Village Bread


Answers to the questions we hear most frequently. Please excuse the ranting.

They're both sourdoughs, but the difference comes down to the variety and the type of whole grain used. Our Country sourdough contains whole hard red wheat and whole rye, whereas the Classic sourdough contains whole hard white wheat. We've also been told that the Classic is well-versed in Ancient Greek, has written a few epic poems, likes graffiti, and is quite the philosopher.

If you purchased it sliced (1) keep it in the bag you are provided at room temperature for several days or (2) keep it frozen and toast as you need it. If you purchased it unsliced, (1) keep it in a paper bag at room temperature for several days or (2) keep some frozen until you need it. The frozen portion should be wrapped in plastic - thaw it in the same plastic overnight at room temperature. Keeping bread in the refrigerator will make it stale much faster!

Gluten-free products can only be made in kitchens and bakeries that are 100% free of gluten-containing ingredients - definitely not us.

Gluten is protein found in wheat, rye, barley and a number of other grains processed in facilities that mill or roll wheat. Actually, it's a combination of a couple of proteins, but they act as one in when mixed together in water. A very small percentage of people worldwide have a serious medical condition (Celiac disease) which can lead to serious illness after ingesting gluten. Some people who have Gluten Sensitivity are able to eat certain gluten-forming grains (such as spelt) with no symptoms, but we suggest seeking advice from medical professionals before making any decisions to eat gluten-containing bread. We're bakers, not medical experts. But we do know that someone with Celiac disease shouldn't even walk into a bakery that deals with gluten anyhow.

Not really. We specialize in producing traditional breads which use wheat or wheat-relatives (like rye and spelt) as a primary ingredient, we cannot guarantee that cross-contamination has not occurred in our bakery. On a side note, you might want to see if you're really allergic to “wheat”, or if its the artificial enrichments added to most commodity flours (to earn the government subsidy) or possibly even the modern crops grown by "big flour" which were selected for their ease of growth and chemical resistance.

Not only do we bake it here, we also mix our dough from very simple ingredients.

That's a personal question for the community of microbes that live (and die) very frequently in our levain (sourdough culture), but we'll try to make this easy on you. We began culturing our levain from stone-milled whole grain organic California-grown hard red wheat in May 2016, about two months before we opened our doors. And don't go thinking that the age of a levain makes it any better like a fine wine or something like that. The levain is a community of yeasts & bacteria which is always changing it's composition based on the environment - it's the regularity of feeding, careful control of water and air temperature, and quality of grains that make all the difference. Each time a levain is fed, a large portion is removed. Think about it - all those microorganisms (yeast and bacteria) are reproducing & dying at a pretty fast rate. So it turns out that the 500 year-old sourdough starter Great Uncle Boris brought from the Motherland has definitely been replaced with localized microorganisms from being fed with whatever flour is available. However, the story of Great Uncle Boris definitely brings a certain romantic quality to that starter, and we appreciate that!

Naturally leavened (or wild-leavened) breads are all sourdoughs, since they do not contain any added commercially produced yeast of any kind. These types of loaves are made by propagating naturally occurring yeast cells from the surface of grains or fruit. We like the term naturally leavened instead of sourdough since our bread tends to be mildly sour at most. The sour flavor of sourdoughs comes from the accumulation of lactic & acetic acid producing bacteria which flourish alongside wild yeast populations in a sourdough levain (starter). We like grain-flavored bread, not vitamin-C tablet flavored bread, so our methods aim to produce less sour flavors (which used to be considered a flaw). And keep in mind that some bakeries make “sourdough” loaves that are not naturally leavened, sometimes including ingredients such as vinegar to create a “sour flavor” along with commercial yeast to ensure fast fermentation.

Nope, we did that on purpose in our deck oven to provide our customers with a superior and traditional product. The bold bake is due to the Maillard Reaction in combination with the fresh whole grains in all of our products. Just as there are variations in roasting coffee beans, there are also variations in baking. We like the bold flavor of well-baked whole grains. This is the way bread was baked before the dawn of modern mass-production bread factories, and is still the way that real bakers bake their bread all around the world. If you'd like a lighter-baked loaf, ask one of our bread slingers and they will try to accommodate.

Never! We use traditional methods in our bread process, which naturally preserves our bread and increases the accessibility of the nutrients of the whole grains. We also do not receive any pre-processed dough, which is a disturbingly common method at many “bakeries” which offer “fresh-baked bread.” We're also proud to say that our bread will absolutely begin to mold after a few days at room temperature and stale very well in a refrigerator. We suggest eating the bread within 2-3 days of purchase (keep it in a paper bag) or freezing the portion that won't be consumed quickly (in wax paper or a plastic bag), then thaw it overnight when you're ready to finish it. You can also toast pre-sliced frozen bread straight from the freezer.

Nope. We make our bread everyday in our bakery. Items that we don't sell (which is rare) are often donated to a local food pantry.

We will gladly slice properly-cooled bread upon request to around a 1/2″ thickness. However, we believe that pre-slicing bread has a detrimental effect on flavor and texture. Unsliced bread just might be the best thing since sliced bread if you have a good bread knife, cutting board and knife skills.

Unlike most non-artisan or fake "artisan" bakeries, we actually follow the entire bread baking process in our bakery using heritage and organic grains as often as possible. We have very few pieces of equipment, which means the bakers constantly monitor the entire fermentation process. We don't use any preservatives, we refuse to use bleached flour, we use a low-impact mixing processes, and are admirers the methods of Raymond Calvel. We use top-notch ingredients (ask us about them) and care more about the source and skill it takes to produce all of these ingredients. We know our miller, and our miller knows the grain farmers. We know our egg farmer and honey producer. We know our olive oil grower and producer. We know our produce farmers too. Ask that other bakery if they have these relationships.

Eeeeeeewwwww, no way! We're not that kind of bakery. #CancelSquaw

Nope. That is a specialty of Schat's Bakery, based upon a Basque bread recipe. Read more about this bread of the sheepherding migrants from the Basque Country on Schat's website.

Regionally and locally when feasible! If not, we at least want to know the origin (like a farmer) of each product. We use ingredients from local sources whenever possible: whole grains are from Camas Country Mill, citrus from Arnott Farms, berries and apples from Oak Glen, and our chocolate is crafted by Parliament Chocolate in Redlands from single-origin cacao. Our raw wildflower honey is from Colony & Keeper in Redlands. We have a small number of products from local producers available at the bakery, including Lucid coffee beans, chocolate bars, and even fresh produce from Goodie Farm once per week. We'd love to form more partnerships with other local or regional producers to incorporate into our products. If you are a local producer with a California State wholesale license or possess a Class B Cottage License, please contact us if you believe you have a product that we might find useful in our bakery.

Just bread? JUST BREAD??? Bread is food, daily food. Bread is our specialty! Bread has been a staple of human survival for thousands of years. Bread is an everyday food, not just for special occasions or cravings. We would rather leave the cakes and pie to the dedicated cake or pie professionals. We do have some non-bread items at our bakery, like whole grain cookies, croissants, danishes and brioches. But bread is in our name and we're sticking to it. Next time you're visiting your favorite cake shop, ask about their naturally-leavened hearth breads and heritage grains - they probably don't make any.

The majority of our bread is plant-based (most sourdoughs, baguettes, Pain de mie, pretzels). The rest we believe is vegetarian (depending on how do you feel about eggs and dairy). Our challah loaves are made with eggs, but contain no dairy. We use no animal products in any of our hearth breads, unless it is indicated in the name on special loaves. Any items with added sugar (not too many of them) are prepared with fair-trade evaporated cane sugar or local raw honey (not beet sugar or corn syrup).

Wheat along with rye, buckwheat, oats and seeds. Some of our items include dairy and/or eggs. We frequently use almonds; walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts occasionally. We are also soy and peanut free. We use olive oil to keep the dough from sticking to the bins while bulk fermenting.

Yes, and also certified organic when possible.

We do use some enriched flour in a number of our products, but our goal is to eliminate these someday. In the meantime, we strive to incorporate as much stone-milled whole-grain and unenriched organic flour into our products as we can afford. We do offer several items that are made entirely from unenriched organic grains: Country Sourdough, Whole Wheat Sourdough, Ancient Sourdough (Sat only), 30% Rye sourdough (Tue, Fri and Sat), Vollkornbrot, and all of our cookies.

No. We don't fry anything here. We doubt that the donut shop makes loaves of bread.

No. Sorry, but bakeries are dangerous places and, according to bakery lore, some adults and children have been known to not follow directions. Familiar with Max and Moritz?

We sell out when we run out of products, which happens to vary day by day. It's completely dependent upon how many customers how up to the bakery. We haven't developed our clairvoyance just yet, so we can't give any advance notice. But you can call us anytime we're open to ask if it's happened yet.

If we had more items available to sell, it would be in our best interest to sell them. Not hoard them in "the back" like a shoe store.

We do often sell out of items, but definitely not always. However, we may not have all of our products available all day. We carefully calculate how much of each items is purchased on a particular day of each week for the past year, consider how many orders have been placed in advance, along with any information regarding variables (big event in the next town over, weather, staff illnesses, holidays, etc.) and do our best to estimate how much we should make. We make adjustments if certain items consistently sell-out early, or are difficult to sell in any case. All of this planning happens a week in advance. Then again, we are primarily a community retail bakery, which means we never know who's going to show up each day. Hope you can understand this from our standpoint. We don't want to waste our products (or efforts and expensive ingredients), and we don't sell day-old products. Instead, we choose to limit our production to what we believe we can actually sell. Quality over profits, respect for food. We're not in this to get rich, just to make a living and feed our local community in the process.