I’ve finally been visiting the farmer’s markets. Honestly though, I’ve just been there to pick up some handmade bread.
I’ve been wanting to visit Clear Flour in Brookline for quite some time now. A couple of years ago I took a bread baking class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. The instructor was a petite woman with dark hair (vaguely reminding me of Amy Lee of Evanescence) who was a private caterer named Leslee. (I think that’s how she spelled her name… I just remembered that she spelled it differently from the usual “leslie”) Anyway, she explained her bread expertise background which was as a baker at Clear Flour. Listening to her talk about the bakery had me hooked. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that Brookline is not convenient for me at all.
So, I’m very thankful that they decided to join a couple of farmers’ markets this year.
The first time around, I purchased a half loaf of Pain De Mie ($3.55) and a loaf of Onion Focaccia ($3). The pain de mie was a HUGE loaf – a half loaf is probably the same size of a loaf of machine made bread at the market and about the same price. Why on earth wouldn’t I buy it? It’s a nice white bread and very soft with the kind of texture I wish I knew how to make at home. I was also very impressed that the breads were still warm when I bought them.
In some of the photos, I have a measuring tape just to give you and idea of the bread size.
The second time I visited the farmers’ markets, I got half a loaf of buckwheat with walnuts ($2.15) and half a loaf of whole wheat ($2.25). The wheat loaves are no where near as giant as the pain de mie (btw, the half loaf of pain de mie lasted pretty much one week exactly before it was gone) but I didn’t want to just buy one whole loaf to try. I really wanted the buckwheat one but feared I wouldn’t like it. Plus, whole wheat is a good everyday bread.
Well, I tried a slice of both when I got home and I was surprised. I really like the buckwheat and not the whole wheat at all. Both taste like they used sourdough starters. However, the buckwheat loaf was much milder in flavor. I didn’t even find the walnuts to be distracting (and there weren’t too many nuts). The whole wheat one was much too sour for my liking. Ick. I think I’m going to have to eat that one with jam or peanut butter.
Today, I went for just a loaf of the buckwheat with walnuts ($3.85). I dug into it as soon as I got home.
The buckwheat loaf is a standard size loaf – about 9×4 or there abouts.
Anyway, I can safely say that so far I love Clear Flour. It’s affordable and perfect for those days when I’m too lazy to make my own bread (which is almost all of the time). Looking at their website, there are a lot of breads that are only made on some days of the week which I really would like to try. I’ll have to make a special effort to get over to Brookline.