Remember when a slice of toast used to be one of the simplest culinary pleasures? Now, with everything we know about the hazards of gluten-laden, industrialized wheat, commercially produced bread has become Public Enemy No. 1.
But before you put all bread on lockdown, check out the revival of ancient bread-making techniques going on at Lodge Bread, a new bakery/café in Culver City. Chefs Alex Phaneuf and Or Amsalam are baking up loaves with organically grown, seasonal whole grains and using a slow, wild fermentation process. The end result: Breads that deliver the nutritional goodness of whole grains with almost no gluten.
All of Lodge Bread’s loaves begin with their sourdough starter, which is simply water and flour that’s been naturally fermented by leaving it open “wild” to the air for at least 16 hours. “When we ferment for these long periods of time,” says Phaneuf, “the natural enzymes in the bread break down the gluten.”
The breads contain no dairy, eggs or sugar—just whole grains like wheat and rye, sourdough starter, filtered water and sea salt. Choose from six seasonal loaves ($7 to $9), which right now include country, whole wheat, seeded, khorasan and olive.
At the toast bar, you can order a thick slice of toasted bread accompanied by house-made organic cultured butter ($4.25); slathered with organic, ground-in-house cashew or almond butter ($4.25) or topped with mashed avocado and crisp radish coins ($8.50).
Been on a bread fast? It’s time to go wild.
11918 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles