Standing in line isn’t one of my favorite activities, but when it’s for Atwater’s Bakery, I’m happy to do it. In fact, the waiting gives me a chance to crane my neck to peak between patrons, beyond the glass, to see what breads they are carrying that day. It’s hard to choose at times. From brownies, and granola to Raisin Walnut and Sunflower Flax Seed bread, they all look hearty and delicious.
Atwater’s Bakery is based in Baltimore MD, where they make their breads to sell at the Belvedere Square Market and a second location at Kenilworth Market in Towson, MD. Fortunately for DC area bread enthusiasts, Atwater’s Bakery sells their breads at the Falls Church Farmers Market, Arlington Farmers Market and the Dupont Farmers Market, all open year round. According to the Fresh Farm Markets website, Atwater's also sells at the H Street Market and Silver Spring Market, in season.
Atwater’s breads are made daily by hand using fresh, and mostly local ingredients. They are committed to farmers and use their products to make Atwater bread. Among the producers which Atwater’s uses are Springfield Farm in Sparks, MD, for fresh eggs, Black Rock Orchard in Carroll County, MD for tree fruit, Trickling Spring Creamery in Chambersburg, PA for milk and butter, and Lindley Mills in Graham, NC for certified organic flours. I truly think the quality shows and the proof is in the chewy bread.
Among my favorite breads of Atwater’s are the Sourdough which uses a slowly fermented whole wheat sourdough starter. The Peasant Wheat is distinguished with it’s beautiful scrolled “A”- very apropos of Poilaine on the Potomac. Peasant Wheat is perfect for dipping in soups or sopping up braising juices. Rosemary Italian is not laden with rosemary leaves, rather, it is scented with rosemary and very simple. It really sings when topped with a soft cheese such as Brie, Epoise or Rossa di Langa. Cherry Chocolate bread makes for a great breakfast when used to make French toast, or a bread pudding for a dessert. I happen to like it toasted with a bit of jam and butter when I bring it home.
All of these breads are very fresh and best eaten within a day , or used as “next day bread” for croutons and bread crumbs as they are not made like Wonder bread and can not sit in the refrigerator or bread box for any extended period of time. However, all of the above breads which I mentioned freeze very well once sliced and placed in a sealed plastic baggie. When thawed, they make for great toast, crostini or bruschetta among other things.
Last, I have to mention Atwater’s Sweet Heat Aztec Brownie-a great combination of unsweetened chocolate, ancho chili powder and cinnamon. If you’re a fan of sweet and heat, grab one of these if you happen to see them....as you’re waiting in line.