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Friday, February 18, 2011

No. 63: Challah from Destination Baking Co.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 6:04 PM

click to enlarge What? The loaf was warm when SFoodie picked it up. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • What? The loaf was warm when SFoodie picked it up.

SFoodie's countdown of our 92 favorite things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

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For the past 10 years, every Friday around 11 a.m. Joe Schuver and his staff begin pulling loaves of challah out of the oven and sticking them on the cooling racks, where they fill the tiny Glen Park bakery with their aroma. He only makes 20 to 30 every week ― one third plain, one third covered in poppy seeds, one third with sesame seeds. Schuver says he bakes baguettes every day and a few specialty breads a week, including sandwich loaves on Fridays, and sourdough boules and nine-grain bread on Saturdays.

The crumb of Destination's challah ($4 for a loaf) is soft and pale yellow, as if the bakers had mixed in saffron instead of orange-yolked eggs. When you slice it, you find the curling, swooping memory of its braiding. The challah is a Friday-night bread worthy of a blessing and a rich stew or a Saturday-morning coating of custard and maple syrup. Better still, it's as good a reason for leaving the office on time ― Destination closes at 6:30 p.m. ― as the prospect of a cold Manhattan.

Destination Baking Co.: 598 Chenery (at Castro), 469-0730.

Dishes in our series so far:

92: Goat tacos from El Norteño
91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu
90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha
89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar
88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline
87: Outerlands' levain bread
86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt
85: Gyro King's spinach pie
84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi
83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu
82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tart
81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée
80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle
79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña
78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
77: Cheesecake from Zanze's
76: Chicken pepian at San Miguel
75: Macau iced coffee at Vega/Special Xtra
74: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch
73: Hai Ky Mi Gia's duck leg noodle soup
72: Sauerbraten at Walzwerk
71: Boudin noir at Cafe Bastille
70: Blackstrap molasses gingerbread at Lotta's Bakery
69: Plow's crispy potatoes
68: Prospect's Catcher in the Rye
67: Pork banh mi from Little Vietnam Cafe
66: Nakaochi at Ippuku
65: Sidekick's chocolate spritzer
64: Farmhouse Culture's horseradish-leek sauerkraut

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook. Follow me at @JonKauffman.
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Jonathan Kauffman

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