Bread

 

Let us express our astonishment
before we are swallowed up in the yeast of the abyss.
I will lift up my hands and say Kosmos.
 -Emerson

 

For almost 30 years, Southern California’s La Brea Bakery has been sourcing whole grains, using slow fermentations, and producing exceptionaly good bread from its own legacy starter. Now, with the launch of their new reserve line of heirloom-grain artisan breads, the bakery offers the first nationally available artisan bread created to encourage customers to make the connection between a breads flavor and not just the baking methods and type of grain it contains, but also the location and cultivation methods of the grain employed.

la-brea-artisan-breads

The three new loaves in La Brea’s tasty triumverate are Pain de Campagn, Struan, and the real star of the group, a Fortuna Wheat Loaf. Fortuna wheat is a Non-GMO heirloom grain, grown for flavor not yield. Since the industrialization of agriculture this variety was ignored by farmers because it grew too tall (making it tend to fall over when harvested) and because it produces low yields.

To reintroduce this heirloom grain to the market La Brea bakery purchased land in Montana and worked with a third-generation farmer who grows the wheat sustainably with a No-Till Conservation Farming approach designed to avoid soil erosion, use less seed, and create less of a carbon footprint.

The wheat is grown near Three Forks Montana by the headwaters of the Missouri river where its high mountain valley location makes it some of the highest elevation grain grown in America. Cool nights, hot days, and extremely low rainfall stress the grain to produce a more intense flavor.

La Brea’s large-scale but still traditional baking process also helps showcase the quality of the flour, including a slow multi-stage proofing process that allows the loaves to develop a more complex mineral profile. All th La Brea Bakery Reserve loaves are certified as Non-GMO.