Frequently Asked Questions

What is a starter?

A starter is the crucial element of sourdough bread making. Our starter is a simple combination of flour, water and organic grapes that attract wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria. The yeasts cause the bread to rise and play a vital role in the flavor development and the structure of our breads. Chef Nancy Silverton created the starter in 1988; it is this living, breathing masterpiece that would ultimately become the signature ingredient in every single loaf of La Brea Bakery bread.

What is the shelf life?

In the frozen state our breads have a shelf life of six months from the date of production which is listed on the outside of the outer carton. Because La Brea Bakery breads do not contain any preservatives we recommend to customers that they be eaten on the day of purchase. Some breads will last longer, and certainly all breads can be used for toast or a grilled sandwich the day after purchase (even though the crust is harder, the interior will remain moist). If customers have bought more than can be eaten right away, we suggest wrapping our bread in a plastic bag and freezing.

Your bags are not sealed at the opening. Should we seal them ourselves?

Our breads need to breathe which is why we do not seal our bags. Sealing the bag traps in the moisture and causes the crust to soften and lose its wonderful elastic and spongy texture.

My store is always out of my favorite bread by the time I do my shopping. What can I do to make sure it is available?

If you want to purchase a specific variety of bread, we recommend that you call the store in advance and confirm that it is available. Often, the bakery will put aside a loaf for you, or put more in the oven if they know that you are coming.

Where can I buy La Brea Bakery bread?

Please use our store locator to find a store near you. If you are looking for a specific variety, we recommend that you call the Bakery at the store in advance as not all of our breads are sold at all locations.

What is the best way to store our breads?
Our breads taste best on the day of purchase. Any leftover bread should be left in its original bag at room temperature. If eaten the next day, briefly bake our breads in a preheated oven at 400°F for a few minutes to obtain a crisp crust.
Why are your breads darker than other breads in the market?
Bread with good, dark crust is not burnt. There’s a wonderful sweetness to a properly baked dark crust. Color is flavor. Most of the flavor is concentrated in the crust where the starch and flour caramelize into sugar during baking.
Are La Brea Bakery Breads Vegan?

Almost all La Brea Bakery store bake breads are vegan. The only ones that are not are those with dairy ingredients (e.g. Three Cheese Semolina, Jalapeno Cheddar, Sour Chocolate Cherry) and those with honey (e.g. Toasted Sunflower Honey). A full ingredient list for each bread can be found in the Our Breads section of our website or on the packaging of our breads

What are your sourcing practices for ingredients?