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Friday, September 10, 2010

S.F. Rising: Sweet Potato Bread from Baker and Banker Bakery

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Baker and Banker Bakery's sweet potato loaf. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • Baker and Banker Bakery's sweet potato loaf.
A weekly survey of bread in San Francisco ― the baked and the fried, the

artisan and the novelty.

Sweet Potato Loaf


Baker & Banker Bakery 1701 Octavia (at Bush), 351-2500; open Weds.-Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: $7.50

Toast-appropriateness: 9/10

After making it through the long (and, we're sure, arduous) permitting process, the bakery window on the side of Lori Baker and Jeff Banker's eponymous restaurant opened a few weeks back. Along with the butter-bound sweets and savories, Baker is selling three breads a day. The constant is a baguette; the other two change daily, and range from focaccia to challah.

There's no set schedule yet for specific breads to appear (except for

challah on Fridays). However, the bakery set up a Twitter account

yesterday ― @BnB_bakery ― and will be announcing the day's breads that way.

Last week I picked up a warm loaf of sweet-potato bread from the bakery. The lightest press of a thumb seemed to sink into the loaf, then rebounded, leaving barely a wrinkle on the shiny, evenly burnished crust. Sliced, the bread turned out to be even softer and more fragile than I expected ― it had the slight sponginess of potato bread and the hue of cold butter.

Frankly, the slice was too soft for my tastes, so I did what I always do in these cases, and stuck a second slice in the toaster. Perfect: The bread loved melted butter as much as I do, and its sweetness was so elusive, so delicate, that I felt justified slathering on peach jam, too. Even though I could barely detect the presence of sweet potatoes, with every third bite, some new memory of Thanksgiving would spring up. Apparently, my subconscious has a better palate than my ego. (In this body we all defer, of course, to the id, which is why I quickly ate a third piece.)

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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