I love bread. I can see why the French called bread “the staff of life”. There is a big difference between the sandwich bread we buy at the supermarket and hand made bread from a traditional speciality bakery. Pearl Bakery is currently my favourite bakery in Portland. Their multi-grain batard makes an excellent garlic bread. It’s chewy and full of flax seeds, millet, poppy seeds, etc. Their ciabatta is light and airy, full of holes, is wonderful warm and plain. Their walnut levain is much the same. Wonderful warm and plain (yes, without butter).
My absolute favourite though would have to be their fig/anise panini. The first time I had one of these little rolls I thought I’d died and gone to bread heaven. The only bread experience that surpasses that was in San Francisco a little more than a year ago. I was visiting a friend and we went to Tartine at 5PM to get their bread just as it was coming out of the oven. That was the best bread I’ve had in my short life. If you ever make it to San Francisco, please, do yourself a favour and go to Tartine. Their pastry counter is visually stunning, it was so pretty I couldnt decide what to get. They are more tasty than you’d expect. Go back at 5 and get bread fresh out of the oven. Ask the girl or boy at the counter to cut a chunk off for you. You will not regret it.
Pearl Bakery is nearly as good. Some of the best bread in Portland. Dont listen to what anyone says about Saint Honore, they are over rated. Pearl Bakery’s loaves are a little on the spendy side (4-5$), but they freeze exceptionally well. Just wrap in a couple layers of tinfoil and put it in plastic. I usually make a loaf last 2 weeks that way.
Yes, I can make bread. I could choose to make bread once a week if I wanted to. Let’s chalk it up to me being lazy. Besides, it’ll eventually be summer here and I’m too lazy to be stuck at home for several hours tending to rising dough. That’s more for winter when it’s raining like the dickens, or getting snowed in for a week. It’s Portland. They dont know how to handle 8 inches of snow.
There is nothing in the world like good bread. Nothing satisfies the same way. It is the “staff of life”