Bread is one of the world’s most elemental foods. Whether you make it with flour or corn, call it a baguette or a tortilla, eat it for breakfast or dinner, every culture has a bread-making—and bread-breaking—tradition. It’s a food that not only nourishes us but unites us across borders. Yet, in the U.S., it often feels like bread has become a bad word, whether you blame Big Ag’s mass-produced loaves or gluten-free diets. 

Enough of that. Bread is back. And why not? Like many foods valued in our current culinary climate, bread can be crafted with local ingredients, technique, and care. When it is, it represents its time and place, just like craft beer and heirloom vegetables. 

And in this edition of Dish, we celebrate the Triangle’s golden age of bread.

Local bakers are using North Carolina–grown grains and local flours to craft bread, bagels, and pastries that are full of rich textures and deep flavors, the kind that can only come from grains grown and milled using traditions that preserve integrity while locking in nutrients and freshness. Bakers here are experimenting with fermentation, tinkering with ratios, and fine-tuning techniques to create a bread-making culture all our own. These loaves are worth seeking out at local bakeries, markets, and restaurants. 

So tuck into the bread basket with us to explore bread’s diverse and multifaceted traditions, its magical alchemies, its centuries-old place on Southern tables, and all the ways it nurtures us.

In the Issue: 

How Two Philosophy Ph.D. Candidates Quietly Revitalized Ninth Street Bakery’s Artisan Bread Program

How Baking Bread Helps Me Understand God and Find Solace

The Triangle’s Golden Age of Bread Is Fueled by Local Grains

Are You Team Biscuits or Team Cornbread? Why Not Both?

Everything You Know About Sourdough Is Wrong, Says Master Baker Lionel Vatinet

The Sourdough Project Wants to Figure Out How Colonies of Yeast and Bacteria Create the Tangy, Bubbly Bread

You Don’t Have to Go to New York to Get a Good Bagel

Five Local Bagels We Love

What the Hell Happened to Complimentary Bread Service?

Five Local Bread Baskets You Should Fill Up On

Five Breads That Transcend Borders

Mix and Match These Five Local Breads and Spreads