Within the past few weeks a second fine bakery has opened in Northampton:
Hungry Ghost Bread,
62 State St. (corner of Bedford Terrace)
They describe their breads as organic artisan sourdough hearth bread baked in a wood fired oven. They make French batard, country bread, 8-grain, rye, rosemary, semolina fennel, spelt, raisn and flat bread. The breads are kneaded and baked right in front of you and the fresh baking emerges throughout the day.
I have tried the French, rye, semolina fennel, and flat bread. Between 10 and 4 they had baked and sold the first batch of Saturday's raisin bread so their product is moving quickly.
Of what I tried the flat bread is the most unusual, filled with mustard seed and cheese, a bit bitter, but a very distinctive taste. The rye is full-flavoured and chewy. The French has an excellent crust and good rich flavor. Certainly worth a stop if you are passing anywhere in the neighborhood.
Their hours are Wed thru Friday 10 - 6, Sat 9 to 6, Sunday 10 - 3. They are closed on Monday & Tuesday.
Around the corner from this bakery is
60 Masonic St. 01060,
Unlike Hungry Ghost, this is not just a bakery, but rather a place for coffee, dessert, or a light bite. They do bake their own breads and pastries. Their organic baguette is quite good. In addition to an organic country sourdough, multigrain, traditional rye, and herbed foccacia, they also have daily specials which vary, olive & garlic twist, olive fougasse, cranberry sunflower, challah, cheddar bread, and Pete's pain au levain. I like their baguette. In general their breads are not as full flavored as Hungry Ghost, but they are very good.
My favorite pastry at Woodstar is the chocolate chip bread pudding.
If you are heading on I-91, these bakeries are about 8 minutes off the road on Exit 19.