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Suggestions for Calgary's best bread?

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gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 10:08 AM

I'm planning a baby shower and I'm serving afternoon tea which of course means tea sandwiches. Calgary CHers where do I find the best bread? I had one suggestion from a friend who said to use sandwich bread (square slices) found at Costco... but I'd like something local and super fresh. Any suggestions you have will be most welcomed! TIA

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    yen RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 10:38 AM

    A lot depends on what type of bread you wish to make tea sandwiches from (since if you're going with a traditional english style, it calls for white bread). I dont have much experience with white bread, but here are two good places.

    My personal favourite bakery is Manuel Latruwe. Expensive, but their walnut pecan bread, and blue cheese bread, toast up fantastically to make a great addition to a nice quality finger sandwich.

    I also patronize Rustic Sourdough Bakery for good fresh bread. Their pita/focaccia, as well as some of their heartier breads make for excellent sandwiches as well.

    1. Major_9000 RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 11:08 AM

      I like Urban Baker on Edmonton Trail and COBS near Elbow Dr and Glenmore.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Major_9000
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        gourmethunter RE: Major_9000 Oct 12, 2007 11:21 AM

        Thanks yen, thanks Major. I was looking at COBS (Crowfoot) since hearing good things...but I tend to trust Chers more since we're all about the food heh. COB's website suggests slicing loaves lengthwise to make sandwich assembly easier which makes me think if I request this while at the bakery they won't look at me as if I'm nuts.

        1. re: gourmethunter
          Major_9000 RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 11:31 AM

          I think both places are the kind of bakery's that would accommodate your requests. The owners of Urban Baker also own Big Fish/Deluxe Diner and I've eaten lengthwise sliced Tuscan Bread with my Po'Boy sandwiches at Big Fish, in case that helps, lol.

          1. re: Major_9000
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            yen RE: Major_9000 Oct 12, 2007 12:33 PM

            Urban Baker is good - i completely forgot about them. Im not a huge COBS fan, but in a pinch, they make ok bread. At least it's fresh.

          2. re: gourmethunter
            alex8alot RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 01:43 PM

            Where in Crowfoot is the COBS? Finding anything in that place smaller than Safeway stresses me out! It would be great for when I can't drag myself further south.

            1. re: alex8alot
              sharonanne RE: alex8alot Oct 12, 2007 04:00 PM

              COBS is in the strip mall that has Wendy's on one end. There is a UPS store, M&M and a really good travel store in that part too.
              The market where Marinnuci's used to be in Crowfoot has some decent breads too. New name is something like Plate It Up or Serving Plate. That's in the strip behind the theaters facing Chapters.

              1. re: sharonanne
                alex8alot RE: sharonanne Oct 12, 2007 04:56 PM

                thank you. Wow, I am in and out of that area all the time, and had not known about any of these things.

                1. re: alex8alot
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                  gourmethunter RE: alex8alot Oct 12, 2007 09:58 PM

                  If you're coming south on Nosehill Drive take the first right past John Laurie, which is Crowfoot Road then the first right again onto Crowfoot Crescent: COBS Unit 107-150 Crowfoot Crescent NW
                  I'll be heading there for 7:00am tomorrow :-)

                  1. re: gourmethunter
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                    gourmethunter RE: gourmethunter Oct 13, 2007 08:54 PM

                    See below re this morning's COBS experience.

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          dollykat RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 12:01 PM

          I love the Cape Seed loaf at COBS. It is rather sturdy, so would be great for tea sandwiches.

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            crigg RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 12:24 PM

            I hope no one yells at me. Always posting the cheap eats, I find that the smell of Chinese T&T supermarket baking bread is heavenly. THey are the best place for sweet breads, baked fresh everyday. My favorites are the taro swirled bread and the milk bread(normal white and perfectly square).

            1. sharonanne RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 12:41 PM

              There is a good bread bakery in the strip mall opposite Northland. The mall closer to Crowchild Trail not the one with the Korean market. Prairie Mill I think is the name.

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                feuerzeug RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 12:59 PM

                One of my absolute faves is the rosemary sourdough at Urban Baker. They bake different breads on different days, so you might want to call ahead.

                Not sure if it is appropriate for tea sandwiches, but if you like German/European bread, Gunthers bakery does a great schrotbrot, and various types of rye breads and buns.

                City bakery also has some really nice stuff.

                -----
                Urban Baker
                802 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E, CA

                Gunther's Fine Baking Ltd
                4306 17 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2A, CA

                2 Replies
                1. re: feuerzeug
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                  graemejw RE: feuerzeug Oct 12, 2007 03:10 PM

                  Try the Honey Wholegrain at CostCo - made by a local bakery right here in Calgary - it's lovely.

                  Disclaimer - I designed it :-)

                  1. re: graemejw
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                    a voce RE: graemejw Oct 12, 2007 09:27 PM

                    What does that mean you "designed it"...the bread, the packaging?? Just curious.

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                  asiandelight RE: gourmethunter Oct 12, 2007 09:36 PM

                  Lakeview Bakery just off Crowchild has a great multigrain (or 7 grain?) organic bread. I'm from Edmonton and drive to Calgary to load up.

                  http://members.shaw.ca/organicbaking/...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: asiandelight
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                    gourmethunter RE: asiandelight Oct 12, 2007 10:02 PM

                    Thanks asiandelight...I would have gone to Lakeview Bakery today after my trip to the Calgary Farmer's Market but they were already closed (bad planning on my part) and since we're up in the burbs in the NW I'm probably just going to go search out COBS in the morning.

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                    gourmethunter RE: gourmethunter Oct 13, 2007 08:41 PM

                    Update: I scoured the city this morning and learned some interesting things (aside from the fact that I need to plan better)

                    ~ Eiffel Tower Bakery no longer exists....correction, the NW location at 25th Av & 4th St (still listed on their website) is closed...I didn't have the time or the inclinaton to look for the 17th Av shop. Signs in the windows in the NW shop indicate new owners are opening Jan 2008.

                    ~ COBS bread had just one type of bread available. ONE. Cape Seed. Not really what I was looking for for my crowd but I'm intrigued so I buy a loaf. And the clerk looked at me like I was nuts when I asked her to slice it lengthwise. Me: Your website suggests to ask that the loaf be sliced lengthwise for some of COBS recipes? Clerk: It does? We don't slice loaves that way.

                    ~ Urban Baker: Excellent Tuscan loaves available at opening. Picked up two, sliced widthwise (although lengthwise was available). Wonderful rustic bread with excellent texture. "Tea" sandwich idea morphed into small rustic sandwiches and since the event was fairly casual it worked well.

                    ~ Manuel Latruwe: Steady stream of regulars into the store, one of whom saw me floundering with the front line staff and went to find Manuel in the back (staff were trying to suggest I make up my sandwiches (which would probably be 100+ small ones) with baguette...I knew I didn't have the time to do all that cutting etc..and it wasn't the presentation I was looking for... Well, Manuel emerged from the back and I explained what I needed and he recommended a simple whole wheat and to have the bread cut lengthwise to maximize use of the loaf. Knowing my audience so to speak whole wheat was better than the more decadent breads I was gazing at on the back wall - to say nothing of the pasteries! IMHO ML was well worth the extra dollar or so a loaf for the whole wheat (the specialty breads I'm sure were more...) but my bill for one white(I'm sure there's a better name for it but it escapes me at the moment) and one whole wheat loaf was $7.50. I can easily spend $6 for two loaves of Dempsters Wholegrain freshly thawed bread at Superstore. The extra $1.50 is well, well, well worth it. My culinary vocabulary, or lack thereof, fails me when trying to describe how good this bread was. It held up perfectly to the sandwich fillings, even the thicker herbed goat cheese and cucumber filling didn't cause it to tear; yet when you take a bite it yields to the pressure and then the remaining piece has the elasticity(if that's the right term) to snap back into place.

                    Long story short: Manuel Latruwe & Urban Baker will be top of the list when I am in the mood for real bread in the future. Thank you everyone for your input! As always CHers advice was right on the mark!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: gourmethunter
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                      Shazam RE: gourmethunter Oct 13, 2007 11:31 PM

                      Hmm, the couple of times I've been to COBS, they had quite an assortment of breads available.

                      Urban Baker is good, except the last time I went they were pretty well sold out of everything - and I got there at 10am!

                      Good WW bread is perhaps the most difficult bread to make, especially at our altitude, so good on Latruwe.

                      1. re: Shazam
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                        graemejw RE: Shazam Oct 14, 2007 08:30 AM

                        If you ever venture out to Canmore, check out the bread produced at the Gourmet Croissant!! Perfect for sandwiches & an interesting square shape as well which makes for long, thick slices.

                        I pretty much concur that UB & ML produce some of the best bread in the City. Sunterra also do a good job, most of their bread is from scratch & they do make a pretty decent sourdough.

                        Check out City Bakery in Bridgeland as well - very nice fresh bread on a daily basis in the store attached to their bakery.

                        Eiffel Tower on 17th Ave is still open.

                        1. re: graemejw
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                          gourmethunter RE: graemejw Oct 14, 2007 12:41 PM

                          Thanks for the tip graemejw I will definitely check out Gourmet Croissant when next in Canmore. Changes in the seasons usually bring about a family outing to the mountains and I always like taking the kids to somewhere other than the chain restos.

                          Glad to hear Eiffel Tower still has the 17th Av store. It's been awhile since I went to City Bakery...I'll have to check them out again soon :-)

                          1. re: gourmethunter
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                            graemejw RE: gourmethunter Oct 14, 2007 12:51 PM

                            you won't be dissapointed with Gourmet Croissant - best Danish pastries I've tried anywhere in Western Canada.......

                      2. re: gourmethunter
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                        DezH RE: gourmethunter Oct 14, 2007 02:01 PM

                        I was a bit disappointed with the selection at the Sherwood Park COBs store on a Saturday morning- it was not especially early. They bake fresh every day, but apparently they're not of the start at 4am variety of bakery. There seemed to be quite a lot in the shaping and proofing stage, but only a few varieties were ready by about 11am. They had the basics ready to go, but were missing most of the fancy items and the fruit bread.

                        And unless they've got a really specialized bread slicer with no adjustability (which would surprise me because anything I buy there, they offer to slice-not just the ones baked in a pan, but the more free-form items too) they should just be able to turn it around and slice it lengthwise.

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