Baking bread into memories

Baking bread into memories

A taste of time in Washington Court House

By Ashley Bunton

Owner and baker Becca Krupla makes dozens of individual fruit pies from scratch.

BB’s Cakes & More is the only bakery with the original cream bread recipe.

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — BB’s Cakes & More bakery is one step off Main Street — and one step back into nostalgia.

The bakery is located in a nondescript building in downtown Washington Court House, but on the inside it’s anything but plain.

Looking in the bakery cases is like appraising gems: thumbprint, pinwheel and chocolate chip cookies, red velvet doughnuts with cream cheese frosting, fruit pies and a cake for every occasion all get wrapped up into pink boxes.

Everyone in Fayette County knows about the classic pink boxes, but the doughnuts and cookies aren’t the treasure the bakery is most known for.

The bakery’s true gem is its original cream bread. A loaf of original cream bread isn’t your average loaf: the cream-colored slices are thin and round but with a consistently dense center.

The original cream bread recipe was developed decades ago by a Washington Court House baker. When the baker died and the bakery closed, the recipe and the building sat dormant for 20 years, until last year, when Becca Krupla opened BB’s Cakes & More.

Krupla fired up her oven and started baking pies and cakes for the community. According to her, the baker who had once made the original cream bread in the same building was iconic and she had always admired his work. Then one day, as Krupla was working in her bakery, a family member of the iconic baker stopped by. After talking, the family member presented Krupla with the recipe to the original cream bread.

“That family built that name. They built that reputation. They built that product,” said Krupla. “I’m not trying to build off their name. I’m trying to give back to the community something that was lost and I’m trying to build my own name.”

The original cream bread is reminiscent of simpler times. Krupla said locals remember the original cream bread that was being made over 20 years ago — and when they remember the bread, they remember the stories from their lives during that time.

“People come in and say, ‘I hear you bake the original cream bread.’ When people haven’t had this particular type of cream bread for 20 years, they say, ‘Oh man, that takes us back to when we were younger.’ It makes people feel good, and that’s why I like it. I’m glad we were able to do that in today’s world,” Krupla said.

She manages the bakery single-handedly and doesn’t pay for advertising to woo customers. Patrons come to the bakery through word-of-mouth or they wander in on their own when they smell the freshly baked bread and pie crusts wafting out into the street.

During the holidays last year she baked over 300 loaves of the original cream bread each week. She mails the bread to customers across the country. She arrives at the bakery at 1 or 2 a.m. and tries to leave at 4 p.m. but can easily put in an 18-hour day by staying as late as 9 p.m. to finish orders. She doesn’t complain about the long hours.

“I want to bring things back to the community the way it used to be. This is one of the things that made people feel good. They have great childhood memories of standing in line as a kid. The smell takes them back,” Krupla said.

She said she has plans to expand the bakery eventually and add a diner next door, but for now, she’s continuing to do what she loves: “I want to give people a taste of time.”

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Recipes courtesy of BB’s Cakes & More:

PECAN PIE

Ingredients:

3 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup karo syrup

2 tablespoons corn oil or melted margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 unbaked pie shell of your choice

Directions:

Mix together and pour into pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees F until pie is set and not shaky.

Do not double recipe.

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PECAN SHORTBREAD

Ingredients:

3/4 pound butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup pecans, fine dice

Powdered sugar, as needed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream sugar, butter, vanilla and almond. In separate bowl, sift flour and salt; add to butter mixture. Add pecans. Mix until all comes together. Dust with powdered sugar and flatten dough into a round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll dough 1/2-inch thick and cut into 2 1/2-inch squares or circles.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until edges begin to brown.

BB’s Cakes & More

149 N. Main St., Washington Court House

Hours: 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 7 a.m.-noon Saturdays

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