Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 46

Fiddle & Stone Bread Co. owner Chris Foley weighs loaves of sourdough to be baked at the outdoor kitchen just outside of Columbia. He's been
selling his naturally leavened bread at the Columbia Farmers Market for the past three years.
by Paul Newton | pnewton@ruralmissouri.coop
I
t's a quiet and still morning on the farm. Cell service is
spotty at best and not many cars pass by on the gravel
road. Chris Foley is alternating his time between chopping
wood and hurling a Frisbee for his dog, Apollo, for
the umpteenth time. e adds the wood to the fi re inside
the 21-square-foot oven he's tending. But don't expect
anything to eat soon, this is a big preheat. Tomorrow there
will be bread.
" I had a whole learning curve on thermodynamics and
surface temperature versus depth of temperature, "
Chris says. " It's sort of like throwing a
dart at two moving targets and hitting both
bull's-eyes with one throw. "
Chris is the owner of Fiddle & Stone Bread
Co. in Columbia. For the past three years, he's
focused primarily on sourdough, naturally leavened
bread cooked using local ingredients inside
the wood-fi red oven on the farm ust a few miles
outside of Columbia. He sells his bread two days
46 RURAL MISSOURI | NOVEMBER 2021
per week at the popular Columbia Farmers Market.
Chris' interests in baking go back decades to his teenage
years working at a local bakery in Ashland. After
attending Mizzou, he's baked at some well-known restaurants
in Columbia, including Cafe Berlin, Pizza Tree, Ozark
Mountain Biscuit Co. and about a decade at Shakespeare's
Pizza.
" Bread making and pizza making are essentially the
same thing, " he says. ia is ust fl attened bread. "
About fi ve years ago, hris was working a handful of
obs and found it was getting to be a grind and very repetitive.
" I quit drinking then and ended up with all this
extra time on my hands. So I thought I would try and
fi gure out sourdough. I started my own sourdough
culture and looking back now, " he says while shuddering,
" I can't believe how proud I was of those
Columbia
fi rst loaves. "
Through some trial and error, he was able to
get his arms around making sourdough bread.
An acquaintance put him in contact with farmer
ichard napp who had built a wood-fi red

Rural Missouri - November 2021

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Rural Missouri - November 2021 - Cover1
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Rural Missouri - November 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - November 2021 - 4
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Rural Missouri - November 2021 - Cover3
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