Jeff Ford of Cress Spring Bakery is launching a pizza farm.
Ford, who sells his nationally recognized brick oven-fired bread at the Saturday Dane County Farmers' Market as well as at the Westside Community Market, plans to offer from-scratch pizzas at his facility near Blue Mounds every Wednesday evening starting mid-July.
Modeled after the farm pizzas sold at A to Z Produce and Bakery in Stockholm, Wisconsin, the Cress Spring pizza farm will serve a variety of from-scratch pizzas as well as desserts, beer and wine. The county has approved the liquor license. Diners will be expected to bring their own plates, cutlery and glassware.
While A to Z attracts over a thousand diners for its weekly Tuesday night farm-to-'za dinners, Ford hopes for between 100 and 200 customers. "We're growing some of our own herbs, and this first summer we'll be playing around with different tomato varieties for the sauce," says Ford.
Because there is no rain shelter, and Cress Springs does not plan on purchasing or building one, at least initially, the pizza evenings will be limited to fair weather. In the event of a cancellation, diners will be notified via social media.
"We're also getting really excited about the possibility of selling items that we can't at the farmers' markets because they don't travel well, like ice cream sandwiches," says Ford.
Crust will be available as sourdough or gluten-free.
A number of pizza offerings will prominently feature pork, but there will be vegetarian versions available as well as garden salads. Some initial pizza ideas are the "Maple Bacon" with olive oil, sliced apple, thyme, Cress Spring cheese medley, bacon and drizzled with maple syrup; and the "Spring Fling" with ramps, mushroom puree, mushroom slices, and asparagus. A cheese curd and bratwurst pie to be called "The Wisco" will use curds from the area's Bleu Mont Dairy. There are no prices confirmed yet, but Ford says the pizza will cost under $20.
Other desserts under consideration besides ice cream sandwiches include a seasonal fruit bar, gougeres, pie, and a gluten-free brownie.
The bakery is located at 4035 Ryan Rd. outside of Blue Mounds, about 45 minutes west of Madison.
[Editor's note: This article is corrected to note that Cress Spring Bakery vends at the Westside Community Market.]