There's nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread. If you ask us, it's one of the most beautiful smells in the world. And the good news is you don't have to look all that far to find it. There are several bakeries and restaurants in town that offer freshly baked bread regularly.
We could make you a long list of reasons why you should you putting down that loaf of store-bought sandwich bread and picking up one of these loaves instead. But to keep things short we'll start and finish with the most persuasive argument of all: artisan bread tastes better. If that's still not enough to convince you, then you'll want to read all about how Phoenix's burgeoning bread scene is truly something to get excited about.
Bakers Jason Raducha and Claudio Urciuoli make hundreds of loaves of bread almost entirely by hand each week using organic flours made from heritage grain. You can taste the difference and see it too. Each of their loaves offers a beautiful crust and impeccable crumb. You can find Noble Bread at farmers markets and select local stores including Downtown Phoenix Public Market, Gilbert Farmers Market, and FnB/Bodega but for the bakery's weekly schedule keep an eye on the Noble Bread Facebook. A 2-pound loaf of Country Loaf from Noble Bread will cost you $7.
Marco Bianco, brother to famous chef Chris Bianco, has been making and selling bread for years. The self-taught baker makes between 200 and 300 loaves a week, most of which goes out the Bianco restaurants. The rest is available for purchase for about $4 a loaf at Pane Bianco. He's a firm believer in all natural levain, slow fermented bread and that's exactly what he serves his customers. Bianco's bread has a nice light crust and an airy interior.
If you live in Tucson you're in luck because that means you're in the neighborhood of baker Don Guerra of Barrio Bread. Guerra is a "community supported baker," meaning he offers his bread at locations around town often through a pre-order online system. Geurra offers a wide variety of different types of bread including Pain au Levain, Barrio Baguette, Foccacia, and Old World Rye. Most loaves cost between $4 and $6. For online ordering and more information about where to find Barrio Bread, check the Barrio Bread website.
Despite what you may have been thinking all these years, the bread at the entrance of this Central Phoenix restaurant isn't just for show. St. Francis makes its freshly baked loaves of bread available to customers for just $3 each. The only catch is that the restaurant also uses the bread in some dishes and therefore can run low from time to time. To be safe, they recommend you call ahead to make sure there's still some available for sale.
If you like your bread with a side of Intelligentsia Coffee, then you'll want to head to Tammie Coe Cakes and MJ Bread in downtown Phoenix. The coffee shop/bakery is home to master baker MJ Coe. His wife Tammie pumps out beautiful cakes and cookies, while MJ bakes picture perfect breads. The selection includes everything from sourdough to rye, as well as some harder to find options such as pretzel bread and English muffins.
Christopher's Crush and Lounge
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If you've ever eaten at chef Christopher Gross' namesake restaurant, then you've likely already tasted the restaurant's wonderful baguettes. Diners are usually served a slice or two at the beginning of the meal. And if you're as in love with Christopher's signature bread as we are then you'll be happy to know you can also take home a loaf for just $3. Each of the very crusty baguettes is baked in the kitchen's wood fired oven and has a nice open crumb.
Proof Artisan Bread
This new artisan bakery popped up on our radar after recently being nominated for the Martha Stewart's American Made Awards. Baker and chef Jared Allen is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate who takes advantage of Arizona's cottage law to produce Old World-style breads at his home in Mesa. Allen posts pictures of what he'll be baking about a week ahead of time so customers can pre-order them online and arrange a time for pick up. The options range from ciabatta rolls and raisin walnut country loafs to pan au chocolat and eclairs. To order, visit the Proof website.