So I moved hear a year ago from the bay area, california.. and still I search for good bread. Admittedly I am a bit of a bread snob... if you have ever had the bread from the Acme baking company, that is what I'm looking for.... fresh baked and hand-crafted bread... most of what i've found here pales in comparison, though, my seach has not been what I would call exhaustive, which is why i turn to you, dear chowhounds.
I know, I know... it is harder to bake it here... the altitude is a problem... and I've heard that even certain yeast strains (particularly for sour-dough) won't thrive here... and if one more person tells me to try panera, I will break down in tears. Not to trash Panera... IMHO the bread there is fine.. just fine, not great.. just fine. Better for sure, than the "artisan" loaves you an get at the grocery store, but still not as good as a lovingly crafted, mothered and coddled loaf of a good french baguette.
the best bread I've had so far, is probably from Udi's bakery... crusty exerior, with good airy, tender crumb. the french is better, sourdough, passably good. though once they wander from the baguette or batard.. they leave a little short... like maybe a good, eggy challah? (their's is a little white-bread-ish). or a crusty walnut-cranberry loaf (their's is decent, but I usually toast it first).
a well crafted loaf is a thing of beauty and deliciousness... I need something to use as a foil for all the local cheeses I am looking forward to trying this summer...
any suggestion would be welcome. thanks in advance.