In between baking shifts, early, early, early morning shifts filling wholesale orders and running the retail side of the bakery, my boss at Allegro Hearth Bakery asked if I could squeeze in taking photos and writing the text for the future website. Of course I could! I was honored he asked me, and I couldn’t have been more excited to add my touch to the future Allegro Hearth web presence! The following is a comprehensive preview of what is to come once the website launches. Click on the thumbnails of the baked goods to see a larger image and a description.
Situated in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where commerce still carries a friendly face and “mom” and “pop” still have a retail space, you will find Allegro Hearth’s bakers mixing dough, shaping the loaves and loading the oven until the wee hours of the morning. Allegro’s bakers bring culinary training and a family history of bread making to each and every loaf. While putting taste and texture first, each baker adds an individual touch and design to the crusts.
At Allegro Hearth, you’ll find a variety of fresh traditional breads, new twists on old recipes and pastries baked fresh, seven days a week. Venturing in and around Pittsburgh, you’ll find slices of Allegro Hearth bread on the plates of the finest eating establishments and in the aisles of trusted neighborhood grocers to whom the bakery delivers fresh baked goods seven days a week.
An Allegro recipe begins with pure ingredients, the base of which is the choice of unbleached, unbromated, hard, red, spring, wheat flour. Allegro does not use artificial flavors or preservatives. In the tradition of artisan bread baking, most Allegro loaves begin with a sourdough starter in lieu of commercial baker’s yeast. Starter is a simple mixture of aging flour, water and wild yeast.
During the fermentation period, bacteria feed on the sugars in flour and produce acidic by-products. This process results in a richer flavor, a more complex texture and a thicker crust. At the end of each night, the bakers “feed” the starter more flour and water and monitor its nuances closely.
Thus each loaf carries with it the history and development of its mother dough, a bacterial complexity that cannot be created overnight nor can its yielded flavor be mimicked with shortcuts. Reaffirm the tradition you trust or try a loaf for the first time. The bakery crew looks forward to your patronage. Remember to ask about a bread card when you visit- buy eight loaves and the ninth one is on the house!