Somerville Bread Company
George Howell Coffee
The Herb Lyceum at Gilson's
“Nurturing.” That’s how Somerville Bread Company founder and head baker Nick Robertson describes the three-day process it takes to make most of the budding bakery’s products. The payoff? Loaves with a perfectly caramelized crust and a light, airy crumb.
That TLC the company shows its breads—which are baked in small batches with organic ingredients—has not gone unnoticed. It all started as a tiny line sold at local farmers’ markets (including the Harvard Ed Portal market and the Peabody Farmers’ Market), but the loaves were so popular that Robertson decided to open a Somerville storefront in 2016. Before dipping into the bakery’s tiny register area, fans can check the weekly schedule online to scope out what’s fresh each day—usually a mix of traditional varieties (French Sourdough, an 18-inch Baguette, Irish Soda Bread) and more unique creations (Turmeric & Cashew with Raisin and Quarkbrod, a German-style loaf made with homemade crème fraîche and fermented rye chops). Bread puddings, like a blueberry with lemon zest or a savory potato-cheddar-bacon variety, are also on rotation.
According to Robertson, the breads that fly off shelves fastest include the Ale Loaf made using Winter Hill Brewing beer, a Parmesan Loaf, the Chocolate Challah, and—no surprise here—the Bacon Loaf. We’re partial to the Buckwheat Maple (with a slathering of almond butter and a dash of cinnamon for good measure), though the Cardamom with Pistachio is equally crave-worthy: Toast it and add a layer of apricot jam. Anadama, a traditional New England yeast bread that incorporates cornmeal and molasses for an inherent sweetness, stands out simply served warm with a light layer of butter. Danish Rye is extra nutty thanks to cracked wheat, sunflower seeds, and flax. It’s optimal for an open-faced sandwich; try topping it with thinly sliced pear, crumbled blue cheese, and a drizzle of honey.
Somerville Bread Company sets itself apart by sourcing as many local ingredients as possible: A majority of the flour comes from King Arthur Flour and the Nitty Gritty Grain Company, both in Vermont. Bacon is sourced from Somerville’s M.F. Dulock, just a few blocks away, and cream cheese hails from 7ate9 bakery, right next door to Dulock.
In September 2016, the small company began slinging loaves at the Boston Public Market. Its booth maintains the same weekly schedule as the Somerville store, so customers can find all the same products (with the exception of bagels). In the past, Robertson has led workshops at The KITCHEN space in the market, offering participants a hands-on education in how to bake one of his company’s more popular varieties, sampling breads throughout, and leaving attendees a fresh loaf to take home.
In addition to the Somerville storefront and the Boston Public Market stall, Somerville Bread Company’s products can be found at a number of other locations in the Boston area, including bfresh, Formaggio Kitchen, and 7ate9 Bakery.