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Oct 24, 2006 11:53 PM

Best Bread in Detroit Region

What does a guy have to do to get a fantastic loaf of bread in this town? OK folks, Chamberlain Bakery appears to be gone. (If I'm wrong tell me where I can get that incredible Rye!) Zingerman's - my artisanal aficionados - is a pale (or should that be stale) version of what it used to be. Yes, even the once oh-so-pure, avant-garde and loveable Avalon bakery has fallen victim to the mass production demon that haunts Detroit even today. Disagree all you want but I maintain that there is an enormous void in this market for talented craft bakers. I even considered pooling resources and driving to Bob Pisor's Stone House Bakery in Leland once a week. Yes, I am a desperate, bread-loving guy. What is your favorite? Please don't respond with Cantaro, Panera, Great Harvest or some such pseudo-ugh nominations. I'm talking tangy sourdough, earthy pumpernickel, dense sour rye, hearty seedy eight-grain....Many thanks!

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  1. Dakota Bread - West Bloomfield on Orchard Lake Road. - absolutely delicious.

    If you around Ann Arbor, also try Zingermann's they are known for their bread.

    1. Still and always, Avalon Bakery. On Willis Street in the Cass Corridor. mmmmmmmmm. C'mon. Everyone gets a bad loaf once in a while.

      1. Gosh, I haven't experienced any deterioration in Zingerman's bread. Care to elaborate on what your feeling that their bread isn't what it used to be? I don't mean to challenge you rather am interested in your take. I will say, as much a I adore Z's bread and it is a staple in our home, I've never been fond of the baguette.

        2 Replies
        1. re: luckygirl

          Well, I was going to start with the baguette but you beat me to it. The overall quality is down in the farmhouse, semolina and other traditional breads. They are often dry, less dense, with a cardboardy crust and generally they’re less flavorful than in the past. It's hard to compare their novelty mix-in breads (chocolate cherry, pecan raisin, chile cheddar...). For somewhere around $7.00 a loaf my expectations are not nearly fulfilled. This too and they are selling the stuff everywhere. Shockingly two local stores around me - one a health food market and the other a boutique produce/grocer - sell the stuff already sliced and....bagged in plastic! This violates Zingerman's own whimsical but serious advisory against suffocating your bread. Yet they're letting stores sell it that way? What, no quality control once it leaves the oven? Seeing this left a bad taste in my mouth and simply confirmed what I already suspected: Zingerman's, like Kashi, is now owned by Kelloggs - ha ha. But seriously I wish there was someone in the Detroit area - or heck, someone anywhere who has bread baking skills and some killer starter just waiting to grow and wants to do it in Motown - who can give Zingerman's a run for their money. You would be a success because I think this is one bread-deprived city. I’ll definitely check out everyone’s suggestions although once we get into the flatbreads of the Middle East I think the Detroit area rocks.

          1. re: mrfood1965

            Concerning baguettes, I buy directly from Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor. He's been baking bread for at least the last 27 years. His baguettes are superior to any others that I've had in Ann Arbor. You have to buy eight loaves at a time. I eat one immediately and freeze the remainder. They re-heat nicely. If you don't want to buy eight at a time, I think that the Village Corner in Ann Arbor gets a fresh delivery every Wednesday afternoon. You can buy just one if you like. After Wednesday, VC freezes the remainder and sells them that way. Can't help you with rye bread.

        2. Not a loaf of bread but...

          There is a Syrian baker 17 & Dequinder whose flat breads are beautiful. The name of the baakery iis P'ain D'or. Let them warm up a bread for ii their oven. It only takes a minute and makes such a treat! My faves are the cheese and parsley and the Zatar (sp).

          1. Try the Give Thanks Bakery in downtown Rochester. It's a little hard to find - behind the Main Street Billiards with a back alley entrance. Wonderful breads and pastries.