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Baked Goods

Cliffside Hearth Bread Company

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on July 27, 2011

Cliffside HearthCliffside Hearth Bread Company began six years ago with an outdoor wood-burning oven and a lot of neighbourhood buzz. Camelia Proulx and her husband built the oven in the yard of their Cliffside home with the intention of baking some fresh, all-natural bread for their family.

Cliffside HearthBut word quickly spread about the gourmet, crispy breads that were coming from the Proulx property. So Camelia and her husband, who is a baker by trade, started throwing a few extra loaves on the hearth for neighbours. Pretty soon, the couple was hosting bakes every second weekend, delivering fresh loaves to the doorsteps of people in the community. When the demand became too much for the couple to handle from their home, they entertained the idea of opening their own shop.

Cliffside HearthCliffside Hearth Bread Company opened April 16th in a former campaign office on Kingston Road in Scarborough. The shop looks nothing of its former self, with the drop-ceiling removed, industrial baking equiptment in full view, and a fantastic live-edge shelf holding loaves of Red Fife with Pumpkin ($6.50), Caraway Rye ($5.95) and Roasted Red Onion and Walnut ($6.50).

Cliffside Hearth"Oh, I made those," says Camelia when I ask her where she got the shelves. "I got some slabs, took them home, and sanded away." Unfortunately, I can't get Camelia, whose background is in hospitality, to reveal where she found the reasonably priced live-edge slabs. "Then I treated them with hemp oil--so it's food-friendly, and it just works perfectly in the window."

Cliffside HearthThe retail section doesn't have a whole lot of space, but the room available is occupied with loaves, buns ($1.10), Fougassse ($5.50), and even freshly made pizza ($3.50/square) topped with onion tossed in whipping cream.

Cliffside Hearth"Our focus is not necessarily on organic," Camelia says as she introduces me to Cliffside's various varieties of bread. "Though we do use some organic ingredients in some of the loaves we make."

"But for us," she continues, "we're about all-natural breads, made with good quality ingredients and made by hand."

The breads include traditional baguettes ($4.50) made with a few simple ingredients and allowed to ferment overnight, gourmet burger buns ($1.10) made with fresh butter and buttermilk, and raisin bread ($6.95) made with golden raisins and cinnamon.

Cliffside HearthI am personally of the opinion that raisin bread is one of the greater advancements in bread-related innovation, so I am immediately drawn to the large golden brown loaves hanging out in a basket on a shelf. I take it home and begin to devour it slice by slice, with the crust giving a great crackle each time it meets a knife. The bread is soft and chewy--as a perfect bread should be--and the golden raisins give it a sweetness that's slightly more distinct than I'm used to.

This favourite Cliffside Hearth bread actually seems more of a dessert; and like my experience with most desserts, it's already half gone when I look up from the plate.

Cliffside HearthPhotos by Jesse Milns.

Discussion

8 Comments

JeffMc / July 27, 2011 at 02:46 pm
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I live in the area, and this is a great addition to the neighbourhood. Worth checking out if you live anywhere in the east end. Their breads are fantastic (and so are the cookies).
Norbert Vollkorbröt / July 28, 2011 at 09:40 pm
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Glad to see this tiny place getting some attention it deserves. The rye bread is shiny perfect and perfumed with scatterings of kimmel seed, very tasty with pickled herring, sausage and beer.
Stephanie / July 30, 2011 at 07:26 am
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Are there any vegan bread options?
Stephanie / July 30, 2011 at 07:26 am
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are there any vegan bread/ baked good options?
Norbert Vollkornbröt / August 4, 2011 at 09:11 pm
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Their cookies contain eggs and butter and their Raisin Bread contains eggs and butter but other than that the nutritional profile of their breads is quite good. Most breads contain the bare essentials and nothing else: Flour, water, sea salt and bacterial culture/yeast. How do I know? There are nifty laminated signs provided beside the breads in the retail/display area that list the ingredients.
Neil Mens / January 10, 2012 at 01:35 pm
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Fabulous artisanal breads, treats and cookies. Get in there today! Best bakery east of Altitude on Queen St. East.
Doug Jr / May 4, 2012 at 03:15 pm
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The raisin bread is the BEST! It was so good, my wife and I consumed the loaf, before we could share with others, which was out intention. The owners are great people, and so are their breads.
Mr. Raisin Bread / February 10, 2013 at 06:10 am
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Hello fellow Raisn-heads,
Here is a link

http://www.thegridto.com/grid-picks/bread/#For+the+raisin+bread

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