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Baking Wild Phyllis

Using a 23 Year Old Yeast Named Phyllis, Wild Phyllis Bakery Specializes in Food for Gluten-Sensitive People

Article by Kimber Patterson

Photography by Meredith Hodge

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

When Meredith Hodge first began baking with sourdough, she met a woman on the internet in England who introduced her to long-fermented bread dough. This process neutralizes the phytic acid in wheat that causes irritability in many people. That was over 15 years ago. Since then Meredith has been adapting dozens of recipes into long fermented sourdough recipes, including organic, digestible (gut-friendly) breads, pastries, cakes, pasta and more.

When Covid-19 swept through Idaho last year, she pulled Phyllis, her wild yeast sourdough starter, out of hibernation and began to bake bread. Several of her former customers in San Diego discovered she was baking again and started ordering her homemade bread and treats. Organic flour was hard to come by, but she found what she needed and baked away. Meredith was a regular at FedEx shipping bread all over the country. With Instagram, she was able to build her business loaf by loaf. Word spread locally through the Treasure Valley, too, thanks to her incredible friends and customers.

Eventually, she rented a commercial kitchen and began baking special orders only, as well as landing several wholesale accounts. Over the summer of 2020, she created a pop-up bakery in front of the commercial kitchen, which attracted the attention of Jeanne, a local realtor and entrepreneur. Jeanne became a friend and eventual business partner. As their partnership formed, they began looking for a new home for the bakery they called “Wild Phyllis Bakery” in honor of the starter that started it all. 

“We use 1000 Springs Flour, Clover Creamery milk, chicken eggs from Bold Rebalanced Farm in Emmet, and duck eggs from Ohddi Farm in Marsing,” says Meredith. “We are so grateful to be able to source a majority of our ingredients locally.”

Their special holiday treats include many fun, seasonally-inspired items. I’m torn between the cranberry orange sourdough, gingerbread scones, and the cinnamon rolls. I think one of each should suffice, along with the challah made with duck eggs. Be sure to pre-order online because they sell-out during the holidays, or you can stop by the bakery Thursday-Saturday. And if you haven’t tried pain d’epi, now is your chance to fall in love with this pull-apart sourdough. Pulling apart warm sourdough is better than pulling on any wishbone! 

Wild Phyllis Bakery

12646 W Fairview Ave

Boise, ID 83616

208.286.1624

wildphyllisbakery.com

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