Cheers to Oktoberfest!

One of my favorite “food” times of the year is Oktoberfest, and I don’t have to drag myself out to a festival to enjoy all of these foods as they are all right here at DLM! We make it easy for you to throw together your very own Oktoberfest with our yummy seasonal offerings.

Having worked in the Bakery department for more than 15 years, the Bavarian Pretzel ranks right up there as one of my all-time faves. Soft, yet chewy, and topped with just enough salt, it is great warmed and paired with Beer Cheese Dip that’s Made Right Here in The DLM Cheese Shop. Or, you can’t go wrong if you slather it with some butter.

Oh and don’t even talk to me about Sauerkraut Balls, because they are just that good. When our kitchens began making these several years ago, I was happy to be one of the official taste testers (it is hard work around here)! Keep an eye out for this seasonal favorite in our Gourmet Takeaway case as well as a traditional Spätzle.

Another German-inspired food you’ll want to get your hands on is the Crazy Ludwig Sandwich, which is made to order at our Sandwich Station. We layer our Farmhouse Bread with Jarlsberg Cheese Dip and DLM Uncured Smoked Ham. We’d also be amiss to not mention the array of Brats and Sausages that we carry, which you can pile high with good sauerkraut and mustard, such as Hengstenberg German Mustard. To cap it off, you’ll want to head back to the Bakery for a Cream Puff, piped and filled fresh right here by our pastry chefs. They’ll also be debuting an apple strudel this year!

Last, but definitely not least, every Oktoberfest celebration is not complete without picking up some Great Lakes Oktoberfest brewed right here in Ohio, and other Oktoberfest beers. So gather some friends together and enjoy the transition to fall with German foods from DLM!

Sip on This: Cold Brew Coffee

You’ve likely heard the trendy terms “cold brew coffee” or “coffee toddy.” The process behind it is different than what most of us think of when we hear “iced coffee.” To brew iced coffee, one would make extra strong hot coffee in a regular coffee maker then pour it over ice, thus both diluting the strong coffee and chilling it simultaneously. The cold brew method is different, and produces a beverage that’s smooth, strong, and delicious—never watered down.

We use a higher coffee to water ratio than we do for a typical brew, one pound of coffee per gallon of filtered water. The word “brew” in this case is deceiving as what really happens is the water and coffee steep at room temperature for eight to 12 hours before the grounds are strained out. The result is a cup of cold brew coffee that’ll give you a pep in your step. We are kicking up this cold brew experience with a twist. We’re tossing in chicory root with the coffee grounds and steeping them together, combining the New Orleans-inspired toddy with Vietnamese coffee-influenced sweetened condensed milk. Ask for The Big Easy.

Now for the best part: You’ve heard of a growler— the amber glass jug that craft beer enthusiasts love. Growlers aren’t just for beer. Purchase a growler or bring one from home and we’ll fill it with any of our iced drinks. Stop by the DLM Coffee Bar and see what the fuss is about. You’re gonna love it!

DLM 1948 Classic Dark Roast Coffee

We are super excited to introduce this brand new coffee to our lineup. We wanted to capture a throwback, wake up kind of roast that has a fantastic aroma and taste. Perfect for your daily cuppa, 1948 is a classic dark roast coffee that’s as bold and memorable as our treasured history, including that first fateful year in 1948 when our doors opened as a fruit stand on the corner of Dorothy Lane.

Roasted in small batches, this coffee is everything a dark roast should be: smooth, full-bodied, and not bitter. It was fitting to give it our anniversary name. We’ve tried it in a traditional drip coffee maker, Aeropress, pour-over, and French press, and no matter the brewing method you choose, you can count on the DLM signature quality shining through to brighten every morning.

Behind the Scenes at the DLM Bakehouse

Hidden in an un-marked part of our Washington Square shopping center is a secret studio where our bread bakers create their art. Driving around the back of the store at 7 p.m., our bakers are busy getting to work. Perfectly proofing, scoring, and baking bread, rolls, and bagels all night long. This is a studio like none you have ever seen, with buckets of bubbling, gooey sourdough starters, giant mixers, and rotating stone-hearth deck ovens. The Bakehouse is alive and moving nearly 24 hours a day with the mission of providing our stores with the freshest bread possible, delivering product every morning. What we don’t sell from the previous day is donated to various organizations to feed the needy, so that every piece of bread that is placed in the case for sale is always just a few hours old.

Baking is a science that involves many aspects that can affect the final product with the slightest variation. Outside temperature, humidity, water temperature, and even the speed of the mixer can make or break an entire batch of bread. Mixing is where the process starts, and one of the most important steps to achieving great bread. Have you ever been distracted while trying to mix a batch of cookie dough, coming back to the bowl unable to remember what ingredient you put in last? Imagine being responsible for mixing thousands of pounds of dough in a day. It takes skill and concentration to get the dough just right. From the mixing bowl, the dough goes to our group of bench workers where the dough is allowed to gas up with air. It’s punched down and allowed to rise again. It’s then divided into individual sized loaf weights and “first round” begins. This consists of each loaf being given what we call a “rough shape” where the dough is gently rounded and allowed to rest. “Second round” begins with the final shaping of each loaf into the more polished look you see in our Bakery. Seeds or toppings are added to the loaf and it enters its final stage of relaxation prior to being baked. Thanks to our hands-on process, you’ll notice that no two loaves of artisan bread look alike.

If this all seems very time-consuming, it’s because it is! We are very serious about bread and care to do it right, without cutting corners. Sometimes bread doesn’t rise like it should, due to weather or other factors, but our bakers wait until the time is right to place it in the oven. Several of our skilled folks have been baking bread for more than 20 years, and it’s a passion for them. Stop by our Bakery counter and try a sample, take a look at the gorgeous, caramel-colored bread behind the glass, knowing that our associates worked day and night to provide you with the best. Lastly, grab some butter or cheese with an artisan loaf and enjoy!

Explore the World at Our Spring Fling Pastry & Food Show

Food, beer, wine and last, but not least, pastries from six different countries make up what we think is aptly named the Spring Fling Pastry & Food Show, coming up 7-9 p.m. Thursday April 19, at DLM Springboro. The event showcases foods from around the world with delectable goodies from not only the United States, but France, South Africa, Belgium, Canada, and England. When you come, you’ll want to make sure you are ready to eat not only pastry, but the food creations we’ll have representing each country.

This event started 14 years ago from a desire to show our guests just how much passion our Pastry Chefs put into making the highest quality desserts possible. DLM is very fortunate to have not one, but two talented pastry chefs. Amy Brown, who attended The French Pastry School in Chicago, and Lindsey Lucas, who has a degree in baking and pastry arts from the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State. Together these ladies lead a team of people who meticulously bake and assemble the beautiful pastry and bakery items glistening in our Bakery case at DLM. People peering into the case often exclaim that they are “too pretty to eat.” I always promise them that after the first bite, they will change their mind!

After the first go-round of the show, we kept having the same question asked during the event: “Where is the food? There is just pastry?” So the following year, we added savory food options. We are very fortunate to have DLM’s Culinary Director Chef Carrie Walters to head up the development of the amazing selection of foods you’ll also find at the show. Trust me—you will want to eat one of everything, and maybe even go back for seconds.
In addition to the food and pastry that’ll be filling your plate, look for beer and wine to sample along the way. Don’t be shy—it’s all part of your ticket price. Our spring party this year will be made complete with a Killer Brownie® chocolate fountain.

So join us for our Spring Fling Pastry & Food Show. We look forward to this show all year as a welcome to warmer weather in a cozy environment. In fact, we only sell 150 tickets to keep a more intimate feel (so grab yours today). We look forward to our time together celebrating good food and company. See you there!