The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bakery Profile: Pane D'Amore

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Bakery Profile: Pane D'Amore

The last few times I've visited my parents' house, they've served some incredible breads from a local bakery. One time we had a roasted garlic-parmesan loaf that was to die for. This time we had an organic white sourdough with the most beautiful gringe and crust on it. The next morning for breakfast we had an organic cranberry-walnut sourdough that knocked my socks off. After finishing off an entire loaf of cranberry-walnut bread in one sitting, I thought to myself "I gotta go check this place out."

Pane D'Amore is in a teeny little storefront in uptown Port Townsend. Going by mid-day on the day before Easter was probably not the smartest idea of mine because the place was packed, so I didn't get a chance to talk to the bakery owners Frank D'Amore and Linda Yakush. But I was lucky enough to catch one of the bakers there, Ilon Silverman, as he was wrapping up for the day. He gave me a tour of the place and told me about his baking background.

Ilon told me he's been baking for close to 20 years. He got into bread baking, he said, when he first heard about baking sourdough loaves without yeast while in high school. "My initial tries came out like bricks", he told me, but he stuck with it and was eventually able to get the hang of it.


Slideshow

Inside the village bakery

Ilon was able to get his foot in the door as a professional baker at The Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Massachusetts, getting to apprentice under the master baker Richard Bourdon. Later he landed a gig at the renowned Metropolitan Bakery in Philadelphia.

When I asked what brought him to Washington he told me a funny story. "I was out here checking out the Olympic Peninsula," he said, "when one morning I smelled bread. And not just any old bakery, but, you know, real bread." He went into Pane D'Amore and chatted with the guys for a bit, then asked if could come in and help bake the next day. So for the next two days (on his vacation, I remind you), he got up at 3 in the morning and put in a full (unpaid) shift at Pane D'Amore.

After returning to Colorado, Ilon heard that Pane D'Amore owner and head baker Frank D'Amore had been seriously injured in an accident and that the bakery needed help covering for him. Ilon called up the bakery, saying "Hey, you might have forgotten me, but I'm the guy who came in and baked with you on my vacation." He ended up coming back out to Washington to help cover for Frank while he was out of commission.

Frank D'Amore, who has been baking in Port Townsend for over 25 years, is back baking again and the bakery, which is about four years old, is going strong. The under 900 square foot joint (including the retail space) does about a thousand pounds of bread a day, with anywhere from ten to twenty different types of bread each day. All of the bread is made with organic ingredients, not just the flour but the nuts, seeds, and fruits as well. In the summertime, when the farmers' market is going on out front, the line will be out the door and they'll sell over 400 loaves of bread from the storefont alone. Pane D'Amore's breads are served at a number of local restaurants and has recently been picked up by the Safeway in town, which is the largest bread seller in the area by far.

The breads they make there are killer: aside from the ones I mentioned, they make a Fig-Anise Bread, Ciabatta, Swedish Limpa, a Flax, Oat, and Sunflower Multi-grain Bread, a 7 Grain, Panini, rolls, Ficelle and many others. About half of the breads they bake are sourdoughs, the other half yeasted. They also bake pastries, rolls, sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, cookies, focaccia, and pretty much anything else you can bake in a hot oven every day.



Pane D'Amore is located at 617 Tyler St., Port Townsend, Washington and is open 7 days a week.

Comments

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

...makes me want to go to Washington just to taste their bread!

 

One correction Floydm - The Berkshire Mountain Bakery is in Massachusetts, not Vermont as you have listed up there. I know because I live about 5 miles from it. It is the biggest supplier of sourdough bread in the Southern Berkshers - and a great bakery in its own right!

 

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

You must have spotted this in the RSS feed... I posted it tonight but wasn't going to put it on the front page until I had a chance to reread it to try to catch any errors. You spotted a good one, so thank you for the correction.

I'm going to go ahead and place this story on the front page, so if you or anyone else catch any other errors (factual or grammatical), please let me know.

Berkshire Mountain Bakery sounds like a great bakery.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Floyd,

I enjoyed your interview with the baker and your special insight of this great family run business. It looks like a successful small business at 1000 pounds a day. That seems like a doable amount to me with minimum equipment. I was surprised at the number of kinds of bread they produce every day. What a fire drill!

 

By the way I bought some of the garlic spray from Garlic Valley (advertiser) and loved it. We made Garlic bread last week from baguettes and it was delicious and fast!

Eric

maggie664's picture
maggie664

OMG,if only we had something like that here. A very interesting article, Floyd.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Wow. Beautiful photos and write-up. When I get to the West Coast in August, I'll be making a pilgrimage.

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

And I loved the slide show.  Looks like a very cool place, and their product is outstanding.

 

Thanks for going behind the scenes to share with us. 

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Another reason to love the Olympic Penninsula! What a jewel of a small bakery. Those organic sourdough loaves look incredible, the crust and the ears are what I wish I could achieve, the photos make me really hungry...I will definitely scope this place out next time we are out in Washington. Thanks Floyd!

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Unless I traveled an hour, at least, the "Artisan Bread" I would find around here would have an ingredient list 2" long and be almost unreadable. What a joy it would be to run up to Pane D' Amore. Thanks Floyd.                                                                                                   weavershouse

Srishti's picture
Srishti

I wish I lived anywhere close to this place... I'm in South-Central WA.... but dfinitely if I go towards the coast sometime, I'd loooooooooooove to stop by....

Hmmm. If I lived there I would actually apply for the job.... just for the fun of it :)

Thanks Floyd

zolablue's picture
zolablue

...and thanks for sharing that info and photos - breathtaking.  There is so obviously something that gets into your blood when you discover bread baking.  It is insane - such an obssession that you can't shake off but even moreso you don't wish to.  I love these kind of stories and can only imagine how hard these people work to make exceptional bread on that level.  Wow.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

how artisan bakers can make a living. Most definitely an art form, requires very specialized experience to produce such variety, quality and quantity, highly physical, bad hours and not the best of pay. It must have to do with that obsession we have all been talking about! Thanks for the review and slide show, really enjoyed it.

I also, tried to leave a rating, but it wouldn't take.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Yeah, I think the slideshow javascript and the rating javascript conflict with one another. I'll see if I can fix it.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

You are always there..Thanks for all you do

ryan's picture
ryan

 

Wow!

Super clean bakery space and such good looking product! But where is Port Townsend?

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

is in Washington state

junglis's picture
junglis

haha thanks for the great review of the place i work at floyd.

it's really nice to see the great response from the users of this forum regarding it as well. if anyone is in town, please come visit and drink some beers with us after our shift and we can gab about bread.

however, we don't have minimal equipment. in the small space we have, we house a bongard CERVAP and a pietrobierto 160L .. it's suitable to handle the minimal bread load we have and we could sustain a great deal more, but we can't sell as much as we have capacity for. it seems unlikely, but even in such a small space, the restriction is retail spaces and staffing.

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I wholeheartedly agree, that is a serious oven. No disrespect from here.

I'm curious, how the heck did you get that thing *in* there? I'm almost afraid to ask, because the answer has to include either taking the thing apart and moving it in piece-by-piece or some serious demo on the building...

maggie664's picture
maggie664

Junglis,
I reckon that if your business increased in volume output some things would be compromised. I've seen it happen often to cafes and restaurants here (NZ), especially if it means that you have to train your own staff to maintain your established standards (as I have to in my cafe).
Would you consider posting up any bread recipes which you have saturated the locals with and can now afford to give away?

junglis's picture
junglis

formulas are formulas, you can get them all from hamelman or levy-berenbaum, they're the similar percentages. the unique quality of our bread comes from the technique we apply and the experience with the equipment we have to produce the results we aspire to.

but you're very correct, bakeries that move to larger production markets often suffer from the loss of quality over time because there isn't a qualified staff to apply intensive subjective judgement on each atom of product. the key, i think, is to have a staff that is equally passionate about the art of artisan breadbaking (and passionate about life in general).

maggie664's picture
maggie664

to Junglis,
Yes, I agree with all you say. The passion is there because we are all nurturers and we want to provide sustinance for those we respect/love with the best efforts we are capable of. Good luck with your staff interviewing, I hope you find someone with a similar attitude to breadmaking and life as you. What I have found in my 11 years of cafe management (and cooking)( and 15 years of hospital food service management) is that one's enthusiasm (read passion) can rub off on new staff (if you are lucky) and you progress from there. M

bakker_be's picture
bakker_be

Just to chime in from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean:

I find your sense of scale rather funny. A bakery that sells 1000 pounds of bread over here in Belgium is by no means a small bakery.

While I personally like what I saw in the pictures, you'd have a hard time to sell bread with such dark crust over here. People tend to prefer it less baked.

When I was still an apprentice (back in the 80's) I always dreamed of crossing over to the States and get real successful with european-style bread and pastry. Judging from what I see here (on this site in general) that would have been a good move ;-)

Bart

junglis's picture
junglis

well, my time in france and belgium certainly left a different impression than that .. maybe things have changed in the past few years. alternatively, sense of scale is situational on ratio of population to amount of bakeries .. don't turn it into a nationalistic smear; it's just boring.

also, i bake my bread. you should be able to mug someone with a crust of my bread.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think it's just the picture shows dark loaves due to lack of light, lack of bright lights that would dry out the bread.  As we all know, taking a photo of bread is not all that easy.  The buns in the front look perfectly baked!    The slide show is beautiful, Thank you  --Mini Oven

maggie664's picture
maggie664

Junglis - just keep doing what you are doing. You'd do well here in an NZ city
situation. My opinion is that if Floyd thought your bakery was worth promoting to the degree that he has, then you are an inspiration to us! Mini
Oven writes sense too.

skysailor's picture
skysailor

I wish I could have met you when you came by my shop. I would like to invite any of you to come by and get a personal tour.

This is my 9th bakery. It is what I have spent my life doing. Bread!

With the exception of Ilon, our production manager, everyone at our shop was trained on the job. The fellow that spoke of the passion and commitment as an essentiail ingredient was correct. Formulas are just words on paper. Technique and experience are what counts. My staff is passionate.

The comment on the color of the chrust was a good one and welcome. Linda and I are awere of this and it is a constant battle between our individual likes and those of our communities. We do respond to their needs. Like in the movie "Big Night" we recognize that we can not fail to listen to what our nieghbors want. At the sametime we ahve to give ourselves something for our effort. It is the balancing act we all play in one way or anouther.

I will send anyone formulas but please make your request specific. We have all kinds. They are in commercial quanities and produced with great equipment. But they can be a start.

When I was first learning 35 years ago a baker was sharing formulas with me and I was so greatful and amazed that he would share his secrets. He told me that it had all been done before and if I worked hard and was lucky they would serve me and him inturn as it would broaden his market if more people learned of good breads.

Frank D'Amore

skysailor@olympus.net

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Frank congratulations on such a beautiful shop in a beautiful location with beautiful product! I cannot wait to visit someday. I myself love dark crusts, as does my husband, who is from France. When in France purchasing du pain we always ask for it bien cuit.

bakker_be's picture
bakker_be

In spite of what Junglis seems to have understood from my post, there was no slight intended. I just thought it was funny that somebody would call this a small bakery whereas in Belgium (I don't claim to speak for France) a successfull artisanal (non-industrial) bakery sells somewhere around 350-400 loaves of bread. 1 regulatory loaf weighing 800 gr this makes around 700 pounds of bread or roughly 800 pounds of dough.

I've worked in 7 different bakeries in Belgium (the last 6 years in my own bakery) and 1 in Germany and generally the customer demands a lighter crust. I prefer it darker and "crustier" myself, but when you have to make a living from it you adapt.

As for passion: I stopped my own bakery almost 6.5 years ago and I've been working in IT since, but I still refer to myself as being a baker by profession, and IT-professional by necessity.

Bart

bart@bartkestelyn.com 

junglis's picture
junglis

i really misunderstood what you meant, i apologize for my hasty and offensive comments.  thanks for posting and giving thought to this bakery.

it's a shame that your own venture folded at the hands of soft bread lovers .. it seems like professional artisan bakers constantly have to toe the line of good bread versus sellable bread.

again, my apologies, i look back at my reactionary commentary and feel rather asinine.

 

skysailor's picture
skysailor

Oh Yea,

The oven came in to the building as 10 slices.

Like a loaf.  1000 lbs each.  The fully assembled unit weighs around 13,000 lbs.  These are awsome machines and are very dependable.

We had to remove part of the front of the shop to get in the little pieces.  Then 400 lbs of bolts and a ton of misery.

Frank 

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

to have Frank and Junglis come on this site!

Your bakery - and breads - look amazing!  What an inspiration to those of us just learning in our home kitchens. I am on the east coast but if I ever get out your way I would absolutely LOVE a tour of the bakery!

 Thank you.

cherub0110's picture
cherub0110

Do you think they have a bread recipe book for sale?

Jw's picture
Jw

not sure if I would still bake my own bread, if this bakery would be around (closeby). Nice pictures, nice limpa as well. What are the prices of the bread?


Cheers,
Jw.

Frank Damore's picture
Frank Damore

Our prices vary depending on weight and componants.


Our 1# baguette cost $3.00,  Our most expensive loaf is our fig/anise, cranberry/walnut and kalamata olive at around $5.00.  All of these are certifided organic and quite expensive to produce.  We do offer a 1.5# loaf of cracked multi-grain sourdough for $4.25.  This is an awsome sandwhich bread and a favorite with our customers