Slowly but surely, bread in Milwaukee is making a return. We’re talking about bread on tables and menus in restaurants—warm, fresh, rustic loaves of handmade sour doughs and fresh butters. Even the classic breadbasket seem to be making a comeback. But, these aren’t your average loaves.
Did bread really go anywhere? It kind of did. Following gluten-free and carb-fearing fads and an attitude of not wanting to “fill up” before a good meal, we started seeing breads before a meal become a thing of the past. But (thankfully), there’s a new trend of chefs and bakers taking a more artisanal and local approach to put bread back on the table. This time, with purpose.
Ardent, Birch + Butcher, Amilinda and Honeypie are just some of the recent examples of restaurants adopting a bread program, just like restaurants adopt a wine program. So, these are breads baked in-house and ingredients that are sourced and milled locally in Wisconsin.
At Birch + Butcher, which opened this year, their thing is open hearth cooking. In the mornings, they use it to hand make and bake bagels. In the evening, they offer a bread course of breads-of-the-day made from scratch and hearth-baked. One of their specialties is a sweet cornbread and whipped butter.
Amilinda‘s bread program comes from their new relationship with local flour mill, Grafton Stone Mill. They’re doing things like Portuguese breads, a molasses rye bread and brioche rolls—all with a Tapenade-type spread.
We’re calling it: look out for the rise of the bread trend.
Calling all ramen heads
Ramen enthusiasts: check out “Ramen Heads.” It’s a new documentary that is being called “a perfectly slurpable film.” Legendary Chef and “Ramen King” Osamu Tomita opens his kitchen along with five other prestige ramen shops to share recipes and trade secrets. It’s a beautiful, simple and stylized homage to Japanese-style noodle and broth and the philosophy and culture that comes with it.