Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MH Bread and Butter

 When we first came up to Northern California I naively thought (me and a good collection of food magazines) Della Fattoria's meyer lemon rosemary bread was just about the best loaf of bread I'd ever eaten. It's good. The wood fired crust and tender crumb make it a pretty appealing loaf and I fairly regularly handed over $6 for one to take home.
Then one day, wandering through the local market about to reach for my now familiar lemon rosemary loaf, a plain brown bag wrapper caught my eye. Rubber stamped letters simply said MH. Just when I thought I was buying the most extravagant loaf of bread in existence I came face to face with an $8 loaf of country white. The chewy crust is burnished dark brown -- black in spots. I couldn't resist the giant rustic loaf and carried my precious to the check out. I later learned I had happened down the aisle on the first day of deliveries for this new ( in 2013) bakery.
Funded as a kickstarted project, MH Bread and Butter's chief baker/ founder Nathan Yanko spent 8 years as master baker at San Francisco's world famous Tartine. Along with his wife Devon (a former personal chef and specialist in gluten free baking) Yanko founded the all-day cafe on a quiet street in sleepy San Anselmo. They serve an assortment of salads, sandwiches, soups, entrees, and of course desserts and I've been wanting to stop in since that first grocery store aisle encounter.
I finally had my chance and settled in for roasted Romano beans with tomato sauce, a poached egg and country toast. It was good -- fine -- everything coming out of the kitchen looked good. But the toast. Glorious, springy white bread with a crust so crisp it actually hurts the roof of your mouth if you bite down too hard. Order what you will, MH is all about the bread.
MH Bread and Butter's country loaf has basically ruined me for other breads. I've had French baguettes, Poilane's miche, Sullivan Street's filone, and Nancy Silverton's work before La Brea Bakery became a household word -- but my heart belongs to my new love MH Bread and Butter.

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