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great bread is worth a drive

wildflower7

My friends know what a gluten whore I am and have been telling me for years about this little bakery in a little town out in west Sonoma. I know I know, gluten is the devil and all, but this girl likes just a little bit of devil. And the devil always knows where to find me. So Sunday Steve and I drove the second half of his Giro Bello route and I could not have been happier to drive through the tiny town of Freestone and right to the doorstep of the mythic Wild Flour Bakery.

Opened in 1998, owner Jed Wallach makes bread 4 days a week and sells only at his Wild Flour Bakery….no deliveries, no wholesale, no second location and no credit cards. It is everything I have ever heard. The bakery is designed around the bread, and I use the term ‘designed’ very loosely. There’s a brick oven on the far wall, tables for bread making, racks for bread cooling, and bakers moving constantly around the kitchen either making or selling bread. The walls are painted with whimsical murals of birds and, somewhat oddly, an elephant. But the main design element is the bread. All of the day’s breads are sampled at the sales table, so you can decide before you buy (choose whatever is hot from the oven). They start the day with 4 breads and a scone, and over the course of the day add the rest of the day’s menu of about 2 dozen items plus coffee. My gluten free hubby (I know, sad) loved his gluten free cranberry scone. I snuck a bite and it was absolutely delicious…not in the least bit second rate. We brought home 2 loaves: the Egyptian, a sticky delicious sweet loaf full of figs, pears and candied ginger and warm still from the oven; and the Wild Flour signature wheat round which is perfect with a bit of butter and nothing else. Seriously, it is lunch all by itself.

Out back of the bakery is the Wildflower Garden which itself is worth the hour drive from my front door. Sunday was a beautiful day, so we took a stroll and enjoyed the garden along with the bees and hummingbirds. The rows and rows of raspberries bode well for the future of scones. Enjoy my pictures, then choose a day and make the drive. Around the corner from the bakery is a cheese shop which we didn’t stop for (as we were already running quite late for a wedding!)….so next time, bread and cheese. I may never come home.

Enjoy the rest of your week!
Leslie

cheese, beautiful cheese

photo courtesy cowgirlcreamery.com

photo courtesy cowgirlcreamery.com

Here in Marin we are lucky to have the best cheese on the planet in our very own neighborhood.  And my friend and food writer Brooke Jackson, who was kind enough to invite me to attend the Cowgirl Creamery cheese event that she discusses in her article, wrote a lovely piece on this most amazing food and this most amazing place. So check out the article, then take a drive out to Point Reyes Station and visit the girls and their cheese.  There is a huge lawn in front, so pick a sunny day, take a blanket, bring your fancy picnic basket and a nice bottle of wine, and buy some of the best cheese you’ll find anywhere. You’ll thank me for sure. And if you take home leftovers, I’m told by the Creamery gals that the plastic you’re cheese comes wrapped in is very very bad.  Use paper instead. In my case there is rarely anything leftover…

Hope you’re having a great weekend,
Leslie