Toronto’s top five loaves
Loaf lovers are seeking out breads with character at indie bakeries.
1. ALSATIAN SOURDOUGH
With a crisp crust, chewy crumb and superior tang, Petite Thuet’s peerless sourdough has it all. Chef Marc Thuet’s secret? A family recipe that calls for organic flour and a 200‑year-old sourdough starter smuggled from his native Alsace. $6.50. 1 King St. W. (at Yonge), 416-867-7977; plus two other GTA locations.
Best known for her pastries, Lesley Mattina, owner of OMG Baked Goodness, also bakes regal rounds of focaccia glistening with garlic oil and crunchy with sea salt. They’re so good that Dundas West it spot Enoteca Sociale down the street orders them daily for its bread baskets. $4.50. 1561 Dundas St. W. (at Sheridan Ave.), 647-348-5664.
As head baker at Célestin, Paris-born Marc Thobor built a loyal baguette following. At Thobors, his Davisville boulangerie and café, these light, not-too-chewy spears are baked fresh throughout the day and come in a quartet of flavours (plain, poppy seed, sesame and seven-grain). $2.35. 627 Mount Pleasant Rd. (at Manor Rd. E.), 416-544-1733.
4. PORTUGUESE CORNBREAD
Bearing zero resemblance to its American cousin, dense Portuguese broa gets a natural sweetness from fine cornmeal. The round loaves from Venezia, the classic bakery on Ossington, edge out the competition with their crisp, crackling crust. Slices are best dipped in Iberian olive oil or toasted and spread with Nutella. Medium $1.65, large $2.65. 114 Ossington Ave., 416-537-2914.
This dense, moist whole wheat–rye loaf cries out for a smear of sweet butter. Epi Breads bakes the Gallic specialty (which looks like something that came out of a medieval oven) in rounds weighing three pounds each. They’re available by the half, but loyal fans have no trouble devouring the entire loaf. Whole $9.95, half $5.95. 1526 Bayview Ave. (at Millwood Rd.), 416-488-1952.