La Brea Bakery is a group of people who are passionate—some would say, obsessed—with creating exceptional artisan breads. It‘s why we find carefully sourced, top-quality ingredients, used according to recipes and processes that have been perfected over generations. Step by step, minute by minute, every La Brea Bakery loaf is made in a remarkably intentional, careful way—all to ensure true artisan craftsmanship comes through in every delicious bite. Read on to learn about our incredibly detailed approach.
Start with quality ingredients. Naturally, any artisan baker works with the best ingredients possible, especially the keystone to all bread: the flour. But just as important is the starter—the ingredient used with—or instead of—yeast to give bread its flavor and texture. Our original starter got its beginning back in 1989, where its bubbly, unique properties were used to create our very first loaves, and now give our current offerings the complex taste we’re known for. Plus, a healthy, established starter allows breads to last longer—so we don’t need any preservatives or additives (not that we’d use them in the first place).
Next: Slow, patient mixing. When we can, we knead by hand. And when we can’t, we ensure that our process includes a low-speed mix, creating a dough that releases all the good flavors within its top-quality ingredients.
Then we wait: Our extended rise time. Most breads sold today use artificial additives to rush the rise time, allowing more loaves to be baked, as quickly as possible. We give our loaves ample time to slowly rise, at just the right temperatures. Like all the other small steps in our patient process, this contributes to the overall taste and texture of our finished bread. And those airy, delectable bubbles inside your bread? This is when the magic happens, with the inner structure—or “crumb,” as bakers call it—being developed during the rise.
The final cut: Hand-scoring. The beautiful, crusty marks on top of artisan bread aren’t just there for show. Once a loaf is ready to go into the oven, we hand-score cuts on top to allow steam to escape from the baking bread in just the right places, at just the right amount. This ensures just the right texture inside, and ensures hearty crunch in the crust on all sides.
Now we’re cooking. Of course, the final step is baking, where we carefully monitor oven temperature as well as humidity. It’s details like these that make or break an artisan loaf, and our point of pride that we are vigilant down to the last second when we pull our bread out of the oven. The proof of our success: a perfectly caramelized crust that makes your mouth water when you hear its gentle crunch in your hand.
In the end, it took 24 hours (or more, for some recipes) to create a single loaf of La Brea Bakery bread, because we believe in the difference a day—and a generations-crafted process—can make.