In the wee hours of each and every morning at the Rosemont Bakery in Portland, our bakers-eight of them-make extraordinary bread. Read our bread story.
Baguette Our baguette is made in the classic French style, the defining features of which are both the shape and texture. The crust is crisp and dark while the crumb (the inside of a loaf) is creamy and soft. The baguette process is one of the shortest we employ in the bakery, taking about six hours from mixing bowl to cooling rack. The baguette is best when very fresh.
Scala Our scala bread might be our simplest bread. It is made specifically for use as a sandwich loaf, which is why the crumb is tight and airy (so your jelly won’t fall into your lap). We use a pre-ferment for both the semolina and whole wheat versions of our scala. The added fermentation time from the pre-ferment (also called a “biga”) gives the loaves more complex flavor as well as a longer shelf life. The scala is sort of Rosemont’s answer to Wonder Bread.
Ciabatta In Italian ciabatta means slipper. The name comes from its flat, rounded shape. One of the most distinctive traits of our ciabatta is the high water content. While the crust is often fairly dark and crisp, the crumb is the moistest of any of our loaves. The added hydration lends itself to large irregular air holes within the loaf.
Focaccia Focaccia comes in many varieties. Our version is made simply, with rosemary and parsley so that the loaves might be used for sandwiches or just to dip in olive oil. Both the focaccia and ciabatta make use of a pre-ferment that has a small amount of Maine-grown-and-milled rye flour. This adds another element to the flavor and aids in the fermentation process.
Sesame Sourdough We make a few types of sourdough loaves in the bakery. The first is a sourdough in name only: it uses wild yeast but does not taste sour. The process we use for this bread includes the yeast from our cultivated levain. This is wild yeast which has been in use by our bakers since the Greengrocer days. Being a one-day mix, the wild yeast microbes don’t have the full opportunity to develop the acetic acids that give traditional sourdoughs the sour flavor. These are milder loaves which taste mostly of toasted sesame seeds.
Whole Wheat Sourdough The whole wheat sourdough is similarly mild, with a one-day ferment. It incorporates a seven-grain mix as well as Maine-grown-and-milled flour. As with all sourdoughs, the crust should be dark with caramelized flavor while the crumb exhibits irregular and glossy gluten structure. This is probably the heartiest bread we make in the bakery.
Sourdough Boule Making the sourdough boule is a humble pursuit of the perfect loaf. The method used is the oldest method and, we contend, the best. Long before commercial yeast was available, this was the only way bakers baked. We start the process by propagating the wild yeast on day one. On the second day we mix the dough and allow it to ferment for around six hours, at which point we shape it and retard it. On day three we bake off the finished loaves. This long (nearly 24 hour) fermentation allows for plenty of acetic and lactic acid development, which creates the well-known sour flavor of traditional sourdoughs. Another benefit of this process is the long shelf-life of the bread. The crust should be darkened and slightly reddish by the sugars in the dough. The crumb is moist and filled with air holes from all of the gases released during baking.
Other items we bake fresh each day include: bagels, soft pretzels, cinnamon raisin bread, challah, Maine-grown sourdough rye, Maine-grown sourdough whole wheat, as well as butter, chocolate and almond croissants and cardamom sticky buns.