WAUTOMA — It’s only fitting that Innish Wall is one of a baker’s dozen – his family includes 11 brothers and sisters and the newest addition, Cledwyn, a Dachshund puppy – since baking is his passion.
He made his first loaf of Amish white bread when he was about 6 years old, with the help of his mom, Annabelle, and sister, Ellery. He has been baking ever since. “Everybody in our family likes bread, so I make it a lot for us,” said Innish.
“He’s really good at it,” said sister Makaley, 25. “He’s better than me, actually.” “He’s really a giver, a nurturer, and this is his way of taking care of us,” added Annabelle.
Now 13, Innish also shares his talent for baking with others. He provides items for the St. Joseph Parish picnic bake sale; makes Danishes and cakes for the canons at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Oratory of the Immaculate Conception, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Wausau; and supplements his family’s donations of milk, butter and pork to the Nativity of Our Lady Convent, the same order into which his sister, Arden-Marie of the Divine Infant, 25, was received into in Italy in February 2019.
Last year, in addition to entering his baked goods at the Waushara County Fair, Innish wanted to show his Holstein-Jersey heifer, Winnifred, for his 4-H dairy project. He began St. Augustine’s Bakery (his middle name and also his favorite saint, noted for his charitability and perseverance) to raise money for a halter, grooming clippers and hay and feed. “She won Grand Champion,” said Innish with a smile, who is planning to exhibit a market pig this summer.
Innish and his siblings are homeschooled, which allows the flexibility for him to serve as an altar boy at St. Joseph Parish on Wednesdays, volunteer at the Waushara County Food Pantry on Fridays, and, of course, create in the kitchen.
Working from “On Baking,” a college-level culinary arts textbook, Innish hones his craft making a variety of baked goods using eggs, homemade butter, milk and lard from the family farm. “My favorite thing to make is chocolate chip cookies — I have my own recipe, not so much a crispy cookie, more chewy and gooey,” he said.
The Wall family has Fr. David Greskowiak, administrator of St. Joseph Parish, over for dinner once a month. Last Christmas, Fr. Greskowiak asked if he could put an announcement in the church bulletin for St. Augustine’s Bakery. The order form, which is available in the parish office, has been updated for Valentine’s Day and features a variety of heart-shaped treats, including sugar cookies, chocolate shortbread, spritz cookies and a chocolate chip cookie cake, as well as Innish’s most popular item, cinnamon rolls.
He also accepts special requests. “I enjoy baking for other people,” said Innish. “I feel a sense of giving, and I’m happy doing what I love to do.”
He’s saving money to finish the inside of the family’s garage and turn it into a bakery. He needs insulation and has looked at stoves to heat it in the winter. “That’s why I’m doing the market pig, to sell it in the animal market and use some of the money for the garage, to buy an oven; reinvest in the business.”
Other future plans include offering his baked goods at farmers markets and traveling with his family to Italy in April to visit Sr. Arden-Marie of the Divine Infant. What’s he looking forward to the most, besides seeing his sister? He says with a big grin, “The pastries.”