Mediterra Bakehouse Breads Are Some of Our Most Important Ingredients April 01 2015
“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight...” – M.F.K. Fisher, La Belle Cuisine
Every day our grocery department fields the question, “Do you make your bread here?” I only wish that we could! We lack the time and space necessary to make the high-quality artisan breads that we utilize for our sandwiches. A bread that intricate and delicious requires a lot of time and care to produce. The tl;dr response is, “No, we get fresh-baked bread deliveries every morning from Mediterra Bakehouse in Pittsburgh,” but the full answer, like the breads themselves, is richer and more complex.
Nick Ambeliotis opened Mediterra Bakehouse in February of 2002. As a child, he spent summers with his grandmother on the Greek island of Chios where he became enamored with the community style of bread making. He learned that bread as it was traditionally made required the best ingredients and, just as important, time. Quality does not abide shortcuts.
Mediterra crafts their breads using patience and the finest ingredients. Most of their loaves only require flour (unbleached and unbromated), water (filtered and cold), and (sea) salt. When recipes such as the Cranberry Pecan or Jalapeno Cheddar call for other ingredients, they are of the highest quality and, when possible, locally sourced. The breads are baked on a stone hearth in a steam-injection oven made of 50,000 lbs. of fire brick. The steam helps the dough to rise while also caramelizing the bread's crust to give it a fuller flavor and texture.
The process is one that takes time and care. To adhere to the old-world philosophy of baking, they don't rush the ingredients or cheat by using yeast to make the bread rise more quickly. Some of their doughs are allowed to ferment for up to 18 hours before baking. They then hand-knead the dough to keep from damaging the structure of the bread. This is followed by hand-scoring the breads which helps in the baking process and also results in the lovely designs that adorn the loaves.
Ambeliotis runs the bakery with his family. They have a passion for what they do and for what they make. They're bread-heads! And Katzinger's is proud to use their breads to make our sandwiches! We also carry their breads in our grocery department. That way when you fall in love with them as much as we did, you can take a loaf home right then! Stop in today and see how the right bread can make a world of difference.