Scratch That

A cult bread baker goes sweet

When we got word that Matthew Tilden, the 27-year-old solo act behind SCRATCHbread, had put a moratorium on his sought-after loaves, panic set in.

The renegade baker had, until recently, been using the oven of a pizza restaurant in its off hours to bake his satisfying breads. Sourdough boules that stayed fresh for a week, sprouted barley malt and whole grain loaves freckled with bourbon-soaked cherries, and mustard-leaf-specked focaccia earned him a fast following and shelf space at artisanal champions like BKLYN Larder and Blue Apron.

Tilden has since lost his baking space, so SCRATCHbread production has screeched to a halt. But while he looks for another oven (and bakers), he's turning to pastries to keep his clamoring customers sated.

They are no less delicious than their yeasty brethren: His flaky scones come with inventive flavors like orange, rosemary and sea salt, and his brownies feature a thick central layer of buttercream frosting. On the weekends, indulge in one of Tilden's bourbon cherry-pecan popovers at Café Grumpy; they pair perfectly with a cappuccino.

And, like Tilden's loaves, each of his pastries is created according to the SCRATCH philosophy: using quality ingredients and preparing them carefully.

We'll break bread to that.