San Francisco's sourdough bread renaissance

The best bakers in the Bay Area are taking San Francisco’s signature bread in brave new directions

Margo True

The best in bread

Back away from that airport souvenir sourdough. Here are 6 local loaves that deserve your love.

Josey Baker, Mill bread. A hearty loaf with a swirl of wheaty flavors and a dark, crunchy crust. And you won’t be reaching for the dental floss, as it has just a scattering of pumpkin, flax, and sunflower seeds.

Boudin, 1-pound round. All the tang you’d expect—great with seafood. Another option: The “flat” sourdough has lots of caramelly flavor and flakiness. San Francisco’s Tadich Grill serves this bread exclusively.

Acme Bread, Edible Schoolyard. Shaped like a school bell in tribute to Alice Waters’s national school-garden project. The loaf is made with California-grown wheat and a smidge of earthy pumpernickel meal.

Cheese Board Collective, Seeded sourdough baguette. The same recipe for 30 years; all that varies are the seeds. Sesame, poppy, fennel, and maybe a little cracked black pepper.

The Bejkr, Kracked Kamut. A subtle bread by local legend baker Mike Zakowski. He makes every creamy, crunchy loaf himself—no employees—and sells it only at Sonoma farmers’ markets.

Tartine Bakery, Country loaf. A monster bâtard with gorgeous lacy crumb and nuanced flavors that roll on and on. Also remarkable is its keeping power: Throw it in a breadbox and it’ll keep fresh for a week.  

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