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Friday, May 21, 2010

S.F. Rising: Cinderella Bakery's Dark Rye

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2010 at 9:16 AM

A bread that calls out for fish or smoked cheese. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • A bread that calls out for fish or smoked cheese.

S.F. Rising is a weekly survey of bread in San Francisco ― the baked and the

steamed, the artisan and the novelty.

Dark Rye

Source: Cinderella Bakery, 436 Balboa (at Fifth Ave.), 751-9690

Price: $3.25

Toast-appropriateness: 7/10, as long as you don't spread jam on it

Most people measure their lives in accomplishments, career benchmarks, stock portfolios. Mine is measured in foods I've come to love. At 17, it was red wine; at 19, sheep's milk cheese and kimchi; at 30, pig's ear and tripe. Last year, I vanquished a lifelong horror of celery, and this year, it seems, is the year of rye bread. Perhaps all those Sazeracs I downed a while back (whiskey drinks, age 31-present) shifted my palate ryeward.

Cinderella Bakery's dark rye is an interesting hybrid. It has a sturdy crust, the kind that normally forms around dense, dark country loaves, and the spongy, light crumb of commercial wheat bread. There's a tang to every bite, but it's not as prominent as the one in Firebrand's sourdough rye, and that earthy-grassy flavor that once repelled and now captivates me.

I've tasted my way through half a loaf of the Richmond Russian bakery's dark rye over the past few days. Given the softness of the interior, it wants to be lightly toasted, slathered in butter, and then topped with egg salad or sharp cheese ― if I had any smoked salmon or taramasalata on hand, I'd probably have finished off the other half by now. With a brave new world of rye breads out there to explore, I don't know if Cinderella's will hold up to breads from other local bakeries, but at $3.25 a loaf, it's certainly one of the most affordable.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Follow me at @jonkauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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