Our Ingredients & Methods
SCRATCH Beer/Bread/Pizza is sourced directly from our own farm— Apple Ridge Farm in Saylorsburg, PA. We design every menu item to use our own Certified Naturally Grown produce and meat. But if we can’t pluck it directly from our own soil, greenhouses, pastures, or beehives, we make no compromises in sourcing ingredients for our foods.
Some of the sources:
The mozzarella for our pizzas is stretched in-house from Bel Gioioso curd. Bel Gioioso is made from fresh Wisconsin cows’ milk gathered only a few hours after milking. The result is a delicate, clean-flavored fresh mozzarella with a soft, porcelain white appearance. It gives the pizza the perfect gooey textured cheese.
The milk is also sourced locally and exclusively from Apple Valley Creamery in East Berlin, PA – a fifth-generation family owned dairy farm with a closed, heritage breed herd of 100 milking cows. Apple Valley is one of only three Animal Welfare Approved dairy farms in Pennsylvania. The herd is composed of approximately 60% Holstein and the remaining 40% consists of a mix that includes Norwegian Red, Jersey, Guernsey, Dutch Belted, and Brown Swiss.
Our olive oil is the real deal, from our neighbors whose family owns olive groves in Greece. Kastania Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from a blend of roughly 80 percent Koroneiki olives and 20 percent Athinolyia olives. Both varieties are highly valued for their flavor and nutritional content. Their olive oil is grown organically (they are seeking Greek organic certification): there are no fertilizers, pesticides or other chemicals used during its cultivation or during production.
This flavorful oil has a free acidity content of less than 0.35 percent, which is far below the cutoff needed to qualify as extra virgin. The olives are first washed in mountain spring water, and then they are crushed and mixed into a paste. The oil is then extracted at cold temperatures. This process ensures that the quality and nutritional content of the oil is as high as possible, though it also means they get relatively low yield of oil from olives.
Beginning as Balducci’s fruit stand in Greenwich Village in 1946, Baldor Foods has maintained its original promise – curate and deliver the best and freshest foods in the world. We are one of the largest importers and distributors of fresh produce and specialty foods in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. They run on solar power, are a zero-waste facility— even turning their extra produce into products like a high-protein vegetable flour!
Farmer Ground is a 100% certified organic, co-operatively owned flour mill in Trumansburg, New York. It is one of the only mills that is still using a real stone to grind its grain!
Based in upstate New York, Champlain Valley Milling selects grains for flavor and performance, and every year they plant trial plots of heirloom wheats, such as “Glen”— which is the variety of whole wheat that SCRATCH uses for the sourdough breads.
King Arthur Flour Company of Vermont is the nation’s oldest flour company. We use two of their organic flours in our breads, Artisan and Bakers Classic, with restored germ.
Giusto’s Flour Company is located in San Francisco, CA. We use Giusto’s primarily for the durum wheat flour used in our semolina bread since durum is grown out West (the Dakotas mainly). They also produce the 00 flour we use in some of our pizza crusts.
Breakaway Farms is a member of the Easton Farmers Market, owned by Nate Thomas and based in Mount Joy, PA. They specialize in whole animal butchery in pork and poultry. They now have a delicious line of charcuterie, and a staple of SCRATCH’s menu is their lean cut of garlic juniper coppa.
Profeta Farms is a 370 acre farm in Readington, NJ specializing in USDA Certified Organic meats. Owned by Paul Profeta and Joanne Malino, right now they are working to build a farm store that will have organic vegetables, meats and eggs all from their own land. When Apple Ridge Farm doesn’t have their own pig’s chorizo, we are sourcing from Profeta.
Why do we heat our oven with wood?
We use wood as our heat source in both our bread oven and our pizza oven for several reasons. First and foremost it’s a renewable energy source that we feel good about. Second we source our wood from a nearby sawmill/horse logging operation. We get the slab wood that’s left over after they saw a tree into lumber so we’re able to put a local waste product to good use. Third because it’s hard to beat a wood-fired brick oven for creating fantastic breads and pizzas. And finally because wood ash is made up of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and trace elements we can use it to improve our soils and our compost piles at the farm.
Why are all of our breads sourdough?
We decided to make all of our breads using a natural starter as opposed to a commercial yeast for several reasons. For starters (no pun intended) we wanted to rely on as few commercially sourced ingredients in our breads as possible so producing our own starter right here just made sense. Because our starter is made up of a wild population of good bacteria and yeast that we feed daily as if it were a pet so we never have to worry about being out of yeast. Although commercial yeast works much more quickly, the slower moving natural starter creates more flavor by breaking down more gluten into acids which also makes the bread more digestible. Bottom line, we consider ourselves part of the slow food movement and do not want to sacrifice flavor and digestibility for speed and convenience.