Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Revolution In Bread In Howard County

Sourdough from The Breadery
In the last year or so, Howard County's simplest food has gotten way more complex -- and way more interesting if you like a crunchy crust.

We're talking about bread.  Years ago, I posted about bakeries in Howard County, and bread merited a single paragraph -- Bonaparte Bakery in Savage with side notes about the whole grain loaves at The Breadery then on Rte 40 and other people's love of Great Harvest in Columbia.

But a quiet revolution has truly changed your options -- new places, new flavors, novel spots where you can stop for fresh, exciting bread:
  • Wegmans in Columbia.  This is the flashy new spot of 2012.  The bakery sits right inside the front door, and we fill bags with baguettes, rolls and other goodies.  The rolls are our new staple.  I buy eight or 10 at a time, and I freeze them two to a bag.  They're perfect to thaw for sandwiches or just to accompany dinner.
  • The Breadery that relocated to Oella last summer.  An easy drive from Main Street in Ellicott City, and you can enjoy their long-standing line of whole grain loaves, along with crusty offerings like baguettes, sourdough, flat breads topped with cheese and vegetables, and the best hot dog buns that you'll ever find.
  • Loaves from the new Roots bakery
  • Roots Market in Clarksville.  The Roots folks started a bakeshop this spring that does sweets to savory, and they now fill their displays with their own loaves -- sourdough, Russian black bread, a harvest bread coated with crunchy seeds.  We sliced ciabatta for almost every meal last weekend.
Bonaparte continues to make Savage Mill a wonderful place to stop for simple like baguettes or fantastic like the rosemary lemon bread.  The revolution is that almost every corner of the county now has bakers pushing similar excellence.

Soft sandwich breads or crusty loaves.  Simple rolls or dinner party centerpieces.  Whatever you like,  you can expect to eat something make with care and an eye on flavor, texture and fun.

The change has been so great that you have stil more hidden options for quality bread.  The Bagel Bins in Clarksville and Columbia often offer challah on Fridays.  The Shrine of St. Anthony in Clarksville sells rye and other varieties baked by Trappist monks in New York State.  And the Bon Fresco Sandwich Bakery in Columbia offers up focaccia and baguettes along with their spectacular sandwiches.

This is the gradual innovation that makes a place special.  Four great bakeries.  The specialist options -- topped off with loaves you can buy at Mom's Organic Market in Jessup or at one of the farmers markets.  Soon, the county has begun a place where you can expect to eat well and people stop saying "It's all chain restaurants and Safeway."  You can be a little proud and eat near home.

Don't forget the pretzel rolls.  That's an early Wegmans find.  Click here for all the posts about bread.


Na8tiveNYer said...

Try the EPI bread at Wegmans when they finally get it. Originally it was a few weeks after opening. Last time I asked they said around the holidays.

James said...

Its not in Howard County but close enough. At the end of marriotsville rd at Liberty Rd there is a strip mall which has Olde Delicatessen and Bakery. Its a German Bakery and deli/corner store. The breads there are fantastic and my favorite is the sub rolls they have. It also has a massive selection of German foods and stuff which is tough to find and oh so good when you give it a chance. Oh and the sandwiches are some of the best around.

Hoco Connect said...

Challah bread at Bon Fresco on Fridays is always worth a visit. I have also bought their other rolls for making subs at home.

Kriste said...

The one is Oella makes a nice stop when walking the Trolley Trail into historic Ellicott :) Smell it on the walk down, stop and buy something on the way back!

Porter said...

+1 on the challah at Bon Fresco. The raisin challah is just like mom's (if mom always cooked it perfectly and had it waiting for you to pickup every Friday).

Stewart Bushman said...

Best challah in the area is still at Great Harvest, especially their round raisin loaves for Rosh Hashanah. But Bon Fresco's is quite good as well.

Anonymous said...

Yum! I live Bon Fresco-- you can see the fresh bread being pulled out of the ovens throughout the day!