For almost 30 years, Southern California’s La Brea Bakery has been sourcing whole grains, using slow fermentation, and producing exceptionally 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 flavor, wheat variety, and the cultivation methods employed in growing the grain.
Among the three new La Brea loaves: Pain de Campagna, Struan, and Fortuna, the star is the Fortuna loaf. A Non-GMO heirloom grain, grown for flavor not yield, this variety has been largely ignored by large-scale farmers due to its lofty height and low yields.
The bakery works with a third-generation farmer near Three Forks Montana to grow the wheat, and the high mountain valley climate of cool nights, hot days, and extremely low rainfall stresses the grain to produce a more robust flavor.
La Brea’s large-scale but still traditional baking process helps to showcase the quality of the flour they source. Their production methods include a slow multi-stage proofing process that allows their loaves to develop a more complex mineral profile.