On a sleepy street in Bushwick, Brooklyn there's a growing wave of artisanal bread appreciation thanks in part to Chef Adam Leonti. Started in partnership with the forth-coming Williamsburg Hotel, The Brooklyn Bread Lab is a test kitchen, classroom, and New York City's first milling facility.
I popped in on a rainy Saturday in April to quickly chat with Adam about all things bread, learn a few things about baking, and to take some photos.
On a mission to change the face of bread, the team is using grains from around the country to produce high-quality flours that are used by local chefs and restaurants, and also in their bread and pasta that they sell each Friday-Sunday. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also buy flour to try your hand at baking yourself. Adam told me the feature 1-2 types of grain per week (for bread/pasta and/or for sale), and they've featured grains from Montana, Maine, and Arizona.
Equipped with a huge stone mill at it's center, the space looks and feels like a test kitchen. There are a few tables to sit and enjoy some bread or coffee, but the space is really dedicated to the many steps of baking bread. There are mobile racks to store proofing loaves, a large double oven, and a bench where the chefs can work the dough in it's various stages. The space is open, which means there's room for the groups of students that sign up for their pizza, bread, or pasta classes.
Adam believes in a simple - and slower - process for baking bread. When I told him that I've got a mother living in my fridge, he said they don't teach that in their classes. "Having a mother is a lot of work," he said, "we teach our students to use store-bought yeast because it's simple." The loaves they bake to sell employ a natural fermentation; rising overnight in a slow, flavor-building process.
Check out the photos below then get thee to Bushwick for the best bread you'll ever eat.
Brianna is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Hook & Blade. She is based out of New York City where she enjoys exploring the city, trying new foods, and people watching. She works as the Global Email Marketing Manager at Global Citizen, and tries to travel as much as she can.