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Bread Lovers Rejoice ! (and get your car keys).

Well after almost a decade in business, MillStone Bread in Cobourg is still cranking out the best bread in Ontario.

Using a large hand built wood fired brick oven, the incredibly talented baker / owner Doug is pumping out a staggering variety of fantastic breads. The baguettes are excellent, the crusty french actually crackles when bit into, and the farmers rye is absolutely delicious.

Special mention however must be reserved for his Vollkorn bread. It is possible the best bread I have ever eaten. A hardy dark bread that is dense and heavy but in the very best possible way. This bread is actually meant to be eaten over a number of days since the flavor continues to develop over time. A remarkable bread.

Every bread lover should make this place a destination, or a detour off the 401 at least. Every bread maker should come and see how bread baking should be done.

Just have a look at the pictures and play the video on his facebook page. BTW, that bread sound is also what you hear when chewing the crusty french !!


Half loaves are also often available and one can call ahead to reserve bread.

This place deserves A LOT of love.

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    1. Best bread in Ontario? Hmmm, ACE might have something to say about that.

      17 Replies
      1. re: arturoB

        Bread from a factory ? Sorry.

        The wood fired Alan Scott designed oven + passionate talented baker = really good bread.

        If this guy was in Toronto, he'd put half the bakeries out of business and force the rest to kick up their game big time.

        1. re: arturoB

          ace has slipped a lot. . .for a large commercial bakery, they are okay, but you can't compete on quality with artisinal hand made products by one-off shops.

          1. re: afong56

            Ace Bakery is owned by Loblaw's - 'nuff said.

            1. re: Bigtigger

              Loblaw's is owned by George Weston Limited. The bakery division produces (among other things) Wonder bread.

              I guess we don't have to Wonder why Ace has tanked in recent years.

          2. re: arturoB

            Sarcasm..joke...mistake... I hope....

            1. re: arturoB

              Ace Bakery is bread for people who don't understand bread.

              1. re: Googs

                I completely agree. That being said, I do appreciate when I see a mom encourage their kid to try the Ace ciabatta or whole grain pumpernickel over the Wonderbread. It's a step up over the fluffy sponges out there but certainly handmade artisan baked good outshines factory conveyer belt goods.

                1. re: Googs

                  Ace bread is a decent choice if you do not have many options in the area except big box stores.

                  On the other hand, I am happy to see that Costco is starting to stock up on Premiere Moisson products, which IMO is at least a little step up from Ace. And quite affordable for the kids.

                  1. re: vil

                    I call ace my "Monday" bread. I get it when none of my local bakeries are open. :)

                    1. re: LexiFirefly

                      Lucky you to have local bakeries! :-) I don't even know where the closest one to me is (in Markham).

                      1. re: vil


                        you could try these guys...

                        edit - I haven't been but my BIL has as that is his neck of the woods.

                        1. re: JennaBean

                          Thank you. It looks like they are worth checking out.

                  2. re: Googs

                    As far as breads available in "Big Box" stores i much prefer Manoucher breads. Happy to see that it is readily available in Longos and Metro.

                    1. re: Googs

                      And you're the type who'd go out of her way and fork out $15 for a 3-day-old dry and stale miche of Poilâne bread flown in straight from Paris at Holt&Renfrew. Am I right?

                      1. re: arturoB

                        If I could get a Poilane gingerbread here I would be one of those who would actually be willing to buy it..... le sigh.

                      2. re: arturoB

                        Ace has been bought and sold enough times to make your head spin. That rattles the quality cage in my opinion.

                      3. Nothing beats fire baked breads. I have a few local sources, but those varieties sound great, especially the hardy dark.

                        Someone needs to do a bread run, here's $20 towards gas!

                        Oh and ACE black olive is not terrible. Or at least it wasnt when I had it last. Lately we have been buying more whole grain sprouted breads.

                        1. No not ACE and I'm not getting to Cobourg any time soon (though I'll definitely check this out next time I'm there).

                          Personally, I think the bread they're doing at (no surprise) Bar Isabel is close to the best in town. Always been a big fan of the breads at Epi (and before that when the baker was at Comptoir de Celestin) and I think the ubashi baguette at Mabel's is very good as well.

                          I'm meh on Thuet and will go to Jules or Thorbor's when I'm in the area, but neither is worth a special trip.

                          What else?

                          ETA: Woodlot.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

                            Humble Breads from Picton is really good also.

                            You can get their breads at The Brickworks Saturday market.


                            1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

                              The tastiest loaf I've sampled in a long, long time is the filone integrale (sourdough and whole wheat seed bread), $5 from Forno Cultura, a smallish one-off Italian bakery on King St. West, just east of Spadina. I was tipped to it by an article in the Globe and Mail some months ago. But I'd be intrigued to taste the Vollkorn recommended by the OP (I'm guessing it's a corn bread loaf). Any loaf that presumably sustains taste the second and third day must be thoroughly investigated. Happily, a friend in Cobourg - who doesn't eat bread - has promised to bring me a loaf of it the next time she ventures into Toronto.

                              1. re: juno

                                What does "one-off" mean in this context?

                                1. re: Pincus

                                  To me, it means there is only one Forno Cultura bakery. There are no others. No branches. Nor is it a part of a chain, or a franchise operation. Most everything on its premises is made in house.

                                2. re: juno

                                  Vollkorn means full kernel, juno, so it's a wholegrain bread. :) There are dozens of varieties of vollkorn breads, some versions topped with flax, poppy, sesame, caraway, etc.

                                  Mais is the word for corn in German.

                                  1. re: prima

                                    Thanks for the correct translation. I learned something today. It's the "korn" part of the word "Vollkorn" that had me simplistically guessing it was a corn bread. My friend from Cobourg should be delivering a loaf of it to me on Tuesday, and we'll see how it matches up in taste against the wonderful filone integrale at Forno Cultura.

                              2. What do people think aout Blackbird? I got a focaccia from there and it was great (the Moroccan one). Their bread sells out fast!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: ylsf

                                  Completely hooked on their sour dough baguettes that I've been getting at Roast on St. Clair for a couple months.

                                    1. re: ylsf

                                      i'm not usually into focaccia but i bought one when they first opened and ate the entire thing in one sitting.

                                      1. re: frogsteak

                                        Just ate my way through a second loaf. Both levain / sourdough breads and in the style of Tartine / the new bakers. Excellent, well worth trying and a very welcome addition to Kensington.

                                    2. Has no one been to MillStone on this board, or is it (cue sinister music) they are all keeping it a personal secret ? Muah,haha. Muah,hahahaha...

                                      Common guys, this is a real baker, making outstanding bread, using his recipes, in a wood fired oven HE built ! I know most won't drive for good bread, but it is only an hour from Scarborough, and many travel down the 401 regularly.

                                      Try a few loaves from MillStone and you will move ACE into the Wonder bread category.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                        Do they sell their bread anywhere else? That might make it more accessible for some.

                                        1. re: vil

                                          Dunno. Didn't ask, but you can try calling them.

                                          Obviously, one of the key differences between bread and GREAT bread is freshness. Many of the loaves I bought in Toronto from reputable bakeries were clearly borderline stale, something that should be outlawed.

                                          Nothing will compare to getting one of the MillStone loaves minutes or hours from that oven. That said, the crispy french was outstanding when crisped up in a hot oven at home a few hours after we bought it.

                                          As an aside, Ste Anne's Spa (a pretty good place) is serving REALLY crap bread from their "in house" source when this fantastic bakery is minutes away. Go figure.

                                      2. I have tried pretty much every bread in town - Stonemill, Brick Street, Fred, Thobors, Celestin, Rahier, Forno, the defunct Pain Quotidien, Bonjour Brioche, Thuet, Bon Matin, you name it - and I always go back to ACE.

                                        Some folks here obviously have different tastes/expectations. And

                                        just for the record, as someone who has spent a fair amount of time in Paris and as a regular customer of Eric Kayser bakery, I believe I "understand' bread as well, if not better than most.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: arturoB

                                          As a bread worshiper who spent three years living in Germany and Austria while traveling across Europe extensively. Then decades of monthly trips to Europe, I "understand" too.

                                          MillStone is making the best Vollkorn I have eaten - ever. Their crispy french is fantastic, the baguette was great but not the best I have ever eaten.

                                          This isn't about ACE, but your tasting and disappointment in Toronto bread is understandable. Give MillStone a try.

                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                            I live not too far from Cobourg, so I will definitely try it.

                                          2. re: arturoB

                                            Even Kayser varies in quality across their bakeries. If ACE is the best you've had in Toronto, maybe you went to the wrong Kayser? Though I can't imagine them being as bad as ACE...

                                            1. re: yakionigiri

                                              ACE is about as good as it gets... for English Canada.

                                              1. re: arturoB

                                                It isn't even the best bread at my Loblaws, so that would be surprising. There are plenty of places outside the grocery store that do better bread, even if their bread is mediocre.

                                            2. re: arturoB

                                              have you tried woodlot and blackbird?

                                            3. Have you tried the bread at Forno Cultura yet, PoppiYYZ?

                                              I also like the bread at Red Cat Bakery in Goderich http://www.tasteofhuron.ca/directory/... , and Chef Neil Baxter's bread (served at Rundles, but sold at the Stratford Farmers' Market, Perth Slow Food Market and sometimes through Monforte)

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: prima

                                                No I haven't, but it is now on my list, thanks. Any particular bread that you like at Forno ?

                                                BTW, MillStone also has a wide selection of sweeties (not really my thing, but they were a big hit with the people shopping there). Think the cookies and pastries are baked in a electric oven though.

                                                I also tried a small bag of their seedy Granola and it is stupid good !

                                                1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                  I like the various sourdoughs I've tried. This morning, I made toast from some rosemary olive sourdough that I'd frozen a few weeks ago. They are Italian-style breads, rather than German-style.
                                                  The various types of biscotti and amaretti are very good, and the amaretti bianchi has become a favourite. I still haven't had a chance to try the pizza.

                                                  Sud Forno also sells great breads, and supplies Terroni's Bar Centrale with its pastries.

                                                  1. re: prima

                                                    Thanks P.

                                                    Love sourdough. I'll try to hit the bakery early in the day to get as oven fresh as possible.

                                              2. There is only two problems with Millstone ....it's to close to home ( only a couple of blocks) and choosing which one .... today it was buttermilk seed, still warm and exceptional.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Lefty

                                                  Ahhhh Ha ! Yuoooo are SO lucky !

                                                  I kinda knew all you locals where trying to keep this a secret. I have already started to grow my thin curled evil mustache (think Guy Fawkes-like) in order to join your bread guild !!

                                                  Seriously though, I've heard their best bread is the Semolina. Can't wait to try it.

                                                2. Everybody dreams about driving 100 miles for a loaf of Ontario's best bread, but how often do they actually do it?

                                                  Saturday was my first time. At 11:30 am, Millstone still had in stock all 10 types of bread listed on their chalkboard, priced from $5.75 to $7 per loaf. Also available were two focaccias with different toppings, and a no-yeast corn bread. We bought three loaves and one focaccia, and what I've tried so far has been pretty good. If I lived in Cobourg, I'd definitely buy bread there sometimes.

                                                  What I found more interesting, though, were the pies. There were two of them, standard size, on a shelf next to the bread, with no price or description. The clerk said they were cherry, and when we asked for one of them she rang in a price of $20.

                                                  My wife asked if $20 was the right price. At that moment, the second clerk spoke up and said that there was a third identical pie in the display case (which we hadn't noticed) priced at $17.50. Our clerk said "Well that's wrong, the price is $20. Do you want it?". Thinking this was too many high prices for one pie, we declined.

                                                  Looking back now, I wonder if I just missed out on Ontario's best pie?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jjmellon

                                                    Bravo ! Well done. That should put you in the running for the special dedicated Chowhounder award !

                                                    What breads did you try ? Did you meet or talk to the owner ? Check out that oven ?

                                                  2. Don't get me started! While their bread is by far the best I've ever known, the zingiest lemon bars, perfect chocolate pecan cookies and well crafted home made soups are stellar. Foodie alert!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: EpicuriouCity

                                                      Looking forward to giving it a try next time I'm out that way. How would you say their sourdough compares with St. John's on Broadview?

                                                      1. re: currycue

                                                        Well currycue, as you may well know, sourdough is all about the 'starter'. From what I understand, the 'starter' at MillStone Bread is over a decade old and was original to the owner/baker's schoolhouse kitchen when he was doing the family baking as a stay-home Dad. So the ambient yeast could be over a hundred years old. The tiny blisters on the
                                                        crust say it all! :)

                                                    2. What no mention of The Cliffside Hearth? East Toronto folks in the Cliffcrest Plaza at Cathedral Bluffs (McCowan) and Kingston Rd. Some of the best artisanal breads in Toronto. If they have it, definitely try the chocolate bread with cherries.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: scarberian

                                                        While in Cobourg yesterday, I couldn't resist checking out MillStone's Bread's much-praised - by OP PoppiYYZ, who seems to know his/her bread - Vollkorn loaf ($8 a loaf, but you can get a half loaf for $4.25), and sampled it at breakfast this morning. It is indeed a tasty, distinctive loaf, and, as noted, dense and mighty, mighty rich. Almost cake-like. Not something I'd use as sandwich bread - it'd overwhelm almost any filling you could put in it - but quite okay on its own, lightly buttered. Immensely satisfying, though I don't think, after two slices, I'll feel like having lunch today, and maybe not even dinner. So it's one slice at a time from here on in. It toasts nicely. The staff advise you that it'll keep up to three weeks in the fridge. I'll get about 10 slices from the half-loaf I bought, which makes for more than 40 cents a slice, in my view an acceptable price to pay if you like an unusual bread every now and then.

                                                        The bakery is an attractive little spot, with, understandably, a wonderful smell. I had to control myself to not scoop up one or two other loaves - on sight and smell, the baguette and the French loaf were especially appealing - because I correctly assessed that the Vollkorn by itself would keep me supplied for at least a week. A good find. Too bad I only get to Cobourg about once a year. And an 80-90-minute drive from Toronto is kinda far to go for bread.