Daily Bread

Birmingham Breadworks sustains us with breakfast, lunch, and batards to go.

By Jan Walsh

I love bread. Give me a slice of sourdough and a farm egg for breakfast, and I am sustained until dinner time. Here at Birmingham Breadworks I can get both and so much more…

For breakfast, we stopped by after shopping at The Market at Pepper Place this Saturday morning. Ahh, such a nice, cool respite from the sweltering heat. We both order Blackberry Iced Coffees… Just love the blackboard with danish, daily breads, breakfast and lunch menus, which are erased and rewritten daily. Today’s breakfast options include fives toasts: smoked salmon, avocado, pimento cheese, Nutella and banana, and peanut butter and banana. Also offered are boiled farm eggs, house made granola plain and with fruit, yogurt, or milk. But we are seduced by the case of fresh golden pasties. Pastries here are not made with additives or artificial colorings. They are handmade with simple, natural ingredients. Kev’s Apple Turnover is prettied up on the outside with a sweet vanilla glaze and inside is packed with apple pie like filling, like my grandmother’s. His Ham and Cheese Croissant, is light and lovely, keeping the bread center stage. Staff graciously offered to serve warm. The oversized Cream Cheese Danish has a deep and wide well that is overfilled with semi soft cream cheese. This laminated, light, and flaky puff of pastry is tender to the tooth, and melts in the mouth with a delicate buttery sweetness and hints of vanilla. There is not a bite of this Danish that does not include the cream cheese.

We depart with fresh Olive Loaf and Sourdough Batard, which the staff happily sliced for me. The olive was fresh out of the oven, still warm! The breads sustained us throughout the week, made into toast, heirloom tomato sandwiches, eggs sandwiches, and grilled cheeses. Wonderful how far a $6 loaf will go!

Since Saturday we looked forward to coming back soon for lunch, so today, Thursday we did. You also do not have to be rolling in dough to enjoy Birmingham Breadworks fare. Today for mere crumbs of $5.50 you can get two slices of Vegetarian Pizza, and we did because who can resist pizza? Beer and wine are available for order or to take home. We selected a bottle of French Guilhelm Pot de Vin Blanc. Its richness and bright acidity pair well with lunch. And Kev ordered Bham Sandwich, and I got the Avocado BLT. While our pizza is being prepared, we are sipping our wine, and overhear “the Jan Walsh app” from a table in the corner. I look up and see two men looking at their phones. My day is made to see Birmingham Restaurants App being used to find their food here, no matter what they call it.

Our slices arrive piping hot with a generous mix of melted, creamy gouda and mozzarella atop, slightly crispy, thin, and pliable pizza crust with (perfect amount of red sauce) crowned with rich, complexly flavored caramelized onions. The simplicity of this pie is exemplary of the beauty of this place, where ingredients are simple and natural. Most of the doughs for Birmingham Breadworks breads only contain flour, water, and salt. Ultimately, I judge a pizza crust by the edges, aka “cornicione.” If they are too hard, flat, or not tasty they are left as trash, encircling my plate with their unworthiness. Not at Birmingham Breadworks. The corniciones are puffy, and airy inside. I easily tear off bites, dust a touch of salt, and savor each fulfilling bite. Highly recommended!

Ham is very important to Kev. He does not order a ham sandwich expecting to find it filled with thinly sliced deli ham that he would not even eat at home. His Bham arrives buttery and toasty on the outside, and inside the sourdough are slices of what he calls, “true baked ham.” Thick cut slices of warm baked ham, with melted gouda and with tangy beer mustard. “The perfect ham sandwich!” he declares. It is served with popcorn and his order of Egg Salad. The pearlescence salad is bursting with farm freshness from local organic eggs, mixed with celery and house made mayo. Birmingham Breadworks sells these pasture-raised farm eggs in their case. And just like that, I have a new source for my eggs.

My Avocado BLT is served on their Farm Boule. This grainy bread is surprisingly moist and soft. Inside the slightly toasted bread, smashed avocado is slathered and piled high with fresh lettuce, in season tomato, and bacon, bacon, bacon! I pair it with the Fruity Good Greens Salad. Whoa, I was not expected but delight in the size of the salad, which is a vibrant, sweet tart salad of mixed greens, fresh in season strawberries, blue cheese, and candied pecans, tossed in a house made balsamic. This salad has it all!

In addition to breakfast, the pastries would also make delightful desserts. And today there are cakes! I swoon over the chocolate, which I ultimately resist and have regretted ever since… Life is too short to pass on chocolate cake. But I do not leave without more bread. This time it is the Farm Boule that shall nurture us for the coming week.Download Birmingham Restaurants App


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