Sunday, July 6, 2014

Rising High with Yeast

Fueled by Barrio Bread

The best Saturday mornings are defined by two great things – a trail run deep into Tucson's Catalina Mountains and making it back to town in time to pick up the best bread in the U.S. from artisan baker Don Guerra.

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread.
Photo Credit: Barrio Bread
Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, is a community-supported baker. Don was an elite triathlete. Now he gets his endurance workout baking bread all day. I joke with him that he is an ultra-endurance baker. He kneads, shapes, and bakes most of the night with just a short nap to keep him going.

A sample of Barrio Bread goodness.
Photo Credit: Barrio Bread
However, getting my bread starts Friday morning at precisely 7am. I plan my Friday morning runs to be back and online precisely at 7am to place my bread order for the next day. At 7am the online bakery ( opens for orders. I zoom to the offerings for the week, click on my bread order selections, and check out as quickly as possible. If I am late – after 7:15am - most of the bread has been claimed without even digital crumbs to remain.

When I pick my bread up Saturday mornings, Don typically asks about my last race or how my training is going. I often trade him some of my home brewed kombucha for a loaf or two. We share how our live cultures – his levain and my scoby mother – are doing.
My home-brewed kombucha with scoby mother culture behind (upper right).
What is different about Don is that he promotes and makes full use of the expanding heritage grains grown locally. The grains are milled locally. The yeast which gives life to the bread is harvested locally. Each individual loaf is shaped and cared for by Don’s expert hands. Baked at his home and delivered to the farmer’s market not even a half mile away.
Sonoran white heritage wheat grown in my backyard with greywater.

Don’s Barrio Bread is slow-rising and produces a natural sourdough (caused by naturally fermentation). Don explains this fermentation is critical to breaking down the gluten making it easier to digest, produces a more nutritious bread, and most importantly leads to a tastier loaf. Bread made in this fashion is often referred to as Old World Bread.

In the Shipek household, there are 3 main food groups: vegetables from River Road Gardens, eggs from our chickens, and hearty loaves from Barrio Bread. In a time when gluten-free is a growing movement, I’m proud to be fueled by Barrio Bread. Old World Bread is slowly making a resurgence, and Don is gracefully pioneering the movement.
My sister-in-law, niece, and nephew love Barrio Bread too!
Photo Credit: Barrio Bread

Learn more about Barrio Bread here:

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