A wheatberry’s throw from the Panhandle on Divisadero in San Francisco, and tucked between a row of old Victorian homes, you'll find the eponymous Mill — once an abandoned grocery store, now an eclectic space showcasing two of man's simplest staples: coffee and bread. Roles at The Mill are divided into two camps and shared by local friends: the roasters at Four Barrel Coffee, and Josey Baker Bread.
Inside The Mill’s white-tiled walls, the airy, naturally-lit space carries a creative, clean vibe. The sounds of Duran Duran, and the distinct aromas of sourdough and Four Barrel’s daily roast fill the air. It comes as little surprise that sourdough is, in fact, Josey’s favorite, which is probably why each one of his hearty breads feature the pungent cultures. With their crusty variations of whole grain classics like “Seeded Country,” “Dark Mountain Rye,” and “Workingman's Bread" (a sly nod to a certain Grateful Dead album) are fan-favorites on Josey's menu. But today, it’s his gluten-free “Adventure Bread” that we’re jonsing to try.
Josey started baking four year’s previous, wherein he discovered a love for the tactile craft of bread — something tangible that when created, could be used for the enjoyment and nourishment of others. His passion for this craft is as inspiring as it is infectious — evident in his ear-to-ear grin as he describes the journey that arrived at a life defined by sustenance.
Though gluten-free, dairy free, vegan, and a whole host of other coincidentally “en vogue” dietary trends, Josey's Adventure Bread is wholly unpretentious in its concept and presentation, and is more than capable of standing on its own. It started simply — answering the demand of his customers for a hearty, nutrient-dense loaf that could easily keep in a backpack and nourish for days on end. This simple, seed-based bread might have an understated presence on the table, but it still boasts an impressive 1200 calories per loaf — perfect for a long weekend on the Pacific Crest.
Ready to bring Josey’s Adventure Bread on your next through-hike? You can either pick up a few loaves at The Mill, or bake it yourself, as Josey was kind enough to provide Myles with the recipe from his recently published book, Josey Baker Bread - Get Baking, Make Awesome Bread, Share the Loaves. In it, you’ll find recipes for beginners and experts alike, which navigate the tricky waters of everything from simple cookies to complex sweets, pizzas, and his renowned breads. It's Josey's love letter to bread, and one written in hopes of helping the reader fall in love with baking. So borrow your mom’s bread pans and fire up the oven because Josey's Adventure Bread starts right now.
HOW TO MAKE ADVENTURE BREAD
THE DRY STUFF
One 8" x 4" bread pan, oiled
2 1/4 cups (235g) rolled oats (use Gluten-Free Certified oats if you'll be baking for someone with intolerance to gluten)
1 cup (160g) sunflower seeds (hulled)
1/2 cup (65g) pumpkin seeds (hulled)
3/4 cup (90g) almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (120g) flax seeds
1/3 cup (25g) psyllium seed husks
3 tablespoons (25g) chia seeds
2 teaspoons (12g) fine sea salt
* Josey’s Baking Tip: "Swap out half the psyllium husk for almond flour for a better ‘hold’ and dryness (both can be readily found in the bulk aisle at your local Whole Foods or Trader Joe's)"
THE WET STUFF
2 tablespoons (40g) maple syrup
1/4 cup (55g) olive oil
2 1/2 cups (600g) water
Yields: One eight-inch loaf
1. PREHEAT your oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and gather your foodstuffs. Toast the seeds by spreading the sunflower and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and toast until they start to brown. "This should take about 15 minutes — don't forget to stir halfway during baking." [JB][JB][JB][JB]
While you’ll certainly find your own favorite ways to enjoy Adventure Bread in the backcountry, Josie’s favorite ways include toasting it over the campfire and finishing it with avocado and a fried egg for an easy, protein-rich nosh on the trail. He also recommends covering it in your favorite almond butter for a rich, creamy snack. If you'd like to try more of Josey's signature breads, you can order "Josey Baker Bread — Get Baking, Make Awesome Bread, Share the Loaves" here. And if you can’t pay The Mill a visit by locating it at 720 Divisadero, follow Josey on Instagram and Twitter.
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Images ©: Jeff Masamori