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Jul 18, 2012 02:39 PM

At last! Josey Baker Bread + Four Barrel open at The Mill on Divisadero [San Francisco]

I've long been a fan of Josey Baker breads, which are among the finest in a city of very fine breads. Today was the first day of the soft opening of The Mill on Divisadero, where his toasted bread is served (and his grains will eventually be milled) alongside Four Barrel coffee.

They're operating in a temporary set-up inside the building while construction continues (completion: September-ish). Four Barrel serves their standard line-up of coffees, and you can order Josey Baker toast with your choice of fat--McClelland's butter or almond butter (or nothing).

I got almond butter + butter butter + sea salt, which was great on the heavily seeded wheat bread with a lively elasticity to the crumb. The nut butter was not sweet; paired with salt, it lent the bread a fullness able to do battle with a cool and foggy early morning. The handcrafted mill that will operate inside the shop now waits in a giant wooden crate hulking near the front; I tried to peek but was too short to see inside. Could have been a misdirected fossil, but I guess they'll find out.

While they prepare for the big opening and mill set-up they are open at 736 Divisadero, Wednesday through Sunday, starting at 7 on weekdays and 8 on weekends.

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  1. thanks, pane, walking over now. :^) are loaves of bread for sale, also?

    13 Replies
    1. re: Cynsa

      open until 2 pm for toast and coffees. Closed Monday-Tuesday. Welcome to the neighborhood.

      1. re: Cynsa

        Great pics, cynsa! I got one of the toast operation.

      2. re: Cynsa

        Josey is giving away 100 loaves today (Tues) at Four Barrel on Valencia. If you haven't tried his bread and can make the time, here's your chance!
        You'll be hooked. Consider yourself warned.

          1. re: oniontears

            oh, yum - it's pumpkin and flax seed loaves for the 100 loaves give away. Absolutely delicious and also as beautiful as a work of art. Just gorgeous. Thank you for the gifts of bread, Josey Baker!

            note: watch for October opening of The Mill on Divisadero, pending construction and permits.

            1. re: Cynsa

              agree on the beauty and taste! i saw newbies tearing into the perfect loaves immediately and raving, so i'm certain he won some new fans today. he was passing out each loaf himself, and isn't he just a sweetheart?? :-)

              1. re: oniontears

                Josey is adorable. I think he has a fan or two, or more. Well-earned.
                I'm very serious about the beauteous breads. Challenged with my own bread baking Sisyphus, I admire his baking acumen and I applaud these artful loaves.

                1. re: Cynsa

                  Count me in as another fan, both of Master Baker's personality and his products. I hope he makes it out to Tofino to try 600 Degrees as I think he will like it and there.

                  Fennel and raisin? Sage and apricot? Pure evil genius! This is destination toast for sure. And the almond butter is indeed delicious, not sweet at all. Perfect with the sprinkle of Maldon salt, and the gilding-the-lily spread of butter.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Is this the toast you tried, or did you special order a loaf?

                    These posts were slightly misleading, as The Mill isn't exactly open yet. There is coffee service in a tented area, and from what I can tell, they are offering slices of bread for toast, and doing some sporadic promotions. Last I checked, you can't wander in and buy a loaf.

                    1. re: sugartoof

                      Sunday's offering of toast was a slice of apricot sage.

                      1. re: sugartoof

                        The Mill is open, but not fully operational, and you're right in that you can't walk in every day and buy a loaf.

                        Based on what it says here, it looks like loaves at the Mill are subscription-only on Wednesday, with walk-in, non-subscription purchases allowed on Saturday:

                        1. re: sugartoof

                          I'm not from the area and I was perfectly aware that only toast was on offer in a temporary tent, made clear in the OP, sugartoof.

                          I tried the two toasts I described on two different days as I said in my post. No loaf buying mentioned by me!

                          1. re: grayelf

                            loaves are offered on the Bread Subscription plan
                            and also for Special Pre-Orders for Thanksgiving
                            Order by 6pm SUNDAY to get it Tuesday, 11/20

                            scroll down to post for links

            2. Thanks for the report.

              Not that anyone can entirely lay claim to toast and coffee but I feel bad for Trouble Coffee who clearly were some inspiration to this whole toast and coffee trend (Blue Bottle has a NY location with a siphon and toast bar).

              5 Replies
              1. re: sugartoof

                Trouble's toast is so much more with its bread that is not cake and not English Muffin but both - and the butter that plumps the toast full of luscious richness and sugary cinnamon. I'll still find my way to 4033 Judah and 45th Avenue.

                1. re: Cynsa

                  So will I, after that description! On the coffee (and toast) list for next visit, thanks.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    I'm also fond of the coffee, and the house made bread a Outerlands a few doors over from Trouble. The owner was trained by the Tartine guy to make a rustic loaf with some grain. Most of their brunch/lunch menu is focused on uses of that bread.They do a good job with their Sightglass coffee, served by the Chemex. And not toast/coffee related, but their savory Dutch Pancake needs to get mentioned too.

                    1. re: sugartoof

                      Domo, sugartoof, especially for the savoury pancake lead. I loves me some savoury quickbreads! Trouble and Outerlands sound like a good one-two punch for what is a bit of a farflung hood from our home base in Union Square. While we're out there, is Beachside worth a look or no? I have a note about their coffee selection being good, as well as their breakfast burrito and Irish breakfast sando...

                      1. re: grayelf

                        I only went when it first opened. The place was on the funky side, with the food being kind of odd at dinner. It reminded me of a mediocre Crepevine type place, trying to do chicken and waffles. Pastries and desserts were worth going back for though, with the fresh berry cheesecake as a standout.

                        I didn't try the coffee, because the prices seemed high (reminded me of Contraband pricing), and while the single source options were interesting with unique beans I've never seen elsewhere, something still reminded me of House of Coffee's selection, and I can't get over that they're owned by the Java Beach people. I should make a point of trying it since they're roasting.

              2. You got me all excited...I thought you were talking about four barrels of beer.

                1. not just for 'toast'
                  Pre-orders for Thanksgiving loaves, read this:
                  Order by 6pm SUNDAY to get it Tuesday, 11/20


                  for Bread Subscriptions:

                  1. Waiting patiently for The Mill's February 12 Opening Day

                    1 Reply