A Toast to Bread_ A Take a look at Among the Greatest Breadmakers in Calgary

From veteran bakers to newbies on the rise, listed here are a few of Calgary’s prime breadmakers who’re creating all the pieces from rye sourdough to tandoor-baked naan, and, within the course of, re-establishing bread as a pillar of our neighborhood.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, bread flew off cabinets. Individuals have been reaching for consolation and familiarity, and loaves of all sizes and shapes have been the reply. Quickly, yeast and flour grew to become inconceivable to search out as dwelling bakers used their downtime to experiment within the kitchen, buying sourdough starter, making no-knead loaves and adorning focaccia with backyard scenes. By way of the straightforward act of baking bread, we have been ready to hook up with each other, regardless of bodily distancing. Because it seems, bread has lengthy had this sort of affect in our metropolis.

Erin Benedictson is the affiliate curator at Lougheed Home, and, earlier this yr, co-curated its YYC Bread Tales exhibit — a set of artifacts and accounts wanting on the historical past and variety of bread in Calgary. She describes the town’s early bakeries because the cornerstone of the neighborhood: “If you’d go [to the bakery], you’d have the ability to say hiya to your neighbours and that neighborhood primarily based round bread.”

Within the early 1900s, the wealthy soils, straightforward transportation by means of the lately constructed Canadian Pacific Railway, and the creation of heartier kinds of wheat that might face up to the chilly temperatures made Alberta one of many best wheat-growing areas on this planet. By 1912, there have been no less than 13 bakeries dotting Calgary (a major quantity, regardless of a inhabitants of solely 60,000), every serving not solely as a provider of meals, however a communal hub. However, as the town continued to develop, demand elevated and mom-and-pop bakeries started to peter out as mass manufacturing and using chemically bleached flours elevated.

Immediately, because of an elevated consciousness of elements and a renewed emphasis on supporting native companies, artisan bread that includes heritage flour varieties and naturally cultivated yeasts is experiencing a resurgence. And this method is being utilized to all the pieces from baguettes to naan.

Very similar to Calgary’s early days, bread has develop into central to neighborhood as soon as extra, Benedictson says: “When everybody was making sourdough, although we have been remoted in our properties, it nonetheless introduced [us] collectively.” Whether or not you bake your personal, or purchase from native bakeries, bread is an important side of Calgary life. Listed here are a number of the bakeries and eating places giving rise to our day by day bread.

On the centre of this petite French-style bakery within the Beltline are Sunny and Thomas Park. The couple, initially from South Korea, fostered their love for baking once they got here to Canada in 2014, with the 2 of them working in varied pastry outlets and bakeries in Toronto. After studying all they might concerning the artwork of bread, the Parks moved to Calgary in 2018, and, in June 2020, opened Bread Tradition.

The pair supply an array of breads like baguettes, sourdough and brioche, however the true magic of Bread Tradition lies within the loaves they bake with specialty flours, together with rye — a spread that’s notoriously tough to handle. Rye flour requires a deft hand to form its a lot stickier dough, and, as a result of it doesn’t comprise gluten, mixing it with the correct amount of all-purpose flour is essential for the proper construction.

Sunny acknowledges that the tourte de seigle (rye sourdough) and different loaves made with specialty flours will not be their hottest objects, which is why they’re solely baked a few times per week — however the Parks proceed to supply them, hoping to introduce clients to one thing new. Bread Tradition’s philosophy is that good bread ought to be for everyone. “The good things may be costly,” says Sunny. “Earlier than we began the enterprise, we had requested, ‘why?’” To maintain prices down, the Parks supply native flours the place they’ll, and put in lots of hours on the bakery themselves: On any given morning, you’ll discover Sunny and Thomas within the kitchen, pumping out bread and pastries. Since opening, a faithful buyer base has fashioned round Bread Tradition.

If there’s one thing specifically you’re after, test the supply on the web site (tourte de seigle is bought on Fridays and Saturdays). In any other case, you’ll simply have to attend in line for a loaf earlier than they’re gone.

1502 14 St. S.W., breadculture.ca

[Note: Bread Culture recently announced that it will be closing on September 25, 2022.]

Little or no has modified since this Dutch-inspired bakery opened its doorways in 1977 — even with a current change in possession. In 2021, Philip and Corrin Brouwer took over from Don and Jannette Nauta, who constructed the long-standing establishment that’s identified to have lineups out the door. However, because of ongoing background assist from the Nautas, the Brouwers are working to make sure it stays the identical Glamorgan Bakery Calgarians know and love.

“Philip was in oil discipline engineering and wanted a change,” Corrin says. “He all the time cherished Glamorgan Bakery, so, when the chance got here, we jumped on it.” Philip began working on the bakery in 2019, and he and Corrin took possession two years later. “It’s such a staple locally, we couldn’t presumably change something,” Corrin says. That’s very true in terms of the oven — the rotating behemoth is sort of a walk-in closet for bread and has been used within the area for the reason that Nautas opened Glamorgan Bakery 45 years in the past.

The preferred objects to come back out of that classic oven are the cheese buns — Glamorgan Bakery is Calgary-famous for these mounds of melt-in-your-mouth dough loaded with shreds of native aged cheddar. They’re baked early and promote out fast. The oven additionally churns out loaves, equivalent to traditional white, complete wheat, complete grain, cheese, fruit and French baguettes, too.

A part of the rationale Glamorgan Bakery has lasted so a few years is because of the consistency of the merchandise and using top-quality, regionally sourced elements. The grains used are harvested from inside 150 km of Calgary and are regionally milled, and the butter comes from Foothills Creamery.

The Brouwers have made it a household enterprise — their daughter and two sons now assist out, too — guaranteeing the legacy of Glamorgan Bakery, and the cheese buns, proceed.

3919 Richmond Rd. S.W., glamorganbakery.com

Throughout Pakistan and India, you’ll discover tandoors, unbelievably sizzling standing ovens used to make that the majority quintessential of South Asian breads: naan. Baking naan requires reaching deep contained in the conical oven to stay the dough to the wall inside. The flatbread is a part of practically each meal and serves a twin goal, appearing as each scrumptious sustenance and a food-delivery utensil.

In Calgary, a number of the finest naan is discovered at The Curryer. The meals truck-turned-Beltline restaurant is a manner for Cameron and Naghma Slade, and Mubina Chaudhry, Naghma’s mother (or Ammi Jaan), to share Chaudhry’s Pakistani recipes. As a meals truck, The Curryer earned a following for its “naanwiches” — much like shawarma wraps, they see recent naan crammed with kabab and veggies.

It takes just some slaps of the naan dough to flatten it, readying it for the tandoor — the whole course of, from dough ball to completed product, takes lower than a minute. The naan at The Curryer is vegan, not like different recipes that use yogurt, and incorporates Alberta rye flour for additional flavour. It’s finest loved alongside the nationwide dish of Pakistan, nihari, which, at The Curryer, is made with both beef or lamb shank.

550 11 Ave. S.W., thecurryer.ca

Within the greater than 12 years since its conception, Sidewalk Citizen, helmed by Aviv Fried and his accomplice, Michal Lavi, has develop into the place for artisan sourdough. After ending a grasp’s in biomedical engineering on the College of Calgary, Fried left the sphere to pursue his ardour for baking. “I used to be in college for a very long time, and, once I completed, I wished to do one thing extra tangible,” Fried says.

Rising up in Israel, Fried would purchase bread daily: “It wasn’t something spectacular, nevertheless it was recent bread. The mushy bread in a bag that we get [in Canada] was not one thing that I wished to do.” Fried wished to use the farm-to-table philosophy, which was simply taking off in Calgary, to breadmaking. And for him, the best way to do this was by means of natural, artisan sourdough.

“Alberta has numerous wheat, and actually good wheat. It was attention-grabbing to see that it was not likely [being] celebrated right here,” says Fried. “We discovered one man who grew Purple Fife, which was novel then. We have been his first buyer — he didn’t actually have a option to bundle it, so he introduced it to me in a Ziploc bag.”

The self-taught baker started in 2009, making his bread at dwelling and delivering it to buddies, and, later, inner-city clients on his bike. Immediately, Sidewalk Citizen’s sourdough continues to be made with the identical pure starter Fried used for his first loaves.

Because the unique bakery opened in Sunnyside in 2013, Sidewalk Citizen has added two extra areas: one contained in the Simmons Constructing, plus the restaurant Park by Sidewalk Citizen in Central Memorial Park. Nonetheless, a love of sourdough and a dedication to supporting native producers stays on the coronary heart of all of it.

338 10 St. N.W. (Sunnyside); 618 Confluence Manner S.E. (Simmons); 340 13 Ave. S.W. (Park), sidewalkcitizenbakery.com

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