Bread is more than just a food. Just think of how the word is used: A person’s “bread and butter” is his or her main source of sustenance, while bread or dough can be cash, plain and simple. When people “break bread” they share more than just a meal: They come together in body as well as spirit.
It’s not surprising that bread is imbued with special meaning. Since the first raised breads were baked in Egypt around 4,000 B.C., bread has been a vital food source for peoples around the globe. Over the centuries it has traveled and evolved, reflecting both the unity and diversity of human culture, and the ability of people to adapt to their environment.
What kind of bread people make depends on what kind of grain is available, and that often depends on local climate and geography. In Ethiopia, for example, the nutritious, high-protein grain teff, which grows well in the country’s central highlands, is used to make injera, the sour, spongy bread eaten with most meals. Barley, on the other hand, well-suited for cold climates, is used in Finland to make ohrarieska, a traditional staple and after-sauna snack.
The Bible tells of the matzoh the Israelites ate as they fled Egypt. Because the former slaves’ dough had no time to rise, it baked on their backs as they escaped into the desert. Whether or not the story is historically accurate, we do know that lifestyle plays a major role in the kinds of breads people eat. In central Asia, where both grain and fuel are scarce, nomads make small, thin rounds that cook quickly over a fire. To survive long, cold winters, the people of central Anatolia hang rings of bread from the rafters. When fresh bread is needed, a ring is brought down, moistened with water, and soon is ready to eat.
Whatever kind of bread you’re used to, a little bit of science can make you a better baker, and also make your time in the kitchen more fun.
Types of Bread
Baguette Classic - long, French loaf, but leavened with our natural sourdough starter, which creates a crackly crust, a hearty crumb and mellow sour flavor. Also available in demi size, sprinkled with parmesan cheese, covered with sesame seeds, or rolled in our seed mixture of poppy, sesame, caraway, anise and thyme. Unbleached flour, water, sourdough starter, kosher salt, malt syrup.
Traditional Baguette - Parisian baguette with the requisite thin, crisp crust and delicate interior. Perfect for any sandwich. Try making garlic bread with this one! Unbleached flour, water, kosher salt, yeast.
Country Sourdough - Our most popular bread. Leavened only with our sourdough starter, this dark, burnished boule has a very moist and open structure and a robust sour flavor. Substantial enough to turn a simple salad and bread into a meal. Unbleached flour, water, sourdough starter, kosher salt.
Farm - A medium dark sourdough with a firm crust. The addition of whole wheat flour gives this bread a nutty tang and rustic appearance, complete with flour marks from our proofing baskets. Unbleached flour, water, sourdough starter, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, bran flakes, malt syrup, kosher salt, yeast.
Olive - Provencal-inspired rustic bread packed with dry cured and Kalamata olives. Delicious with a soft, mild cheese, or try this bread as croutons for soup or salad. Unbleached flour, water, sourdough starter, olives, wheat germ, kosher salt.
Ciabatta - The funky shape of our rustic Italian bread belies its exquisite flavor. The thin crisp crust and moist, porous interior creates a perfect "trencher" for olive oil and tomatoes. This bread only lasts one day, but that shouldn't be a problem - this is a bread you can't stop eating. Unbleached flour, water, durum flour, salt, yeast.
Rustic - Not a sourdough, but has all of a sour's characteristics: crunchy, caramelized crust, moist and open interior structure. The difference is in the sweet, wheaty flavor. Unbleached flour, water, wheat germ, salt, yeast.
Rosemary - A fragrant, fresh rosemary boule has a hint of rich, olive oil. Wonderful with meat stews. Unbleached flour, water, sourdough starter, olive oil, wheat germ, rosemary, kosher salt, yeast.
Cinnamon Raisin - A rich, white sandwich bread with gooey cinnamon swirls throughout. Makes fine French toast. Unbleached flour, milk, water, butter, whole eggs, brown sugar, golden raisins, kosher salt, yeast, cinnamon.
Brioche - Available plain or with golden raisins. Unbleached flour, milk, eggs, butter, (raisins), sugar, kosher salt, yeast.
Potato Dill - Baked potatoes keep this bread extremely moist with a long shelf life. The delicate interior structure will surprise you, the flavor enlivened by fresh dill. Great with tuna salad. Also available without dill. Unbleached flour, water, sourdough starter, potatoes, wheat germ, dry milk, dill, kosher salt.