"Best" local whole or multi grain bread?
I'm looking for recommendations on whole/multi grain (+/-) breads that are available locally, in Berkeley/Oakland. (No use finding something and it being a hassle to get)
I'm not a huge bread eater but I'm starting to eat it more often for lunch and breakfast on the run (PB&J hold up very well). I've had some Acme breads (I assume multi-grain) at restaurants that were excellent and that's where I'm leaning but I know there's more out there.
Since I'm going to start trying some, I thought I might as well ask, perhaps save some waste.
My criteria: a decent, crunchy crust but I prefer a soft, moist/chew-ish interior, i.e., dislike dense, hard, cardboard, interiors. Loaf is preferred, sliced just gets old faster. Taste (clean, no after-taste) and texture seem to be key.
Any recs? Thanks in advance...
Market Hall Bakery makes an excellent one (well, I'm not sure if they make it, but they sell it). It is a standard loaf shape, and you can get it unsliced.
I really enjoy the Henry's Harvest from Grace Baking Company. Its widely available. My other favorite is a round loaf from Artisan Bakers that I buy at the Market Hall Bakery. As a round, it may be a bit more awkward to make sandwiches from, though the off-size bits could be turned into great, wholegrain croutons. The whole wheat breads at the Bread Garden are also worth a try. As for the Acme breads, I don't think that the ones I have seen have been 100% whole grain. If that is an issue for you, I strongly suggest careful label checking or contact the bakeries themselves as many of these artisan whole wheat/grain breads also contain regular wheat flour.
Thanks for the reports, I have some work to do...and it might take weeks.
A couple of notes -- crustier is good but not a deal breaker. I'd rather have an overall good bread and lose the crust.
After taste -- it's usually just large scale commercial bread or poorly made, i.e., taste too much yeast but also I some times get a heavy after taste with heartier breads.
The more I think about it..I think it's multi-grain I'm looking for...but perhaps I'll be surprised by a whole grain.
In the near future Whole Foods will begin carrying nationally a wonderful organic whole grain multi-seeded bread from a Pacific Grove bakery, Pavel's Bakerei.
It is a wonderful flavorful loaf with great texture, and I buy it in the South Bay Area now,
or at the bakery in Pac Grove (on Forest Street) when I'm there.
Great Harvest, on College near Rockridge BART
Only available at their retail store(s), I think --- I get it at the Mountain View farmer's market.
Their bread has a springy sweetness and depth of wheat flavor that I haven't had elsewhere. They claim the taste comes from grinding the flower right before baking the bread, both of which they do right in the store.
The closest is probably the Vital Vittles bread, which I do enjoy when I can't get to Great Harvest.