With wheat fields as far as the eye can see and grain silos standing like towers of Babel all over Spokane, it's no surprise that there is a lot of locally made bread in the Inland Northwest. There are huge operations like Franz in Spokane Valley and medium sized bakeries like Hearthbread Bakehouse north of the Gonzaga campus. But until I got involved in the Millwood Farmers' Market last summer I had forgotten about the joys of "real" bread. I'm talking about bread with crust that bites back at you and with texture and body that speaks of hands that have worked the dough.
We've started making a couple loaves of whole wheat honey bread each week and I would put it in the "real" bread category. On a side note, we bought a flour grinder on ebay to grind our own flour. We plan on getting our whole grains at URM Cash & Carry. Spokane Bakery Supply also sells them but you have to order it in bulk. Maybe someone knows more about locally sourced whole grains. I've been surprised how many people in Spokane grind their own flour.
While it's great to make our own bread, there is something really satisfying about buying a freshly made loaf a "real" bread. Tom and Louise Tuffin of Arabesque Farms & Bakery are the deans of Spokane's artisan breadmakers. They add a little extra "realness" to every loaf.
Tom and Louise have been pioneers in Spokane's local food movement, and helped start several area Farmers' Markets. They often speak of the joys and challenges of running their own small business, and want to encourage others to know that it's possible to "live the dream." If you're looking for them at one of the area markets you can follow your nose to the smells of fresh pastries and original breads that are 24 hours in the making, or my favorite, artisan pizzas with marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, garlic, organic pasta sauce mozzerella cheese and peccorino romano. If your nose isn't tuned quite right you can listen for the sounds of Bob Dylan that are often heard echoing from the Tuffin car stereo as they unload the days bounty. You can find their breads at the Thursday downtown winter market at the community building from 1-5pm. Don't be surprised if there is a line. Tom also does a delivery run on Thursdays. During the summer you can find them at the Wednesday morning Downtown Market, the Wednesday afternoon Millwood Market, the Thursday afternoon South Perry Market, the Saturday morning Downtown Market, and the Sunday afternoon Humble Earth Market.
Another great local baker is Harlow Morgan, who just this year opened up the Petit Chat Bakery, close to Whitworth University. Harlow is pictured to the left at last summer's Millwood Market. Her breads are cooked at a high heat, so many of them have a nice crisp crust. She also does some great sourdoughs. My favorite is the pumpkin seed encrusted loaf. Harlow sold at local markets last summer and will hopefully be around again this summer. You can also get her fresh baked breads at Huckleberry's on the South Hill or at their storefront location on the north side.
Do yourself a favor today and bite into a freshly baked loaf of "real" bread.