AJ and Kirsten Brown
KNEAD’s mission is to use our sourdough and the excellence of our team to curate meaningful, memorable moments for the people within our community.
Loaves of sourdough bread are our staple! Our sourdough is throughout our entire menu, which is the heart and soul of KNEAD. The Bacon Breakfast Sandwich on Sourdough Brioche bun with house-made aioli, lettuce, tomato and a fried egg is our number one seller. Our regulars usually stop in for a loaf of sourdough, a sourdough pastry, such as our kolaches or brioche donuts, and a coffee. If they pop in for lunch, they enjoy our Chicken Salad sandwich or Turkey Bacon Ranch on
our rustic sourdough.
Our proofers allow us to speed up or slow down production of our sourdough. If we don’t proof the dough for the right amount of time or at the right temperature, the yeast is unable to release CO2, and the gluten can’t stretch to hold the air bubbles to create a beautiful crumb. The proofers also allow us to slow down fermentation, so we don’t have to bake bread while we’d rather still be sleeping!
We just got new deck ovens! They allow us to bake our bread the way we have always wanted to. They stack on top of each other, which allows us to have more ovens in our small space! Our current space is at the brink of maximum capacity, so these new ovens really allow us to improve our already great product and expand the product offering of sourdough breads. We are now able to produce sourdough baguettes and bâtards.
Secret of Success
Our 10-year-old sourdough starter! AJ started our sourdough starter after getting home from culinary school in France. We use local Midwestern and organic flours that make up the unique flavor and nutritional value in our loaves and pastries.
We are looking for an additional space to have more production space, indoor and outdoor dining, and a quick service bakery counter and retail space. It has been challenging to find the right space, but we are hopeful something will allow us to grow within the Saint Louis community.
For more info, visit www.kneadbakehouse.com
(This article appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)