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Best Bread San Francisco 2003 - Della Fattoria

It's hard to find Della Fattoria breads in San Francisco, but they're well worth the hunt. The textures alone are extraordinary: dense, chewy, and moist with the occasional crunch of rock salt, pepper flake, or pumpkin seed. The varieties range from exquisitely simple campagnes and levains to an almost creamy polenta bread; another ribboned with roasted garlic cloves and chunks of aged Vella; and our favorite, a campagne jazzed with Meyer lemon zest, fresh rosemary, and locally produced extra virgin olive oil. Owners Ed and Kathleen Weber bake their hand-shaped loaves in wood-fired brick ovens out on their Petaluma farm (della fattoria means "from the farm"), using only organic flours, Brittany sea salt, and a natural starter they created several years ago from their own grapes. Della Fattoria breads are a delicious presence throughout the wine country (Auberge du Soleil and the French Laundry are two noteworthy customers), but you can only find them down here at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market and at two restaurants, Elisabeth Daniel and Cityscape. They tend to sell out fast, wherever you find them, so have your Pelugra butter and Black Diamond cheddar at the ready. Anything less would be an insult.

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