One of our most exciting (and dangerous) discoveries at our Thursday San Rafael Market has been the Della Fattoria stand, where the array of morning pastries is VERY hard to resist. Even when I bring my own oatmeal, it often goes uneaten, a sad second compared to a perfectly-executed almond croissant. Their breads are gorgeous works of culinary art. Since we can be found standing in their line a few times a day, we got to talking to Edmund, who invited us to come shape and bake bread one afternoon.
The place is just as idyllic as it sounds on paper. The bakers shape bread on two enormous marble tables set in a converted barn filled with sunlight, enjoying pastoral views complete with sheep and roosters. The Webers have a huge plot of land with several buildings, including their childrens’ homes and a dorm for visiting interns from the Culinary Institute of America. The land and bakery breath life. The rhythm of bakers shaping and firing loaves, the friends dropping in and out throughout the course of the afternoon, the pot of dinner cooking in its nook between the two giant ovens. While clean and professional, it lacks the soulless, sterile aesthetic of most commercial bakeries. Can we live here?