bake - January/February 2024 - 13

Manresa Bread would love
to teach the world to bake.
BY JOHN UNREIN
As bake's editor for 23 years, I've been fortunate to
immerse my brain with in-person educational instruction
from such bakery legends as Peter Reinhart, Jeffrey
Hamelman, and Craig Ponsford. Lately, I must share a
new experience, and how the digital age takes everything
one giant step forward.
Witnessing what I now affectionately call The Magic
Box, I recently received a special holiday package from
Manresa Bread, courtesy of its founder Avery Ruzicka,
a 2019 and 2020 James Beard finalist whom I have
known since she started her Northern California-based
Manresa Bread in July 2014. The Magic Box - my name
for it - contains scalded flour mix, one packet of dry
ingredients, filling mix, icing mix, wooden rolling pin,
and 9-inch cake pan. And there's an online link to the
private class, for good measure.
Just prior to this, Avery and I visited in a Google Meet
conversation on Dec. 20. We caught up on life since I
visited her at Manresa Bread's newest location, her new
commissary in Campbell. One word lingers from that
meeting: wow.
Manresa Bread, which started in Los Gatos, Calif.,
and now has grown to five retail stores, is easily one of
my favorite bakeries for good reason. Ruzicka has officially
transcended from rising star to one of the most
recognizable names in baking today,
according to the critics. Having since
stepped out from Manresa owner
David Kinch's well-casted shadow,
Ruzicka is paving her own way in
the culinary field by doing what she
loves, taking four simple ingredients
(salt, water, flour, and yeast) and
creating something uniquely special
from nothing using just her hands
and a splash of experimentation.
What started as a nighttime
baking project in the kitchen of
three-Michelin-starred Manresa
restaurant quickly became five locations, with nationwide
shipping, and a cult-like following for the naturally
fermented loaves featuring house-milled grain. The team
just moved into a new 18,000-square-foot bakery and
90% of all the flour used is milled in house - with an
astounding 500 kilos of grain milled per week on its
New American Stone Mill.
" Fresh milled flour is used when flavor and texture
are added, " explains Ruzicka, pointing out the specific
purposes that are realized through the use of fresh milled
flour. " It does find its way into most things we offer. "
Broadening horizons
The goods: Among the 5,000 loaves of bread and 15,000
pastries that it hand-shapes each week, Manresa Bread
highlights include its popular kouign amann (regular and
XL), chocolate babka, croissants and a menu of naturally
fermented loaves made with house-milled flour.
" We are in the space to do our jobs with the energy
and passion needed, " says Ruzicka. " This is our first
holiday in the new location. We are so excited. "
Ruzicka, alongside talented pastry chef Stephanie
Prida (a Manresa alum), recently put together a line-up
Manresa Bread offers a variety of " Bake with Avery " kits.
bakemag.com | JAN-FEB 2024 > 13
IMAGES BY MANRESA BREAD
http://www.bakemag.com

bake - January/February 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of bake - January/February 2024

bake - January/February 2024 - Intro
bake - January/February 2024 - 1
bake - January/February 2024 - 2
bake - January/February 2024 - 3
bake - January/February 2024 - 4
bake - January/February 2024 - 5
bake - January/February 2024 - 6
bake - January/February 2024 - 7
bake - January/February 2024 - 8
bake - January/February 2024 - 9
bake - January/February 2024 - 10
bake - January/February 2024 - 11
bake - January/February 2024 - 12
bake - January/February 2024 - 13
bake - January/February 2024 - 14
bake - January/February 2024 - 15
bake - January/February 2024 - 16
bake - January/February 2024 - 17
bake - January/February 2024 - 18
bake - January/February 2024 - 19
bake - January/February 2024 - 20
bake - January/February 2024 - 21
bake - January/February 2024 - 22
bake - January/February 2024 - 23
bake - January/February 2024 - 24
bake - January/February 2024 - 25
bake - January/February 2024 - 26
bake - January/February 2024 - 27
bake - January/February 2024 - 28
bake - January/February 2024 - 29
bake - January/February 2024 - 30
bake - January/February 2024 - 31
bake - January/February 2024 - 32
bake - January/February 2024 - 33
bake - January/February 2024 - 34
bake - January/February 2024 - 35
bake - January/February 2024 - 36
bake - January/February 2024 - 37
bake - January/February 2024 - 38
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bake - January/February 2024 - 40
bake - January/February 2024 - 41
bake - January/February 2024 - 42
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