Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bakery Review: Spring Mill Bread Company

Our town has graduated from only having baked goods at the farmers market to now having an actual bricks-and-mortar bakery, a shop. Spring Mill Bread Company is a local DC-area chain of bakeries, but the feel is intimate and unique. There are always customers and I see people walking down the block with loaves. No small cookies to buy or to give away to child customers (that's my platonic bakery ideal), but they give away pretty big slices of different breads.  [Note: Photos taken with permission.]

We've now sampled baked treats, plain bread, and sandwiches.

In its favor
  • Very friendly - always a smile
  • Lots of whole grain choices
  • Clean
  • Well decorated - a nice spot to hang out
  • Outside tables
The flour is from Montana and Spring Mill grinds its own, so all of the bread is from freshly-milled whole grain flour and not from bags that have been sitting around for ages. They even sell flour and jams as well. 

Note of caution
There are no boules, ciabattas or any breads except baguettes and identically-sized sandwich loaves made in loaf pans. The breads are, despite the variety of whole grains, sandwich breads. In terms of added sweetener, only honey is used; no refined sugar. This is Takoma Park after all. (If you do not know Takoma Park, our nickname is "the People's Republic of Takoma Park.") Spring Mill also sells challahs on Fridays, something I appreciate for the infrequent occasions when I do not make my own.

In terms of natural leavening, the website just mentions yeast and not natural leavening or sourdough starters.

The bread is solidly good. Nice for a sandwich. No thick crusts. I have yet to try a baguette, but I'm not much of a white-bread person. We tasted the sweets and they are fine, firmly in the good category. My husband said my coffee cake is better, but that's the only cake I repeatedly make. Okay, some would say you can't stay married and say otherwise, but my husband is brutally honest about these things. He said the same about the bread, though by now he is accustomed to my sourdough boules, the majority of my home baked loaves.

Bottom line is this is fine bread for sandwiches and certainly decent if you do not bake your own. I am trying hard not to be a bread snob, as I almost never eat non-naturally leavened (meaning non-sourdough) breads anymore. 

You can't argue with a friendly place that makes good sandwiches on fresh bread. If you do not have a home baker and you want to hang out for a little while in Takoma Park, Spring Mill Bakery is a good place to do it. 

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