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Restaurants & Bars 5

Full Circle Baking Co. (Penngrove)

Melanie Wong | May 9, 200406:18 PM

After several months of tantalizing with signs promising “organic bakery coming soon”, Full Circle Baking Company and Italian Delicatessen has opened in the last few weeks. Stopping by yesterday morning, I loved the aroma of fresh baked goods that hits you when you open the door. The baking operation is visible through a glass wall and the sack from the organic flour mill is displayed prominently.

The deli case is stocked with prosciutto di Parma, cured meats and cold cuts from SF’s Molinari, and house-roasted turkey breast and roast beef. The list of cheeses to compose a sandwich (or purchase by the pound) includes the usual suspects, plus fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, goat cheese, smoked mozzarella, and parmigiano reggiano. This is Sonoma County, afterall. (g) Sandwiches are made to order on a choice of any of the breads with the selection changing daily. Pretty busy when I was there, I saw several scrumptious sandwich combos being assembled for other customers. The roasted red peppers and goat cheese combination looked especially good. There are a few tables outside under the wide eaves for eating on the spot.

I had the chance to sample the walnut bread and Sonoma mish while I was there. Both very good with a dense and moist crumb (a little too even for my tastes), slight tanginess and well-developed yeasty flavor, and heavy crust. Other breads available yesterday were a rustic-looking baguette, olive bread, cranberry bread, and a multi-grain. I bought the roasted garlic and cheese loaf to take with me to a dinner party. We all liked it, and it has shown well on the day after test too, staying moist and the crust reviving well with warming. The garlic and cheese bread was $4.95, not cheap, and a bit dear for me compared to the quality I can get from Della Fattoria for about the same price. Yet, this is pretty good bread, better than other local bakers Artisan, Basque Boulangerie, and Mezzaluna, and worth checking out. It’s also sold at some of the local farmers markets.

For instant gratification, I bought a pecan-covered sticky bun, $2.75, for breakfast. Trying it warm from the oven, it was, of course, very satisfying with a nice weight, lots of nuts, and sticky caramel. Denser than Bread Garden’s, it still shared some of the tenderness of those pecan rolls. I liked that it was less wet in the middle than Downtown Bakery’s. It’s more sugary with less complex spicing too. While pricey, it’s a good effort and one that I’d buy againif I were in the neighborhood.

Full Circle Baking Company and Italian Delicatessen
Kathy Giusto, Owner
P.O. Box 914
10151 Main St., Suite 120
Penngrove, CA 94954
707-794-9646 fax


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