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"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...

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  1. 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.

    1. Feel Good Bakery in the Alameda Marketplace makes a couple of excellent whole grain breads -- the Wholey-Moley is my favorite. http://www.feelgoodbakery.com/breads....

      Feel Good Bakery
      1650 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

      1. This thread from March might be useful: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/385176

        I like Vital Vittles for sandwich bread, although it sounds like you are looking for something crustier.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dave MP

          Second on VV. See that thread for further thoughts.

          Acme's whole-wheat loaf might be a closer match to the request. I haven't seen it too often except at their two bakeries.

          I don't know what "no aftertaste" means.

        2. 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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jamie Rudman

            Artisan also sells a sliced multigrain pullman loaf in half loaves at Piedmont Grocery. It's probably available elsewhere as well. I buy their slices sourdough pullman for bacon and egg sandwiches--it's super.

            1. re: Jamie Rudman

              Yes, Henry's Harvest is the one that I was talking about, it's sold at Market Hall Bakery.

            2. I really like Morell's whole wheat loaf/round available at the Saturday farmers market in Berkeley. It's whole grain, got a nice soft inside, not too dense that has a slightly sourdough taste. They made be available at other markets as well, I'm not sure.

              1 Reply
              1. re: oaklandfoodie

                I personally find his bread VERY dense, but it is delicious if that's what you're in the mood for (like for thinly sliced open faced sandwiches of, say, smoked salmon). He's also at the Thursday Berkeley market.

              2. 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.

                1. Artisan Multigrain They do some of the best bread around - and they don't add sugar or honey like many bakeries do. It's usually available in good grocery stores. They have a small round loaf - Ithink it might be 1lb.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sonomajom

                    As I noted above, they also do a sliced half pullman loaf, perfect for sandwiches.

                  2. 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 stuff.

                    1. 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.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: bbulkow

                        I love the vital vittles as well. their "real bread" tastes just like my grandmas bread. Nice and fresh tasting--it is a loaf, but it holds up in the fridge pretty well.

                        1. re: misti

                          I LOVE that bread, but be warned that it has no real crust to speak of.

                          1. re: Aaron

                            True, no real crust. But, I love it anyway and I'm a crusty bread kind of gal too.

                        2. re: bbulkow

                          Great harvest can claim that but it's not true. It's from sugar & honey.....Sad to hear they're in a farmers market, they're a franchise for peets sake

                          Great Harvest Motto (for other bakeries/bakers)
                          That's alot of money for sugar, yeast & honey