business that should be featured? Let me know who and I’ll add them to my list!
If you are in town for a vacation and need some suggestions on local adventures or restaurants then reach out to me and I’ll share all of the best places with you! 512-569-8480.
Want to move to this amazing town? I can help you there too! Let’s begin your home search and get you a little slice of Texas heaven in Dripping Springs! Email me and I’ll set you up on a free search for the perfect home here. You’ll need to be ready to move fast, so let’s get started! firstname.lastname@example.org