Local bread in review: Sidewalk Citizen

In a break from my ongoing cataloging of successes and failures in home bread baking, I thought it might be interesting to have a look at breads from local bakeries from time to time. While we’re all likely from different geographies, and so you will not be able to necessarily sample said breads, it may still be of interest to see the kinds and flavours of breads from bakeries across these different geographies.

My first stop is none other than local favourite Sidewalk Citizen. I’m lucky to live in an interesting space in Calgary, in that I’m right on the riverfront in the downtown area. What makes it even more so a great space is that right next door is an old, brick mattress warehouse from the Simmons company housing a local coffee shop, a restaurant, and the bakery Sidewalk Citizen. Fresh bread, fresh pastries, fresh pizza, and other lunch fare are on offer at the bakery with a beautiful display from which visitors and river passersby can choose.

My focus though was on a bread selection for the morning’s breakfast (and lunch or a snack later, too). In this location at least, bread does not appear to be the main offer as available breads were limited to an organic whole wheat and an organic whole grain loaf. I didn’t get an opportunity to question the flour breakdown of the whole wheat, but, as you’ll see, it is without a doubt not too high a percentage of whole wheat despite being labeled as such given a still fairly light, speckled crumb.

Crumbshot: Sidewalk Citizen whole wheat

Despite the mocking of my girlfriend for doing so, I shoved my nose as far into the crumb as it would allow for a good whiff. I mean, how else am I going to get to know this loaf as well as I can? The crumb gave off hints of a slightly sour smell, but did not smell strongly of wheat. Taste also produced hints of sourness, not cloying by any means, with a crumb had that nice, chewy texture that I quite enjoy. The crust was thinner than the loaves that I have baked recently, and was slightly chewier and less crunchy as well. Maybe I’m biased (most likely?), but I quite enjoy what I’ve been producing these past few weeks.

Topshot: Sidewalk Citizen whole wheat

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the bread, but less satisfied with the price tag: $6.50! This is… what people pay for this style of bread? Given how much I’ve come to enjoy having bread for breakfast on the weekends, I’m pretty happy that I know how to make it myself. Even if it isn’t quite bakery quality… yet.



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