Bakers that gained cult following during lockdown opening first Toronto location
Bakers that survived lockdown by doing sourdough drops are now on the verge of opening their very first physical storefront location in Toronto.
Dear Grain calls itself a "sourdough everything" bakery that's actually based in Hamilton and has been doing same-day delivery within Hamilton and Toronto, but they'll soon be opening a store here.
"People have been coming together to break bread for centuries. So for us, bread is intrinsically linked to the feelings of community, nourishment and heritage," Dear Grain brand manager Nicole Park tells blogTO.
"We've taken a modern approach to the typical bakery experience: our sourdough is baked and shipped on the same day, so you get fresh, world-class sourdough delivered to the comfort of your own home."
According to a statement by lead baker Adri Greenspan on the Dear Grain site, today's typical bread is "mostly empty calories and cardboard crust," and "bread has become the final frontier in the real food movement."
The bakery aims to show off the complexity of different varietals of grains across seasons and regions, which creates a range of flavours. They make everything from scratch, including pastries that are part of a pastry program, and emphasize quality local ingredients.
Loaves are $10 for delivery, with options that include classic country, super seeded, multigrain porridge pan loaf and silhouette pan loaf.
Options like a cheddar and thyme loaf might be slightly cheaper at $7. Sourdough breadcrumbs are $7.50. Of course, prices are cheaper if you pick up.
"Our sourdough bread is a labour of love. We combine a slow fermentation process (12 to 36 hours) with high levels of hydration (83 per cent plus) to produce nourishing loaves that are scrumptious and ultra-digestible," says Park.
When they say sourdough everything, they mean everything: cookies ($15 - $16) are sourdough too, with options like chocolate chip, cheddar cashew and walnut choco cherry.
There are also items such as carrot and Italian lemon sourdough loaf cakes ($14), espresso sourdough brownies ($18) and pecan and sour cherry sourdough biscotti ($14), and they're always working on new releases.
"The usage of sourdough enriches the pastries with higher nutritional density, lower gluten and richer flavours," says Park.
"The acid created in the fermentation process is a natural preservative that helps retain moisture and leads to a longer shelf life. The combination of both help in lighter digestion and an overall feel good indulgence."
You can also stock your pantry with a collection of items like granola, jams, spreads, oils, vinegars, honeys, condiments, spreads and snacks sold by Dear Grain. While they make the granola, their pantry items also include things they don't make like olives and canned seafood.
Dear Grain also encompasses what they call a "flour library" with around eight options for flours including pizza flour and buckwheat flour, plus instant yeast.
Their breads have already been available to purchase at Dark Horse cafes in Toronto, but in the fall they should be moving into a physical location on Ossington.
Not only will the shop stock their signature lineup of sourdough loaves, it should also stock ingredients and tools to make your own bread, plus products to pair with bread. They should also be offering a seasonal menu of sourdough pastries, specialty coffees and ready-to-eat meals.
If you thought you'd seen the end of the sourdough craze in Toronto, you thought wrong: it's just beginning.
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