An artisan bakery recently opened in Balatonfüred, right next to Bistro Sparhelt. A few weeks before the opening we visited the baker, Orsi Zeliska, who, over the first few babkas, told us how she became a baker, what her first whole grain breads looked like, what are the similarities between baking and raising a child, and she even let us know why she has a stool next to the counter.
It’s safe to stay that they are where it’s at: surrounded by the town council, the school, the kindergarten, and Bistro Sparhelt right at the heart of Balatonfüred, locals come here every day. People peeked in through the windows even before the opening thanks to all the scents flowing out the bakery's door.
The oven welcomes rye breads, cocoa babkas, orange-cinnamon rolls, while the so called “ladies’ blessing”, a whole grain spelt bread with flax seeds gets in line – Orsi is really proud of the latter, as it was the first bread she made with 100% freshly milled flour.
Orsi took on the part of the baker three years ago, when Csaba (her husband) surprised her on her birthday with a stone kitchen mill. Until then she used a bread maker, but soon she put that away and started making loaves with her hands. She got familiar with cereals, which one to use for certain baked goods, and she also learned the tricks of milling. And yes, at first the whole grain loaves looked like bricks – and were just as heavy. After a while she made her own sourdough – she uses that for the breads in the bakery – and a few months later she even entered a baking festival called Kenyérlelke (“Soul of Bread”).
Orsi talks about the baking-trade with enthusiasm, even though it's a profession that's dominated by men. People of this trade support each other. She told us how they felt instantly at home in Balatonfüred, but also mentions how the things she’s anxious about changed: no more deadlines and “campaign creatives”, instead she cares about the amount of cocoa she needs for the babka, and about how to make the inside of a grainy bread even nicer.
Orsi used to be the senior marketing manager of a well-known brand for almost ten years. She loved her job, so it wasn’t about burning out or anything of the sort, she just fell so in love with bread-baking that she felt like she wanted to change her career, and her address and life with it. She hasn’t experienced any of the cons yet, and she jokes even when she says that she can’t paint her nails because of baking. In return, she eagerly talks about the scent of freshly milled grains, their warmth, and their softness. And she really doesn’t mind that she has to wake up early now.
Péter the master baker helps her in the workshop, and Bence helps her behind the counter. Besides breads and pastries, they also sell various sandwiches, smoothies, muesli, fruit salads, and simple cakes for those with a sweet tooth. The jams, syrups, and honeys of local producers are also available here. Some restaurants and shops already got in touch with Orsi to ask if the bakery would deliver for them. What’s more, someone already said that they will surely outgrow their shop by spring, so they better start thinking about expanding it – however, for now, they just want to take on as much as they can manage with love and joy, no more.
“This is a «dwarf-bakery» anyways,” said Orsi laughingly. Everything in the shop was built so that she can work easily with her 5.1 feet height – and then there’s the stool for everything else. Her dedication and passion already shows that this is something big.
Translated by Emma Póli