Dining

L.A. Is So Baked

Lodge Bread in L.A. is turning out stunning loaves of bread
Photos: Aliza Sokolow
Avocado Toast

Lodge Bread Co. recently opened in Culver City, L.A. with its stunning loaves of whole grain spelt, whole wheat and whole quinoa. Owners Or Amsalam and Alexander Phaneuf (who worked as Dominique Crenn's sous chef) are crafting their loaves with a 16-hour fermentation process with wild yeast, in a San Francisco sourdough tradition that results in a wholesome loaf with a heavy sensation of sweet wheat. "We take our time. We let the bread have as much time as it needs. We let the bread speak for itself," says Phaneuf.

Once a large, wooden peel pulls them from the oven, the chefs slice the loaves for toasts topped with almond butter and date honey, avocado and radish, and house-made persimmon jam. And, while bread is the main event at the bakery-meets-café, there are also cinnamon buns topped with tart labneh icing, inspired by Amsalam's Israeli background, and crumbles made with fresh, local farmers' market fruit and brown sugar.

Have a look inside the bakery.

  • Country, seeded country and whole wheat loaves fresh out of the oven and ready for pickup. The team here bakes between 100 and 150 loaves a day.

  • Master bakers Alex Phaneuf (left) and Or Amsalam (right).

  • Cinnamon toast grows up here, with Lodge Bread's butter, a flawless sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar on country bread. Call it nostalgia in a toast.

  • The toast bar is where the magic happens. House-made butter is slathered on toast before adding house-made jams and nut butters.

  • Baker Alex Phaneuf measuring out country bread dough to be made into the bakery's stunning loaves.

  • Toasted whole wheat bread is slathered with house-made almond butter and drizzled with date butter, creating a more grown-up play on PB&J.

  • Or's Israeli influence on the whole wheat cinnamon bun shows in the labneh icing, which is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Cut inside and you'll spot the perfectly moist cinnamon swirl.

  • The butter is made in-house with cream from a Petaluma farm and a yogurt culture, and then it's fermented for five days and aged for another month, leaving it with a strong flavor. All that's needed now are a few slices of bread and some salt.

  • Thin slices of Weiser Family Farms radishes are piled on top of avocado mash and whole wheat bread made with hard red winter wheat, soft red spring wheat, salt and sourdough culture.

  • This is not your average coffee cake: De La Paz coffee cake is made with brown sugar and strained labneh yogurt butter. Brown sugar streusel makes for extremely moist bites that are not overly sweet.

  • 1/10
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