The new Bread and Salt Bakery is on Pearl Street, tucked behind Bloomfield's busy Liberty Avenue business district, and is built on three ingredients: flour, salt and water. The bakery offers three kinds of bread — pane antico, pane casereccio and pane locale — distinguished by the ratio of organic white flour to local stone-milled whole wheat flour. The wheat flour comes from Avella, Pa.
"All are made entirely organic and undergo a slow, natural fermentation process," says the owner Rick Easton.
Easton sells the bread by the pound, partly because he is a solo baker and it's easier to make larger loaves rather than several smaller ones (much like how cheese is produced in large wheels). But Easton says the main reason for large batches is quality.
"Breads made with natural leavening actually have much better quality in larger loaves," he explains.
Easton trained in the United States, but also spent time learning bread-making in France and Italy.
"This is very much a model of how people do it in Europe," Easton says.
Though the crusty loaves of organic bread are the bakery's main feature, other fare includes toast with topping choices, including: Italian cured pork fat, ricotta and honey and a combination of chocolate, olive oil and sea salt. Flatbread pizzas and pastries are also available at lunch time.
Watch out for the uncharacteristic bakery hours: Thu.-Fri. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 330 Pearl St., Bloomfield