Sunday, August 10, 2008


I found a simple but helpful website on bread by a group called Artisan Bakers. If you like bread you'll like this link. I learned about hydration in bread and why ciabatta bread is the best for sandwiches.

Fort Worth is not a city with great bakeries, few cities are anymore. Years ago, when they were but a start up cafe, La Madelaine had great bread and pastries. No more, I think they are on there fifth owner. Even the companies that have baking as a part of their appeal have taken much of the human element out of the baking process. Corner Bakery, Panera Bread, La Madelaine have centralized, mechanized baking. Why? Lower prices. That's what we consumers want.

I think the best bread in the area is at the Whole Foods in Arlington. The Central Market breads are average, in my view. I like the company Panera Bread, but their breads are okay as are Corner Bakery's.

Here's a quote from the Artisan Bread website:
Fermentation is what gives bread flavor. But more than flavor, using starters favorably affects crust (thickness and color), crumb (texture), and shelf life. Good bread takes time! A loaf of our bread takes from 30-40 hours to make. This includes a brief mixing time followed by a 3-8 hour fermentation period. Loaves are then shaped by hand and given a 1-6 hour proof before being baked. Nearly all of our bread is baked directly on the stone floor of a large deck oven. A few of our breads (French rolls and some baguettes) are baked in a convection rack oven.


Anonymous said...

Interesting post... I think that bread is one of my favorite things to taste wherever I go.

I love tasting what Central Market has to offer and other companies as well... but I would agree with your description of the "bread scene" in Fort Worth. It's lacking!

Step it up cowtown!

Francis Shivone said...

Jake -- it's no slam on us really. Bakeries have been squeezed out like all the other artisans. But -- I still think a good, locally-run-by- humans bakery would be a financial success in Fort Worth. Bread, limited pastries, pies -- it could work.
Ciao dude.

Recyclican said...

Atlanta Bread Company in south Arlington has some of the best daily baked bread I've had in this area; at great prices to boot. Second probably to what's sold at Central Market and Whole Foods.

It's unfortunate I have developed a gluten intolerance...gggrrrrhhh!!!

Francis Shivone said...

I have seen the franchise somewhere (Beltline in Dallas?) but have never tried their breads. Thanks, we'll try it. I love Central Market but I don't see much difference in texture in their breads. Love the name, by the way.

David AKA Rico said...

Have you tried the artisan baker that sells at the Cowtown Farmers market? The things I have purchased from them have been very good. Too bad they are only available Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Francis Shivone said...

David (I hope that is not the government program ) RICO -- makes Italians nervous.

I have not tried the artisans bread but appreciate you bringing it to our attention. I will. Thanks.