Ari’s Pick: Bakehouse White Bread

An artisan alternative to the factory food I grew up on

Back when I grew up, white bread was our staple. It came from the supermarket, pre-sliced and packed into tightly sealed plastic bags. On rare occasions, we got rye bread, bagels for breakfast, and braided challah for Friday nights. White bread was everyday “business.” Grilled cheese on white bread, tuna sandwiches on white bread, white bread toasted and topped with butter and cinnamon sugar. Kids in Ann Arbor nowadays benefit from the Bakehouse’s positive presence, and for many, well-made artisan bread is “normal.” Thanks to the creative, skilled, and hard-working crew at the Bakehouse, we can now, it seems, have it both ways: Bakehouse White is very much the sort of high-quality artisan loaf that Ann Arbor bread lovers have come to expect. And, it also has some of the comfort and emotional connection that take me back to my childhood!

Loaf of Bakehouse White

What makes Bakehouse White so better than what my mother used to bring home? Better flour is a good beginning—these loaves are made from organically grown wheat. We use smaller amounts of commercial yeast, butter in place of commercial shortening, and a small bit of sugar, fresh milk, and eggs. It has a delicacy and deliciousness that, I forecast, just might make you—or your kids—happy in a wholesome, artisan sort of way. Amy Emberling, managing partner at the Bakehouse, shared with a smile the other day how much she’s been enjoying it.

“I made club sandwiches on Bakehouse White bread for dinner one night. The next night I made something different for everyone else, but I made myself another club sandwich. It’s in a way comfort food because of its familiarity and simplicity. It has greater integrity, chew, and flavor, than the white bread of my childhood, making it more satisfying.”

Unlike Paesano, where the big holes in the dough that we love so much make it sub-optimal for peanut butter and jelly, Bakehouse White works wonderfully well. And of course, the Bakehouse White is also great for grilled cheese, terrific for tuna, and you can turn a couple slices into some pretty fine cinnamon toast in about two minutes! Kudos to the Bakehouse for once again, turning the incredibly ordinary into some exceptionally good eating!

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

Ari headshot
Ari Weinzweig
Co-Founding Partner at Zingerman's | + posts

In 1982, Ari Weinzweig, along with his partner Paul Saginaw, founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen with a $20,000 bank loan, a Russian History degree from the University of Michigan, 4 years of experience washing dishes, cooking and managing in restaurant kitchens and chutzpah from his hometown of Chicago. They opened the doors with 2 employees and a small selection of specialty foods and exceptional sandwiches.

Today, Zingerman’s Delicatessen is a nationally renowned food icon and the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses has grown to 10 businesses with over 750 employees and over $55 million in annual revenue. Aside from the Delicatessen, these businesses include Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Coffee Company, Creamery, Roadhouse, Mail Order, ZingTrain, Candy Manufactory, Cornman Farms and a Korean restaurant that is scheduled to open in 2016. No two businesses in the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses are alike but they all share the same Vision and Guiding Principles and deliver “The Zingerman’s Experience” with passion and commitment.

Besides being the Co-Founding Partner and being actively engaged in some aspect of the day-to-day operations and governance of nearly every business in the Zingerman’s Community, Ari Weinzweig is also a prolific writer. His most recent publications are the first 4 of his 6 book series Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading Series: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business (Part 1), Being a Better Leader (Part 2), Managing Ourselves (Part 3) and the newly-released Part 4, The Power of Beliefs in Business. Earlier books include the Zingerman’s Guides to Giving Great Service, Better Bacon, Good Eating, Good Olive Oil, Good Vinegar and Good Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Ari regularly travels across the country (and world) on behalf of ZingTrain, teaching organizations and businesses about Zingerman’s approach to business. He is a sought-after Keynote speaker, having delivered keynotes for Inc. 500, Microsoft Expo Spring Conference, Great Game of Business Gathering of Games, Positive Business Conference at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, American Society for Quality (ASQ), and the American Cheese Society. Most recently, Ari and Paul Saginaw were invited to address an audience of 50,000 for the University of Michigan 2015 Spring Commencement.

One of Zingerman’s Guiding Principles is being an active part of the community and in 1988, Zingerman’s was instrumental in the founding of Food Gatherers, a food rescue program that delivers over 5 million pounds of food each year to the hungry residents of Washtenaw county. Every year Zingerman’s donates 10% of its previous years profits to local community organizations and non-profits. Ari has served on the board of The Ark, the longest continuously operating folk music venue in America.

Over the decades, the Zingerman’s founding partners have consistently been the recipients of public recognition from a variety of diverse organizations. In April 1995, Ari and Paul were awarded the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County’s first Humanitarian Award. In 2006, Ari was recognized as one of the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the James Beard Foundation. In 2007, Ari and Paul were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Bon Appetit magazine for their work in the food industry. Ari was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Cheese Society in 2014. And Ari’s book, Building a Great Business was on Inc. magazine’s list of Best Books for Business Leaders.

Notwithstanding the awards, being engaged on a daily basis in the work of 10 businesses and 21 partners, writing books on business and in-depth articles on food for the Zingerman’s newsletter, Ari finds time to be a voracious reader. He acquires and reads more books than he can find room for. Ari might soon find himself the owner of the largest collection of Anarchist books in Ann Arbor outside the Labadie collection at the University of Michigan library!

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