Baking has always been a big part of Jeannie Hall’s life.
“My parents were teachers, but they both loved to bake,” says Hall, baker and owner of Bossy Bakers. “We spent a lot of time in the kitchen together baking pies, cookies, and other baked goods.”
During an internship at a cake bakery, Hall says she became interested in different ingredients, particularly natural options, and wanted to learn more.
“I also went on as many local farm tours as I could, and it opened my eyes to understanding the importance of fresh, natural ingredients,” Hall says.
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Experimenting with flavors, recipes, and simple, fresh ingredients, Hall tested the idea of opening a bakery with a pop-up business, first selling a selection of artisan cupcakes at local businesses like Due South Coffee and then with pies at the Downtown Greenville Saturday Market.
“The pop-up business kept growing, and eventually, it funded itself,” she says. “That was a signal it was time to take the next step to bricks and mortar.” In late 2019, Hall opened Bossy Bakers in a permanent space on Wade Hampton Boulevard with an expanded menu of pastries, cookies, pies, scones, brownies, cupcakes, and more.
“The name Bossy Bakers is about being real,” says Hall. “The bakery was founded on making real baked goods, using real ingredients. And as a business owner, it’s also about being real – so I can be bossy if I need to be.”
You won’t find artificial flavors or highly-processed ingredients. Instead, Hall is firm about using only the best available fresh ingredients and sources from local farm partners like Jackson Farms II and Hurricane Creek Farms.
Keeping the quality high is a labor of love.
“We do so much of the work by hand, like rolling out the pie crust with a rolling pin, cutting in butter for scones, and laminating the dough for croissants,” she says. “These simple techniques create layers or flaky pockets, for example, and make a difference in the way it tastes.”
Menu standouts include morning buns, coffee cake, and kouign amann, a scrumptious French pastry that’s flaky like a croissant but also dense and caramelized like a sticky bun.
“It’s butter and sugar magic and a customer favorite,” says Hall. “There’s a caramelized crunch on the bottom, and it has almost a custardy texture on the inside.”
Loaves of crispy oven-fresh sourdough bread continue to be a hit.
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“We don’t use industrial yeast,” Hall says. “Instead, we use natural leavening products for things like sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls. In addition to its health benefits, breads leavened naturally with a sourdough starter have much more flavor and texture.”
Hall says plans are in the works for a series of on-site baking classes, including one on how to use a sourdough starter for other items.
On the very savory side, there are tasty hand-crafted pizzas, also featuring a naturally leavened crust. Available only on Fridays, options include Sicilian-Detroit-style pepperoni and a three-cheese pan pizza made to order and finished with a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey.
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