Photo Credit: Honey and Rye Bakehouse
Photo Credit: Honey and Rye Bakehouse

Ok, so first of all, we have to apologize for being absent lately. I’d like to give you all kinds of fabulous, exciting reasons for this like – being asked to appear on the Ellen Show or winning a gagillion dollars or not having internet access while hiking through the Andes – but unfortunately, no, we don’t have any great excuses other than being moms and being busy working gals and doing the holiday shuffle to several family events. All fairly typical, albeit, mostly reasonable excuses. That’s all we got folks! We are sorry.

To make up for it, we are going to enter this new week with the mother of mothers. It’s one of the things I think about and want with my coffee when I get up in the morning. It is great sweet or savory or stuffed or just plain with a little butter. It is what the aroma of my childhood and, what I also believe, all of France is probably made of.

That’s right people. We’re talking about BREAD!!

I’ve had friends who have lived in Europe, for a period of time, who have shared stories of walking to their local baker or fish or cheese monger to pick up their favorite, locally made and super fresh menu staples. I remember hearing their stories and craving that same kind of intimate experience with food and with those who grow, create and sell it. In the land of the giant box store, walking to a local crafter to pick up a few ingredients can seem like something that is a far cry from the norm. However, over the last 10 years or so the Twin Cities have earned a reputation as a place where the small business and the literal butcher, baker and candlestick maker can thrive in a market that has fallen in love with everything local and hand-crafted. Trendy pop-up restaurants, food and beer crafters and farmers markets are popping up all over the city and are becoming more and more accessible.

So, if you are looking for this experience, local bakers are a great place to start. Swapping out your store bought Wonder Bread (no offense to Wonder Bread) for a beautiful, perfectly crispy and soft-in-the-middle, rustic olive bread can instantly elevate a meal from typical to special. Thank god for bakers!! These are the people who are mixing, kneading and baking the bread that will become the staple at your family dinner table. They are late nights and early mornings. They are mixing and dusting and rising. They are feeding that mother (aka starter) that will become the sourdough bowl from which you will eat homemade, hearty chili from the next day. They do all of this with love. And we love them for it.

What better way to kick of a 3 series post about bread than to entice you with a short list of our favorite places in the Twin Cities to get fresh baked, beautifully hand made, delicious and oh-so-satisfying artisanal bread, along with our suggestions of favorite things to try? Enjoy!

  1. Rustica – Get: Levain, Rustic Olive, any and all cookies or pastries.
  2. Honey and Rye – Get: Sourdough, baguette, any and all scones, Tuesday’s Fruit and Nut bread.
  3. Patisserie Margo – Get: Baguette, croissants, muffins (the bran is out of this world), any and all scones.
  4. Breadsmith – Get: Apple Pie Bread, Chocolate Babka, Farmers Wheat with Cranberries, Olive Ciabatta.
  5. Bread and Chocolate – Get: Croissants!!! Especially the chocolate or almond.
  6. Turtle Bread – Get: Sunflower Rye, Irish Soda Bread, Brioche, Sourdough Rye.
  7. Trung Nam – Get: Baguette, croissants, palmier cookies.
  8. Sun Street Breads – Get: Challah, Sourdough, baguette, donuts, Wright’s Walnut.
  9. Great Harvest Bread Co – Get: Honey Whole Wheat, High 5 Fiber, any and all sweet Batter Breads.
  10. Patisserie 46 – Get: Miche, Walnut Currant Sourdough, 46 Baguette, Levain, any croissants.