Beef Up that Bread Basket
When diners go out to splurge on a steak dinner, they don’t want to be presented with a wimpy bread basket filled with bland rolls. Ensure that your breads stand up to your beef. Trends in the industry currently emphasize spectacular baked goods, with high end bakeries cropping up across the land, many with attached cafes. Restaurateurs are taking notice. Many are beefing up their bread basket by hiring a pastry chef, responsible for scratch-baking signature breads, in addition to preparing desserts and pastries. What better way to ensure freshness and quality. Another option is to find a neighborhood bakery that will deliver a daily supply of artisanal breads and crusty rolls that keep the customer satisfied.
The bread category is fairly bursting with wonder breads. We are seeing crusty baguettes and batards, ciabatta and focaccia bread and rolls, multi-grains and ancient grains, “old school” rolls such as parker house and clover leaf, Middle Eastern flat breads and more. To add even more dimension, flavored butters, cheese spreads, infused oils and other complementary toppers share space in the bread basket.
Restaurant Inc contacted the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) to find out what’s trending in the bread category. Here’s a glimpse: premium breads and rolls (such as wine artisan bread); organic options; inclusion of special ingredients and flours; gluten-free flatbreads; greater variety of ethnic products; smaller size bakery items; bitter products, such as those containing dark chocolate and rye flour. Ancient grains are a hot ticket, including spelt, amaranth, farrow, flax, kasha, millet and lots more.
All across the nation, restaurants and bakeries are making dough (and big profits) with trendy breads. She Wolf Bakery in Long Island City, New York, supplies baked goods to many top restaurants in NYC. All bread products are made by hand, using natural leavens and long fermentation times. The hearty multi-grain bread is produced with farmer-ground sprouted spelt flour, flax, polenta, millet and steel-cut oats.
Paris Baguette is a global premier baking franchise specializing in French inspired baked goods. The 70-year-old concept has 3,700 worldwide locations, 45 in the USA. French baguettes, multi-grain breads and specialty items, all with old-world appeal, are made by the pastry chefs here.
Maison Premiere, an eclectic oyster house and cocktail den in Brooklyn, New York, features small plates, large plates and a $3 bread plate. This sounds like a bargain because the plate is laden with a small, warm crusty baguette; thick slices of sourdough bread; a large olive roll; and hot, buttery brioche – accompanied by house-made seaweed butter.
A little bit of history is baked into each loaf of sourdough bread at San Francisco’s famous Boudin Bakery. Founded in 1849, its original batch of sourdough starter is still bubbling away, and is the foundation for.many thousands of loaves made each day for both the foodservice and retail markets.