The approach of spring has given New York's bread bakers a burst of creativity. Here are five must-eat loaves to mark the end of winter.
'SCRATCHbread' on Serious Eats
Here are ten breads—lean and nutty as well as rich and sweet—perfect for holiday tables, all from some of New York's best bakers.
I don't usually eat lunch in Brooklyn—that whole "office in Manhattan" thing—but when subways are limited and buses are so packed as to be almost un-rideable, you end up wandering around your own borough quite a bit. Which brought me to SCRATCHbread in Bed-Stuy.
Leavened with yeast instead of baking soda, chocolate bread has a delicate complexity that rises above other cake-like breakfast breads. Here are four great spots to satisfy your bread fix.
The rich, mustardy egg salad tops a leaf of raw kale and a thick piece of crusty bread, with kale pesto on top and breadcrumbs for crunch. A little sprinkle of chile flakes adds heat. Nothing too complicated, but certainly more interesting than most egg salads out there.
When I first heard about SCRATCHbread's "brunch in a cup," I have to admit that my brain did a few rather skeptical somersaults. But then again, it didn't hurt that the weather has been particularly fine, or that founder Matthew Tilden named this novel concept STOOPbrunch, implying that his creations are meant to be consumed while sitting outside, basking in the sun. At $5, it certainly seemed well worth investigating. I picked up all three daily specials at the bakery's window in Bed-Stuy this Sunday (for roughly the same amount of money that I would normally spend on a single sit-down brunch), and I can confidently report that these messy paper cup-fulls of hearty brunch servings are not only a steal—they kind of blew my mind.
These Buttercream Brownies ($3.90) are not brownies in the traditional sense. They are a cross between a flourless chocolate cake, a classic brownie, and, well, an awful lot of buttercream.
The goods that come out of the Scratch Bread ovens are the baked equivalent of one of those Robert Rauschenberg paintings that combines found objects with carefully haphazard splashes of color. Bite into one of their sweet and greasy plantain bread cakes, and you could discover surprises like a whole dried chili pepper or a coffee bean.
Another great video from Liza de Guia of Food Curated, this one on SCRATCHbread— Matthew Tilden's one-man baking operation out of the brick oven at Toby's Public House. And yes, that's his company's name tattooed on his arm. Full...