Winter is Jessica Brockway’s favorite time of the year, inside and outside the kitchen.
It’s the time for warm flavor, said Brockway, a Bothell resident and owner of Page Bakery, a 2-year-old online bakery that delivers a variety of baked goods that she whips up in a commercial kitchen.
A menu goes out every Monday offering breads, cookies, cakes and pastries. Customers place their order — a five-item minimum — by Wednesday and receive their selection on Friday.
Brockway, 30, also makes baked goods for several Woodinville wineries’ tasting rooms.
“My job is to open up that window for people and get them past just pairing chocolate with wine, so we’re doing a lot of savory treats,” she said.
Michelle Carpenter, the tasting room manager at Milbrandt Vineyards in Woodinville, is a Page Bakery-Brockway fan.
“She is fantastic,” Carpenter said. “She provides an assortment of baked goods — warm sourdough bread which is her specialty — cookies, and depending on the time of the year, she customizes them for the holidays. Last week, she cranked out 200 bacon Parmesan scones for us. For Halloween, she made a pumpkin macaroon. It’s delicious and high quality. It helps bring out the wine.”
And, yes, Brockway is both baker and delivery driver.
“I’m a one-man band,” she said.
Her winter flavor profile includes vanilla bean, hazelnut, cloves and bergamot, a fragrant citrus fruit. (When combined with tea leaves, bergamot gives Earl Grey Tea its unique taste.)
In 2019, Brockway was a finalist on the Food Network’s “Halloween Baking Championship,” where she dished up such treats as raspberry mousse beneath a chocolate skull and a spiced butter shortbread with skeleton fingers for the judges.
“Food Network has reached out to me a couple more times, but being a single mom and with COVID, I turned down two different opportunities,” Brockway said. “But I’m definitely making plans to go back. Nothing that I can talk about, but, yes, it is in the plan.”
Page Bakery evolved from BB Nest Bakery in Lynnwood, which Brockway operated from 2016 to 2020. The bakery catered weddings, birthday parties and special events until the pandemic paused celebrations and forced Brockway to change her focus.
“I had to build a new business plan,” Brockway said. “I created a more structured menu and opened Page Bakery.”
Page is Brockway’s middle name. And “like a page in a book, it’s a new chapter in my life,” she said.
Winter is also family time.
“There’s personal baking going on this time of year — not just bakery baking but recipes that are going to my family members,” Brockway said. “I learned my baking skills from my mother and my grandmother. I come from a big family and they always express their love through food.”
Brockway has been baking and collecting recipes since she was a kid. Six years ago, the birth of her daughter, Della, prompted Brockway to modify some of those recipes to cut down on sugar. To boost the flavor, she uses more spices, or lemon and orange zest.
“The more flavor, the less sugar you need to use,” she said. “I never do anything too sweet. My flavors are complex, not sweet.”
“I’m a single mom and a lot of my baking originally started because I wanted more wholesome treats for my daughter to enjoy,” Brockway added. “From there, it developed into what excited me and finding amazing ingredients other people would also enjoy. I connected with community members who had the same desire.”
Brockway’s daughter’s favorite treat?
Her molasses cookies, low on sugar, but “dark and sticky and delicious,” Brockway said.
If you order
The online-only Page Bakery specializes in breads, cookies, cakes and pastries. A menu is posted to pagebakerywa.com each Monday. Place your order — a five-item minimum — by Wednesday to have your baked goods delivered on Friday. Call 425-344-0110 or email email@example.com for more information.
Page Bakery’s Spiced Pecan Pound Cake
One of the biggest stars of Jessica Brockway’s winter kitchen is her spiced pecan pound cake. “This has a warm buttery flavor with lots of vanilla and warming spices — cinnamon, cloves, cardamom — and toasted nuts,” she said. “It feels very indulgent.”
Wine pairing: Spiced pecan pound cake pairs nicely with a merlot or tempranillo.
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
1¼ cups raw pecan pieces
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
5 large eggs
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from one
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Grease a 10-inch fluted pan or 10-cup loaf pan.
Chop raw pecans. Use your discretion: Cut as finely or chunky as you like. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. With a rubber spatula, occasionally scrape down sides of the bowl. Mix until the mixture is a light- or pale-yellow color with a fluffy texture.
Add eggs one at a time. For each egg, crack it into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter. Once the egg is partially mixed, increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about 1 minute to blend in each egg. Add the vanilla along with the last egg.
With the mixer on low speed, add about half of the flour mixture and mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add the sour cream, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again, and then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until blended, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.
Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold 1 cup of toasted pecans into the batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Pecans: Sprinkle ¼ cup toasted pecans over the top of the batter, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Brown butter glaze: Heat 6 tablespoons unsalted butter to a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted. After a few moments, small golden flecks will begin to form on the bottom of the pan. Whisk gently. You will begin to have a slightly nutty fragrance. Remove from stove and cool slightly. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons cream and ¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped, to the butter mixture, whisking to avoid lumps. If mixture is too thick, add more cream. If mixture is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Cool the glaze, and pour over cooled cake.
Washington North Coast Magazine
This article is featured in the winter issue of Washington North Coast Magazine, a supplement of The Daily Herald. Explore Snohomish and Island counties with each quarterly magazine. Each issue is $3.99. Subscribe to receive all four editions for $14 per year. Call 425-339-3200 or go to www.washingtonnorthcoast.com for more information.