Just up Highway 33 and one left turn from OKC, there is a gem of bakery nestled into the woods. When I arrived at Round House Bakery I felt like I had stumbled upon the gingerbread house in the woods, but swap the gingerbread house for a geodesic dome and minus the whole scary witch part. Instead I was greeted by Kayla Peters who invited me into her bakery that is decorated in an eclectic mix of vintage appliances and handmade goods. After a morning of watching Kayla work her culinary magic, she sent me home with a box of warm cranberry scones and a charming experience.
Bakery Name: The Round House Bakery
Location: Perkins, Oklahoma
Your Name: Kayla Peters
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in the baking industry?
Well, it’s a long story! I grew up baking and cooking (for a growing family of 10) in Mennonite communities most of my life. We loved eating cuisine from all over the world and sharing food was our family’s love language. When my husband and I met we talked about our dream to travel to other countries and get medical training for disaster relief. Meanwhile we’d both need to come up with a business plan and take turns going to school. My husband had worked in construction his whole life so he wanted to start flipping houses. In 2009, we decided to start with this abandoned geodesic dome house next door to his parents that we camped out inside while we worked on it. Meanwhile he continued working in construction, (and working on our own house when he came home) while I did about everything I could think of from sewing and mending clothes to street-side bake sales. That’s when people started asking me to bake for them, and begging me to open a bakery in town. We collected used equipment for about two years while we finished out the rest of our house and decided to remodel our garage into a bakery.
What is your most vivid food memory, recently or in the past?
I’ve always loved experimenting with food so I have a lot! My first baking memory was when I was about 7 years old... I talked my dad into letting me bake while mom was out of the house. I wanted to prove to my mom I could bake her favorite “blueberry pie” but since we didn’t have blueberries, I added cinnamon thinking it would be a brilliant substitute… then I combined the crust ingredients together with the filling ingredients and poured it into a pan, thinking it would turn into a pie once it was done! I was pretty proud of that mush, and broken hearted when I realized she threw it away. I’ve been trying to prove myself ever since!
What was the catalyst for opening The Round House Bakery?
We knew we couldn’t go wrong with food. But we wanted to be able to have a bakery somewhere on our property so I could have a flexible schedule to work at all hours and still be with the kids when I needed to. That’s when we decided to remodel our garage into a commercial kitchen and work more as a private cake studio and bake-to-order for events.
When did The Round House Bakery open its doors?
I started baking out of my own kitchen for family and friends once the home bakery laws were passed in November 2011. We opened the new studio for orders this past spring and hosted a few open house, bake sales. We had our grand opening of the bakery in October of this year.
How did the name come about?
Our house is round and a bakery and at our house = the round house bakery. From the beginning we have always called it our “round house” because it was easier than remembering “geodesic dome.”
Can you talk a little on your food theory?
Growing up, my mom was avidly health conscience when it came to using any boxed mixes, shortening, bleached sugar etc.. so this definitely influenced my method of baking and taught me to appreciate the flavor of real ingredients. I make everything from scratch and use the most local and unprocessed ingredients as possible. I believe in using lots of butter and that a good pastry is moist and tender! I’m also picky about my food being fresh since I don’t use preservatives... so I spend a lot of time baking everything the night before or early morning of an event.
What is your favorite item to bake?
I’m sort of eclectic about baking and I get tired of doing the same thing for very long. I like doing it all, from the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls to the very last detail in a painted cake. The fun part for me is always styling the finished product, so when I have free rein to express myself in a collaboration or photo shoot of some type, that’s what I enjoy doing the most.
What type of goods do you work in mostly?
Because I bake to order, I do a lot of cakes and macaroons for weddings and birthday parties. I specialize in hand painted designs and more natural, artisan looking cakes/ pastries rather than the traditional fondant figures and sugar frills.
What new exciting projects do you see in the future for you?
I recently joined in with Brides of Oklahoma and am looking forward to being one of their vendors for future events. I am also looking to host some fun workshops once things settle down with the grand opening and holiday preparations. I am always open to collaborate with local artists!
What is your favorite part of having your bakery attached to your home? What challenges does it present?
It is truly a dream come true to have a separate studio space right off my living area and be able to work from home with my family at all hours of the day. Since we have toddlers, I do a lot of my baking over nap time, late at night or early in the morning when my husband is at home. As the business has grown I have been able to hire babysitters to help and assist me with the kids so I can work more during the day and be free in the evening.
The biggest challenge of having the bakery in our home is the constant battle of not wanting to give up our privacy yet be able expand as a business at the same time. Since I don’t offer fresh baked goods to the public at any given time of the day, I mostly rely on word-of-mouth referrals and social media to bring in the business for event orders. As much as I enjoy that aspect of it, I want to find ways to make it more convenient for our customers and easier to find.
Any new or exciting developments in the menu that we can look forward to seeing?
I’m tweak the menu on a monthly basis. This fall I will have a new and updated menu and a set schedule for the shop to be open with a few ready-baked goods available to pick up once or twice a week. We have a bake sale/open house over most holidays, including free samples for new customers.
How can we make our holiday orders with you?
We usually have a bake sale 2 days prior to holidays year round. For Thanksgiving and Christmas we will have open studio the whole week prior since we have a small gift shop as well. For more details and hours on that, our website blog and social media accounts will be updated weekly. Holiday order deadlines are due for Thanksgiving and Christmas 1 week in advance, unless I get too many and have to close orders, so sooner the better. We are also open each weekend for anyone to drop in and place an order or sample whatever fresh pastries we have available that day. We have an order form on our website but you can email, text or call us anytime and leave a message.
If we want to come visit your little bakery in the woods, when is the best time to do that?
I am open by appointment Tuesday thru Saturday and my studio is now open on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 until 11:30 a.m. for anyone who wants to stop by and see the bakery and gift shop or book an order. We adjust the hours seasonally over the holidays, but we always keep the updated hours on our website and social media blogs.
Do you have any fun holiday recipes could share with us?
Scones are one of my popular pastries over the holidays and they are simple to make. Whenever I make these I always think of my Grandma so this recipe is dedicated to her. If you don’t care for the cranberries, you can make this recipe 100 ways with any dried fruit or spice combination.
Cranberry Scones + Buttermilk Glaze
· 2 Cups Unbleached, all purpose flour
· ⅓ Cup Unbleached Sugar (I like to use the Morena brand)
· 1 Tsp baking powder
· ¼ Tsp baking soda
· ½ Tsp salt
· 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, chilled, cut in slices (if using salted omit ¼ tsp salt)
· ½ C. sour cream
· 1 large egg
· ½ C dried cranberries
· Grated rind of one lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 375
Combine the first 5 dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl with the cold butter slices. Combine with a pastry mixer (or use a cookie dough paddle in a stand mixer).
Whisk the sour cream and egg, then add to your buttercrumb mixture along with the dried cranberries. Give it a few stirs and before it comes all together, scrape out the wet crumbs onto a cool, flat surface. With out over kneading it, gather the crumbly dough until it all sticks together to form a flattened, round disk, about 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Keep your surface lightly dusted with flour to keep the dough from sticking. If your dough is too dry add a little bit more sour cream. If it’s too wet add more flour.
Divide into 2 disks to make 12-16 finger scones or into 1 disc for 6-8
large scones. Cut with a pastry knife like a pie, first divide in half, then quarters or thirds depending how many scones you want. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Pour glaze over warm scones and serve or seal in an airtight container to keep them moist.
Basic Buttermilk Glaze
· 2-3 Tbs Buttermilk
· ¾ cup powdered sugar (if using organic, sift out any lumps)
Whisk until smooth and add more or less buttermilk or powdered sugar until consistency is easy to pour.