Bay Area bread favorites

Kathy, was it better than the Tartine country loaf? I find Tartine to be as close to perfection as can be, with the same contrast in textures that you mention.

Thanks for asking. I couldn’t tell you, as I never buy bread at Tartine.

Tartine is better than Firebrand in my opinion.

On at least two occasions, I’ve bought tartine country loaf and when I tried to slice it hours later, it was so gummy that it left a thick sludge on the bread knife. Over hydrated batch maybe? Anyone else have that experience?

I work close enough to the Ferry Building that Acme has become our standard source for everyday bread. So I’ll just put in a good word for their hot dog and hamburger buns, which are the best I’ve ever had. The only downside is that they often run out, so I have to get there by early afternoon if we’re planning on hamburgers or hot dogs for dinner.

We also discovered that day-or-two-old hot dog buns, if sliced into thin rounds and toasted in the oven (450, just a few minutes) make really excellent toasts for cheese (or whatever). So, there’s that.

We just got some English muffins from local mission market on 23rd and Harrison (4 for $4.7 or so)

They were excellent. They bake their own bread and i suspect most of their other loaves are also quite good

I really like the Firebrand sourdough loaf. I haven’t been crazy about their other breads. Which are your favorites?

I am quite fond of the walnut bread. I haven’t tried the sourdough yet.

I buy a loaf from Tartine maybe once every two weeks. I think all Tartine bread is a little more moist than most breads I find elsewhere, with the porridge breads probably the stickiest. Sometimes I get a thin film on my knife when the loaf is very fresh, but I’ve never noticed anything that could be described as a thick sludge. Maybe you did get an underbaked loaf?

Yeah to Acme. They have a bakery in Mountain View ( sort of MV / PA border ), which might account for their loaves being good down here. I’ve always had a soft spot for the regular ol’ sour, love the dense crumb and hard crust. I know there are fancier breads out there, but the Acme Sour is available everywhere.

Do they have the hot dog & hamburger buns at that location?

I also love their herb slab & onion slab–either one makes great panini.

My favorite Acme bread is the pain de mie. I don’t think I’ve ever had toast that **smells **better than that.

They don’t have the onion slab at the Acme on Cedar in Berkeley. They don’t have the fougasse at the Ferry Building.

I like the Firebrand Golden Raisin and Fennel Baguette and the Walnut or Sourdough Levain. Some of the loaves are a little heavy on the char on the bottom for my liking. I order them through Instacart at Bi-Rite on occasion.

My other bread discovery of 2015 are the Jane breads. Any of the hearty loaves and especially the Walnut Fig bread are worth going out of your way for. Their panettone at Christmas was amazing too.

Yeah, their pain de mie is really good. Perfect crumb.

Sorry for the confusion. The Acme I’m talking about is just a bakery, they don’t sell retail. If you bring up google maps and do streetview at 844 Independence Dr, Mountain View, Ca , and look around, you’ll see a lot of acme trucks and some storage tanks for flour. My point being that the acme at the local safeway and such seem quite fresh.

Milk Pail gets Acme deliveries twice a day.

Ah, okay. The Ferry Building is both, so everything is very fresh.

I meant to add to my post below that I also tried the Midwife + the Baker bread at Epicurean and thought it was really good but spendy. C-

We loved the pressed bread that Yanni’s Sausage Grill/Penngrove uses so much, I asked where they get it from. Turns out they use Full Circle Baking Co./Penngrove, just up the street. Open till 1 or 2p only, very casual informal place. We stood around in the front for a while, looking (and smelling) all that great bread until somebody came in from the back to wait on us. It has that perfect tender crumb and thin, crisp crackly crust for grilled panninis.

Royal Cafe/Albany introduced me to Semifreddi’s rye. They use delicate baby caraway seeds, a pale beige and much gentler in flavor than the hard brown caraway seeds I’ve gotten in other ryes. It’s a light American style but has a really rich rye flavor to it.

When I’m yearning for traditional rye I go to Speisekammer/Alameda, where it’s part of the breadbasket. They don’t use it for sandwiches, however.

I also like Semifreddi’s three-seed baguette.