What's Fabulous: She Wolf Bakery
She Wolf Bakery makes superb bread using patient, practiced, and proven bread-baking traditions and healthy ingredients that just might bring you back to your daily bread. If you've given up bread for whatever your reasons, I warn you that a few tastes of a She Wolf loaf will change your mind.
So what's the big deal? If you believe that bread can have flavor and texture, that it can stand on its own and not just be a plank for butter or cheese, that it can be uniquely satisfying as your tear or slice a loaf, cracking a crisp crust to find a tender crumb and elastic texture, first smelling its sweet/sour aroma and then tasting its satisfying complexity-- then She Wolf will not disappoint.
She Wolf is not new. They've been around since 2009, when they began baking breads after hours at Roman's, a restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Today they have their own production facility in Greenpoint where they bake extraordinary breads that are sold at four Greenmarkets plus at select restaurants around the city. Recently the spotlight got bigger when New York Magazine named She Wolf's baguette as the best in the city, which is of course, no small thing. I discovered them around the same time when they started selling at my weekly Greenmarket where they are now one of the most popular vendors.
Their breads are:
- Whole Wheat Sourdough
- Pizza Bianca
- Sprouted Spelt
- Burger Buns
- Caraway Rye
The breads come in various shapes. For example, they bake the sourdough as what they call table bread (see our photo), as batards, or in Pullman loaves, which is ideal for sandwiches. The sprouted spelt comes in boules or Pullman loaves. And so on.
The range of flavors, crumbs, and crusts is surprising and impressive given that the bakers only use flours and natural leavens. This speaks to the artistry and skill of the bakers with the fermentation and baking processes. For example, the sprouted spelt bread takes five days from start to baking.
A complete list of ingredients for each type of bread is detailed on She Wolf's website.
My favorite is the miche, a dark-crusted half-white/half-whole wheat French bread that is baked in a huge round loaf that is sold in one-quarter loaf wedges. The flavor is like a sourdough but more complex, irresistibly fragrant, and the bread is chewy. I also appreciate that the bread lasts a long time -- similar to all the She Wolf breads -- so at first I use it as is, usually with little-to-no toppings, and by the end of the week it's been topped, toasted and if there is any left, cut and baked into the best croutons you will ever eat.
She Wolf Bakery breads can be purchased at Marlow & Daughters, Roman's, and Achilles Heel, all in Brooklyn, as well at four NYC Greenmarkets:
Mondays & Wednesdays: Union Square
Fridays: West 97th Street at Columbus Avenue
Saturdays: Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Sundays: West 78th and Columbus Avenue