There is nothing in the world like a good 'ol Southern bakery. Not only are you guaranteed the most scrumptious, flavorful desserts, you are welcomed with open, generous arms. As soon as you open the front door at Back In The Day Bakery in Savannah, Georgia, you're encouraged to come on in, sit down, rest your weary feet for awhile...and enjoy a little Southern hospitality.
You're transported in time when you walk inside Back In The Day and I have to say the decor is as fun and delicious as the food itself. It's like your grandmother's kitchen made perfect with lots of vivid color, good books and old school baking accessories.
Husband and wife team, Cheryl and Griffith Day opened their bakery in 2003. Cheryl is a self taught baker who thanks her Grandma Hannah in Alabama for teaching her how to bake from scratch... how to be patient, precise, kind and grateful.
Nine years after opening, the Back In The Day Bakery is a must see for all those traveling through Savannah. Cheryl's cupcakes have been voted among the top 10 in the country by AOL.com and by Miss Ellen DeGeneres herself.
Cheryl and Griffith have been aptly described as a Sweet and Savory Tour de Force. Cheryl deftly handles the sweets while Griffith tackles the perfectly rustic breads, which include Pugliese, filone, ciabatta and baguette.
I especially love how Cheryl and Griffith embrace color and play. You see their imagination at work in every inch of the bakery, in every bite of something that tastes as good as it looks. Everything is made by hand here using tried and true recipes (and real butter!) Desserts and breads are created in small batches, using local ingredients as much as possible.
The best part is you can take a bit of Back In The Day Bakery home with you, with Cheryl and Griffith's new cookbook. It's a collection of over 100 recipes that have stood the test of time and will keep you coming back for more. Cheryl's intent was to remind us about the beauty of baking from scratch, as well as to show us that we don't need to be a professional to produce exceptionally tasty tidbits. As she shared, "People are so afraid of baking. People have pie crust fear and cake fear. But we are both self taught and we wanted to show people that with patience and a few simple techniques, you can have success and bragging rights."
As expected, the cookbook is beautifully designed with scrumptious photography. This above entry for Chocolate Heaven Cake was the first recipe Cheryl ever made with her grandmother, and it's one of the more popular cakes at her shop. I'd like the cake and the cake stand please...
Cheryl and Griffith's tag line is "Slow down and taste the sweet of life." It's actually easy to do the moment you walk inside their bakery...as you take in the sweet decor, smell the sugar and butter...then step up to the counter lined with pecan sandies, oatmeal cookies, lavender shortbread, old fashioned cupcakes and S'more pie...
Nothing says summer in the South like a yummy, homemade banana pudding. And Cheryl does this best. Her version, called Nana Puddin, is made up of layers of vanilla cream pudding, crumbled shortbread cookies, (that stay crunchy!) fresh bananas and sweetened whipped cream. I don't think I have to say it twice...go visit Back In The Day Bakery. Just get in the car and go. Open the front door and step on inside. Cheryl and Griffith will take it from there...
Photos: Squire Fox (Artisan Books), Vanessa Dina, Christine Hall, Back In the Day Bakery Content: Sweet Peach