By Stephanie Eckelkamp
I thought I could live without bread....I once bragged about going a year-plus without the fluffy sliced stuff (#Paleo), never accepting toast with my diner scrambled eggs, and thinking that lettuce wraps were a perfectly acceptable vessel for my organic turkey breast.
That is, until I met John Glagola (aka The Wayfare Baker). Turns out, I just hadn't yet experienced real bread.
When you talk to Glagola, it's clear why his bread is so freakin' delicious: He's an artist. Never will you find him combining store-bought flour, yeast, and water to make a cheap and easy loaf. Instead, he likes to kick it old school....like old-world sourdough old school.
Glagola, who started The Wayfare Baker about a year ago, honed his bread-making craft with literally the best of the best in the United States: Richard Bourdon of Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Massachusetts, a guy who's so badass he made an appearance in Michael Pollan's Netflix documentary series Cooked to talk about his European style, natural sourdough bread-baking style, which goes back thousands of years (way before the days of preservative-laden Wonder Bread) and requires milling your own flour from fresh, local grains.
Sourdough isn't a flavor of bread (contrary to popular belief), but a style of bread-making, which can be applied to breads of nearly any flavor or loaf shape. And it's how all bread used to be made before we went and messed with a process that didn't need messing with in the first place.
Each of Glagola's breads are made with a combination of freshly milled grains from local PA farms that he then combines with a naturally fermented sourdough starter culture. Before baking, the dough is allowed to ferment 24-48 hours, which creates an amazing depth of flavor and helps break down a component of grains known as phytic acid, thereby making it easier to digest than some conventionally produced breads.