Artisan bakeries have been a trend for so many years that they’re not a trend anymore – they’re simply where we go to look for great bread. But even though the idea of artisan bread has been around for some time now, that doesn’t mean that it is widely available. In large cities – especially places with very strong foodie traditions – you’ll find more artisan bakeries than you can shake a baguette at. In other areas, artisan bakeries are fewer and further between. But sometimes you just need to know where to look for them.
Small scale artisan bakeries are popping up all over the place, and some are even coming out of home kitchens that have been repurposed into small, commercial baking operations. These bakeries, known as microbakeries, are selling at farmers’ markets and to local restaurants. They might only bake a few hundred breads each week, but they use traditional techniques and are crafted by bakers who have a true passion for crafting high quality breads. Many operate out of home kitchens or shared kitchens, so they don’t have shops you can walk into to pick up a loaf, but these tiny bakeries are raising the bar for bread in cities all over the country.
To find microbakeries in your community, the local farmers’ market is the place to start. Look for purveyors of freshly baked bread and find out the stories behind their loaves. Whole Foods and other gourmet markets also often look for ultra-local bakeries to supply them with bread and pastries, but you probably won’t get to find out the story behind your bread if you pick up your loaves there.