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The stuff of life

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Boulevard Bread Company, perennial winner in our best bread category, never sleeps, except Saturday night, and that’s because the store is closed Sunday.

The baking process starts at 10 p.m. each night, bakery manager Sonia Schaefer says. At least four people are locked in overnight making the eight breads offered every day and an additional half-dozen specialty breads, a lineup that changes daily. You can join the lock-in and watch artisans at work by calling ahead and arranging a time.

The eight daily breads: baguette, ciabatta, pagnotta, white sourdough, whole wheat sourdough, eight-grain, country rye sourdough and topped schiaccita. There’s not a cull in the bunch. Trust us.

Baguette is most popular. More than 1,500 thin, crusty batons of nothing more than flour, water, yeast and salt are sold each week ($2.25 each). The French loaf isn’t ready until 8 a.m. It’s intentionally produced toward the end of the baking cycle because it has the shortest shelf life and the bakers want it as fresh as possible. It’s a rare day that any is left over.

The crack cocaine of bread is the soft, buttery, gooey monkey bread. Catch it early, when it’s still warm, and you’ll eat it until you’re sick. Because it’s high in fat and sugar, it has a long shelf life. If you can keep it around long enough, slice it thick and make some of the world’s best and most decadent French toast for your home-cooked weekend brunch. But remember, it’s only sold Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Same for a dangerously addictive bread on the salty end of the taste spectrum. This is casitillo, another MWF choice, which features chunks of salami and lots of cheese in a brioche-rich dough.


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