Wild Flour Bread - Freestone


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Note: I have revisited Wild Flour Bread.

If I could, I would keep this post at the top of my blog, always. Wild Flour Bread was my favorite of all the places we visited on Saturday–and we visited a lot of good places. It’s also my favorite place that I’ve been to so far in the Napa area–and I’ve visited a lot of good places. I love it.

Put simply, no matter where you are in the world, if you book an airplane ticket right now to depart in 3 hrs (providing you arrive btw Fri-Mon b/c that’s when they’re open), rush to the airport, arrive in Oakland or San Francisco, and drive like a madman to Freestone, CA to sample the breads at Wild Flour Bread, it would be completely worth it. You may not even be a bread person, but you will easily become a Wild Flour bread person.

It’s amazing bread. Served warm, perfectly chewy on the inside and slightly crusty on the outside, and so full of flavor. It’s like eating perfection.

And mind you, it’s basically in the middle of nowhere. This is the view across the street.

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The view inside is perhaps just as beautiful, but even more breathtaking.

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That wood-fired brick oven in the back bakes these organic loaves to perfection.

On their website, they say that they sell 900 loaves daily through this retail shop, and I’d believe it. A lot of people were on in the perfection of this relatively small place, and it’s a comfortable spot to relax; everything just feels right with the world in the bakery. It’s the kind of place where a conterperson addresses the crowd by calling out “I’ll help anybody.”

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So, what’d we get? The fougasse (with potatoes, jack cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, potatoes, and rosemary) and the sticky bun. When we brought our purchases to the communal table, I felt the sticky bun, and said “Oooh, it’s still warm.” I then felt the fougasse, and said “Oh my god, this is warm, too.” It was like Christmas morning.

I think that Wild Flour is a bit like the classic Ben & Jerry’s of breads — they like to throw a lot of big chunks of good stuff in (though there are pure grain breads, too). They also have a tricky way with bread names. A fougasse is usually a leaf shaped lean dough with holes. Our fougasse looked like this.

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The ladder-like ( /cough-cough/ pretty-fougasse-like) loaves on the mid-left of the interior picture above had goat cheese, onions, and herbs. It’s called a Goat Cheese Flat. I found that out later.

Anyway, the chunks in the breads are not just limited to potatoes and garlic. When they say there’s cheese in the bread, they mean chunks of glorious melted cheese. So, getting it warm is part of the beauty. The rosemary is also more mellow when it’s warm (it’s stronger when you devour the leftovers later).

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And the sticky bun. There’s nothing like it in the world. Syrupy on the edges, chewy, cinnamon-y, wildly folded.

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You can’t really tell from the pic, but it’s huge–about the size of a healthy hardcover book. Like the fougasse, it’s whole wheat. They don’t mention this on the menu board, but in a way, they don’t really need to. It is what it is, and it tastes delicious; it doesn’t taste like some lame Whole Wheat Wonder Bread. This the real stuff that just tastes good.

The owner used to work in specialty glass in Santa Rosa, so there’s even stained glass to admire… in the bathroom…

Wild Flour Stained Glass

And this bread bunny lives in the window.

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They have pizzas only on Fridays and Mondays. Sigh…. they must be spectacular…. (Edit: They no longer make pizza).

10 Responses to “Wild Flour Bread - Freestone”

  1. Chick Pea Says:

    Oh man that fougasse looks divine, the cheese! I’d eat the whole thing in one sitting!

  2. Nina Says:

    Yeah! We seriously debated finishing it all at once. The leftover was pretty much one end of it…. And we finished it with dinner. :) Oh, the memories….

  3. Sweet Napa » Blog Archive » Waiting for Schlumberger Says:

    [...] The cheddar onion rye was good, too, but our dough was very wet, which caused us no end of concern; it was almost too gooey to shape without getting swamp hands. So, they turned out very moist and collapsed when baked, and I’m not sure whether baking them longer would have helped things much because of our faulty dough; an ingredient was probably mis-scaled along the way. They had a nicely balanced flavor, though. The chef instructor warned us to dice the cheese small–about 1/4″– or else the rolls would collapse and spread when baked. True, especially for our dough,, and such a shame that I couldn’t duplicate Wild Flour Bread’s huge chunks o’ cheese brilliance. I’ll just find another time to copy it. In this case, what I liked best were the melted cheese feet that came off the bread and crisped into pure salty cheesy goodness… I count at least 4, and possibly 7, of them in the pic below.  We totally meant to do that… [...]

  4. Sweet Napa » Blog Archive » Wild Flour Bread Revisited - Freestone Says:

    [...] My visit to Wild Flour Bread last month changed not only the way that I think about bread, but also the way that I think about my schedule. If I plan on being in LA for two weekends in one month, my first thought is “That’s two weekends I can’t go to Wild Flour Bread.” (Though my next thought, which cheers me up some, is “That’s two weekends I can go to The City Bakery.“) I also think about every Friday and Monday coming up, and whether I can get there to try its pizza, which is served only on those days. I haven’t managed it so far. Anyway, with a lot of excitement and a slight fear that it might not live up to our first visit, Chad and I drove an hour and fifteen minutes on Sunday solely to eat Wild Flour Bread. [...]

  5. Sweet Napa » Blog Archive » I Left My Heart at Chino Farm Says:

    [...] Driving around the area is great fun, by the way. It reminds me slightly of a hotter Sonoma, with farm stands tucked into the hills and curvy roads. Back when I lived in Napa, I would often daydream about hopping into my car to make the pilgrimage to Wild Flour Bread. Now, Chino Farm is my new dreamy destination of choice. [...]

  6. Sweet Napa » Blog Archive » The Chronicles of Napa, Part 1 Says:

    [...] The next day, we set out on an exploratory mission to Wild Flour Bread, committed to basking in the scenery, turning onto mysterious roads, and otherwise finding pleasure in getting lost. [...]

  7. Megan Says:

    After ten years of Wildfour (they opened in 1998) we’ve finally tried a scone today. We’re not *scone people* (not really bread people either) but both are very much worth trying– go for it on your next visit.

    We always like to introduce people to this great place, not too far from the city, but this place is *not* in the “Napa area” :) !!

    Hope you continue to enjoy this lovely Sonoma County delight!

  8. Nina Says:

    Yes — I’ve tried their scones — I can’t remember the flavors now, but they were good, too!

    Ah… can’t wait to go back again… It’s been almost a year!

  9. Nassiba Says:

    My experience with Wild Flour Bread is certainly unique. I drove students from my son’s school to Westminster Wood. I stopped at the bakery because I am a (good) bread lover. I went in and asked if they took ATM or credit cards because I did not have cash or my check book. A young lady there said:” No but you can take whatever you need and just mail a check later.” Imagine my surprise!!!
    I was thrilled to leave with bread, and what bread…The best in the country..
    That experience really made my day. I am happy to see that there are some trusting people out there. I will definitely take another 2 1/2 hours drive there to stock up on the bread.
    Lots of thanks to the staff and owners.

  10. Nina Says:

    Wow! Makes me love them even more! Ah, the bread… the scones… and the biscotti!

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