As ever sensitive to the community and the growing trend toward vegetarianism, veganism and all things gluten free, the Bread & Cie. Bakers are proud to introduce our newest bread that we are calling:
Pane Carsioni (bacon and pancetta bread)
Traditionally, when we announce a new bread this written section contains a flowery description of the taste, taste overtones and a meticulous breakdown of the ingredients (ie “ ….overtones of winter wheat and a buttery chestnut springtime accent adds to the overall gestault of our new bread’s crumb” etc.)
But this is bacon bread for God’s sake. Made with two types of cured pig. And bacon grease. So just know it’s made with bacon, pancetta and seasoned with ground black pepper. And the overall dough is a light and sweet sourdough.
We love it. Hope you will too.
Charles has always said there is a little bit of him in each Bread et Cie loaf. Well (as witness by this cover photo) we find out it wasn’t a metaphor.
Feature writer Maryann Castronovo peels away the layers and dares to reveal the true story the has never been told before:
Read about: Bob Hope’s influence on Charles and Bread & Cie
You’ll be amazed: To find out how a career in B- filmmaking lead to artisan bread making
Find out: How a phi beta kappa from Berkely was suckered into marrying Charles
You won’t believe: How Bread & Cie. began and what it was “the first” at
You’ll try to forget: Charles’ childhood and pastAttached: Photo of reader cover
If you’ve gone to the cafe lately, you’ve no doubt noticed the beautiful mosaic art hanging on the walls.
There are rolling pins and pizza peels (also known as pizza shovels) whimsically decorated in colorful pieces – some with designs like fireflies and fruit, others abstract. See them in person and they’ll instantly make you smile.
It turns out the items were created by adults with developmental disabilities from the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in El Cajon. Since 1972, the organization has been teaching its students vocational skills as well as how to live independently. Bread & Cie’s been partnering with the organization over the years, displaying its artwork and bringing awareness to St. Madeleine’s.
For this particular installation, the adult artists began by drawing an image on their wood surface. Then came the difficult task of covering the pieces with tiny bits of glass and ceramic, including grouting between the spaces. Finally, they painted and sanded the exposed wood.
The mosaics on display are also for sale, with the money going back to the art program. You can find out more about St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center here.
It’s time to “out” the first series of sandwiches from our Hillcrest Closet Menu exclusively to you, our online friends and followers.
#1: MANCHEGO SUPREMA!
A blend of Manchego and ricotta cheese with roasted eggplant and capers grilled on Levain.
#2: GRILLED POTATO & CHEDDAR!
Sharp cheddar and sliced baked potato with chives on Caramelized Onion bread.
#3: SMOKEY BACON & PEPPER JACK
Crisp bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese with house-made Chipotle Peppered Nectarine Jam on our classic French Batard.
Stop by the cafe between Monday, May 7 and Friday, May 11 2012 to be among the first to taste these new and extreme Bread & Cie. gourmet creations. You won’t see these grilled cheese sandwiches listed on the menu, but go ahead and order them anyway.
The sandwiches are $7.95 but Closet Menu insiders only pay $2.95. It’s the least we can do for your courage and honest reaction. (We’re donating the $5 per sandwich difference to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
We’ll use your feedback to decide which items are good enough to come out of the closet and make the jump to our mainstream sandwich board.
It’s a secret. We’re only telling people about it online.
Over the next few weeks, we’re previewing new sandwiches on what we’re calling our Hillcrest Closet Menu.
New items will be revealed exclusively via Facebook and Twitter and you can taste test some new – and extreme - Bread & Cie. gourmet creations before they go up on our regular menu.
The sandwiches are $7.95 but Closet Menu insiders only pay $2.95. It’s the least we can do for your courage and honest reaction. (We’re donating the $5 per sandwich difference to the Make-A-Wish foundation.)
We’ll use your feedback to decide which items on the Hillcrest Closet Menu are good enough to be “outed” for everybody.
Even though we’re all about rustic European breads here at Bread & Cie, it’s kind of funny that one of our most popular items is challah.
Challah is a soft, sweet braided bread traditionally used for Jewish Sabbath dinners. As a Jewish person who has consumed plenty of challah over the years, I can wholeheartedly say that, yes, ours is the best. (I’m only sorry that it’s not Kosher because I can’t share it with my religious friends.)
Recently, Charles mentioned that the challah recipe was his grandmother’s. I was about to get all sentimental about it, but he stopped me. Apparently Millie Kaufman wasn’t really all that grandmotherly. She cursed. She ate raw food. She lived in Manhattan. She was no warm, fuzzy sitcom kind of grandma.
But those things sounded pretty awesome to me, so I asked Charles to tell us more about the woman responsible for the San Diego’s best challah.
1. Millie Kaufman, food pioneer
Back in the 1950s, before people worried about eating vegan and growing their own vegetables, Grammy Kaufman was buying organic and baking bread from scratch. She also followed the teachings of Scott Nearing, who (Wikipedia says) was a political activist and advocate of simple living. Millie went to Nearing retreats in Vermont, where they’d spend four hours working in the field, four hours doing something intellectual and four hours engaged in something spiritual. I think I may try to adopt this lifestyle one day.
2. Millie Kaufman, socialist
Charles was about five-years-old when he’d go to Grammy Kaufman’s apartment in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Apparently, Charles’ father was supposed to be visiting with her once a week, but instead he’d drop off his three kids and he’d go off and do his own thing in the city from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Millie had newspapers everywhere and would go on rants about politicians like Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Kaufman siblings knew more about Karl Marx before they got out of elementary school than most people know about the socialist philosopher in their lifetime.
3. Millie Kaufman, baker
In her neighborhood, which, at the time was an extension of Harlem, Millie was known as the “old lady in tennis sneakers.” She was loud and cantankerous and everyone on 103rd Street recognized her. But what temporarily calmed Millie down was feeding her grandkids. She was worried about pesticides and only served them organic meals. And along with baking fresh challah, she’s also responsible for Bread & Cie’s Seedy Multigrain.
4. Charles Kaufman, traditionalist
Grammy Kaufman passed away when Charles was 8-years-old, but she left behind her recipes. And once Charles got into the bread business, he experimented with the challah. Instead of making it with three braids, for instance, he made it with six. He added poppy and sesame seeds. But everything else he kept exactly the same and that’s the challah (and brioche) that we’ve all come to love.
I asked Charles what he his grandmother might say if she knew he was selling her bread all over town.
“She’d take a taste and ask how much I was charging. And after I’d tell her she’d say ,’What, do you want to be the richest man in the cemetery?”
I’m not just saying this because Charles is in here, staring over my shoulder, watching me type. I’m saying it because it’s true: I love tea. Love it.
Years before I ever started working at Bread & Cie, my friend Angela and I would have lunch at the Cafe several times a week specifically because they carried a Japanese milk tea. (Where is that, by the way, Charles?) My Facebook profile lists “tea time” as one of my main interests. One of the first things my husband and I did after we got engaged in London was go to Harrods for high tea, where we were served tiny cucumber sandwiches, scones with fresh cream and all the Darjeeling our giddy selves could drink.
So when I found out Bread & Cie now serves a French Metro Tea in the afternoons, my first reaction was (with apologies to Liz Lemon), “I want to go to there.”
I invited two girlfriends, Keli and Maya, to meet me at the Cafe on a busy Saturday afternoon and they happily obliged. They didn’t even grumble about the parking situation, which on that day was a bit horrendous.
We picked from a list of teas from the San Diego-based Tea Gallerie – which included everything from green, herbal and white teas. But because I can’t drink mine without milk in it, I opted for a black tea – Coconut Cacao, which has a hint of chocolate, vanilla and coconut. Another thing I did, which maybe I shouldn’t admit because I was still officially on the clock, was I got a glass of Prosecco. It costs an additional four dollars and is totally worth it.
After about 10 minutes, a lovely, three-tiered plate of treats arrived at our table. The top plate had fresh fruit, scones and clotted cream. Some assorted tea sandwiches, including the obligatory cucumber and cream cheese, were on the second level. And the bottom plate was full of pastries, like French Macarons, mini cupcakes and lemon bars.
I’m telling you, it was so pretty that at least two tables next to us were inspired to order it for themselves.
As we sampled and chatted, it hit me just how very easy and casual this was. The reason I don’t go to tea in San Diego is because it seems so exhausting. You have to make a reservation and get dressed up and be on your best behavior because the plates are probably very fancy. But, as the name implies, the French Metro Tea is definitely more metropolitan and modern yet still retains the “specialness” that comes with going to tea.
So what were our favorites? Obviously the tea, especially if you choose an adventurous flavor like Maya’s Chocolate Mint Red. The clotted cream you put on the warm scones is so perfect you’ll want to eat it straight from a spoon. You can never go wrong with any of our pastries, especially the brightly colored Macarons. But our very favorite was a grilled cheese that’s not just cheesy on the inside but also has a crisp layer of cheese on the outside.
Our French Metro Tea is served from 2 to 5 p.m. daily for $15. 95 a person. As mentioned earlier, Prosecco is available for an additional $4. No reservations necessary, just order at the counter.
When I walked into the office this morning, there was a giant cart in the middle of the room filled with croissants.
I know, I’m so naive.
Any wholesale professional would immediately recognize that a cartful of pastries means we made a mistake. A pretty big one. And this particular error was all mine. (I put an order for small croissants when we really needed minis.)
This isn’t the first time I’ve messed up. Just last night I sent hamburger buns to a very fancy place that most certainly did not want hamburger buns. I let a chef order multigrain for the next day even though it’s a two-day bread (an error that sent me digging inside the world’s freezingiest freezer). I asked for chocolate chocolate chip cookies instead of regular chocolate chip cookies. But each time, I’ve been able to claim ignorance on all those errors as I’ve been figuring out the ins and outs of this place. Read More
We’re in the midst of our “Bread Your Stuff” contest and some people around here are really going nuts with the idea. Take a look: