"That One Beautiful Bite:"Chef Avery Ruzicka Makes Fresh-Milled Flours Shine at Manresa Bread

Chef Avery Ruzicka started conceptualizing her Los Gatos, CA bakery while baking bread for the dining room at Manresa, David Kinch’s famed 3-Michelin Star restaurant. Today, Manresa Bread makes gorgeous bread and pastry that starts and ends with respect for the grain, which they mill in-house.

At the Manresa Bread bakery, a full team of bread bakers and pastry cooks turns out artisan loaves, viennoisserie, pies and pastry for a collection of storefronts throughout the South Bay. All the while, a bright orange New American stone mill hums along, milling fresh flours from California grains for the bakery’s projects. With such a successful and wide-ranging body of work, why insist on the added step of in-house milling?

“At the core of Manresa Bread is our mill,” explains Ruzicka. “The freshness of the flour, and additionally the fact that it’s whole grain, maintains the flavor of that flour. I feel as though our job as chefs is to evolve our recipes so that flavor comes through.”

In this spotlight, Chef Avery makes a strawberry and almond frangipane tart with fresh-milled rye flour, and a laminated babka featuring whole wheat and rye levain and a red wheat-based dough.

Check out Manresa Bread on Instagram or at their website for locations, menus, and order info.