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Rebecca Sporney Brings Bread to the Table for Bakery Showcase at Vail Commons

Rebecca Sporney
Baker Rebecca Sporney braids the dough for a loaf of challah bread.

Few foods merit the moniker "comfort food" quite like fresh-baked bread, and guests to Vail Commons Sept. 24 can get their fill. At the skilled hands of Baker Rebecca Sporney and her colleagues, the September Bakery Showcase will feature a dozen varieties of scratch-made bread.

Executive Chef Craig Mombert planned the Bakery Showcase as a way to spotlight the work of his Bakeshop staff members. The three bakers will take turns throughout the year leading and planning the recipes for the monthly showcases. Last month, Baker Pat Aubin planned a cheesecake showcase to kick off the showcase season.

The bread offerings will include:

  • Challah
  • Brioche Buns
  • Pretzel Bread
  • Pretzels
  • Focaccia (2 kinds)
  • Cottage Cheese Dill Bread
  • Baguettes
  • Ciabatta
  • Sourdough
  • Loaded Potato Bread (with cheese and scallions)
  • Butternut Squash Bread

While it's hard to say for sure which will be the "fan favorite," Sporney expects the pretzel bread to go fast.

"Bread has always been my favorite thing to make," said Sporney, even though it takes a lot of time and the dough's behavior on a given day dictates the preparation and baking schedule for that day. It takes hours from the time you mix the ingredients, to the time you shape the bread, let it proof, and (finally) prepare it for baking.

"I like working with my hands, and it is exciting to make things from scratch-to make something delicious starting from literally just water and flour," Sporney said.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, she worked as the pastry chef for a Stanfordville, N.Y., restaurant before moving to North Carolina and taking the job at Vail Commons.

"I like it here because we get a lot of freedom to plan recipes the students may not have seen before, but we think they'll enjoy," she said. "I love pleasing others, which is why I love what I do."