Peasant has a pillowy soft crumb and crunchy crust. Power is packed with cranberries, seeds, cocoa nibs, and sprouted spelt. Olive and Rosemary bread is studded with olives and laced with herbs. The many bread options offered by Red Bicycle Breadworks are as delicious as they sound. Hungry yet? If you haven’t gotten your hands on a loaf of Park City’s finest bread, now’s the time.
With a goal to “Keep Park City crusty,” Brent Whitford of Red Bicycle Breadworks is doing just that with his lineup of hand-formed artisan breads. The boules and baguettes crafted from locally sourced ingredients have won the hearts of Park City’s epicures.
The business began with a bicycle. When a friend (now-business partner Brad Hart) opened a stand at the Park Silly Sunday Market selling local items like produce and cheese, Whitford offered to deliver a few loaves.
“I offered to bring him some of my bread to sell. I baked it at the restaurant and pedaled 16 loaves up on the back of my red bicycle,” explained Whitford. “I started to do it every Sunday. (The business) blew up from there.”
The stand quickly went from selling 16 loaves to hundreds. Now, Red Bicycle’s operations are based out of The Market at Park City, where still-warm loaves are bagged fresh off the Red Bicycle stand. Diners can also sample the bread at some of Park City’s best restaurants, including Riverhorse on Main, Bistro 412, Talisker on Main, Publik Coffee, Goldener Hirsch, and Waldorf Astoria Park City.
The loaves can be found at the Park Silly Sunday Market from June to September and at the Downtown Salt Lake City Tuesday Harvest Market, held Tuesday evenings at Pioneer Park from August to October. Or head to Copper Moose Farms where Red Bicycle breads and pizzas are available at the farm stand on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays throughout the summer and included in the farm’s CSA offerings.
But the baker behind Red Bicycle didn’t always bake bread.
“I’m not a trained baker, so the bread and my recipes are constantly evolving,” said Whitford, a former chef at Park City’s Chez Betty. “Cooking is something I’ve always done as a professional.”
When a lifelong friend gave him a simple recipe for no-knead bread, Whitford was hooked. He continued experimenting and perfecting his technique of using wild yeast starters and local ingredients to create breads with a distinct flavor, what he calls “character.”
He cultivated his starter from local wild yeast, apples, flour, and water. It’s from this starter that the Park City Sourdough, Red Bicycle’s most popular seller, gets it’s tangy flavor. That one joins the 100-year-old starter Paul Serpe, Red Bicycle’s head baker, brought over from Italy, where he trained.
Now, Red Bicycle’s many breads — Park City Sourdough, Power Bread, Stick Bread, Sprouted Quinoa Honey Wheat, Peasant, Olive and Rosemary, Goldcreek Cheddar, Seven Seeded Rye and others — are crafted using simple quality local ingredients: One of the two starters, locally milled flour, Redmond Real Salt mined in Utah.
Whitford puts his focus on locality when sourcing each ingredient. For example, Red Bicycle salvages spent beer grains from Wasatch Brewery for its Wasatch Beer Bread and beer buns. The company’s pizzas (more on these later) get their cheeses from Gold Creek Farms, while toppings like sausages and cured meats are sourced from Beltex Meats.
Though sourcing these ingredients requires a bit more expense and effort, he said, it’s worth it. The quality shines through in the bread. The ingredients also set apart Red Bicycle’s pizzas, which are made fresh everyday. The crust incorporates locally-milled 00 organic flour, the century-old starter, and an unusually long fermentation time. The result is a crust that’s both chewy and crispy with an incredible depth of flavor. Choose from toppings like the classic Margherita or Beltex pork and Mergueze sausage with almond pesto and roasted red peppers. Simply take one home, bake it in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes, slice, and serve.
The pizzas are available at the Red Bicycle stand at The Market at Park City. Red Bicycle will also have a stand dedicated to its pizzas at the Park Silly Sunday Market.
Whitford said Red Bicycle is planning on continuing to expand its repertoire.
“Most of my staff are ex-chefs, so we like to cook and experiment with new things,” explained Whitford.
This means farm dinners celebrating the Park City food scene highlighting locally sourced ingredients, as well as a to-die-for chocolate chip cookie recipe and sprouted whole-wheat cinnamon rolls — all coming soon. A new bread recipe is also in the works for Buckwheat Bread forged from toasted buckwheat groats and molasses. Oh, and try their custom hot sauces in carrot ginger or smoked habanero.
If all this talk of bread has already made you hungry, do yourself a favor and pickup a loaf of Red Bicycle’s sweet and chewy alt-grain Sprouted Quinoa Honey Wheat Bread (my personal favorite) and make this freedom toast for breakfast.
- 4 slices thick-cut Red Bicycle Breadworks Sprouted Quinoa Honey Wheat Bread
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon whiskey (optional)
- 1 tablespoon half and half
- Zest of 1/2 orange
- Maple Syrup
- In a bowl whisk together eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, half and half, and whiskey
- Soak both sides of the bread in egg mixture
- In a skillet, heat butter on medium temperature
- Add freedom toast and cook both sides for approximately 2 minutes each
- Serve with butter and maple syrup.