Brio makes bread that isn’t simply a platform for butter or jam—but it is great with butter and jam, or anything else for that matter. It has a unique, special flavour that comes from the quality of the grain, the texture of the loaf, and the obsession of baker Todd Barraclough.
Brio makes bread by hand in an Old-World, artisanal style, a style used by bakers for thousands of years. We call it “pain au levain” or sometimes “sourdough,” but it isn’t like the sour-tasting San Francisco-style sourdough loaves you might have tried—in fact, it isn’t sour at all. The name comes from the way the bread is leavened: all of our bread is leavened with a wild yeast levain that baker Todd Barraclough first created in 2013, and continues to use to this day.
What is a levain?
A levain is simply flour and water mixed together in equal parts, then allowed to sit undisturbed. Over about a week, wild yeast in the air ferments the starter, making it possible to leaven bread with it. By feeding the starter flour and water over time, the wild yeast can be kept alive indefinitely, and used to make all-natural, artisanal bread.
All of Brio’s bread starts with our levain—just flour and water, fermented. For our signature Prairie Loaf, we just add more water, more flour, and salt to make our dough. For our other breads, we add extra ingredients: olives maybe, or raisins. Once the dough is made, it’s folded by hand, divided, shaped and allowed to rise. Once it has risen, it is scored, quickly steamed and then baked. Altogether, the process takes between thirty and forty hours—but it’s worth it when you taste it.
And, just so you know, we only use organic flour in our breads.
The Prairie Loaf is our signature bread, the cornerstone of our bakery. It’s perfect for everyday uses like toast and sandwiches, and the building block of many of our other varieties. The Prairie Loaf is made of 90 percent organic white flour, 10 percent organic whole wheat flour, water and salt.
Olive Prairie Loaf
Our Prairie Loaf, loaded with rich Kalamata olives, herbes de Provence and lemon zest.
Walnut Raisin Prairie Loaf
Our Prairie Loaf, with organic walnuts and organic raisins added to the mix for a bit of a sweet treat—perfect for breakfast.
Multigrain Prairie Loaf
Our Prairie Loaf with toasted rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds—a delicious bread for sandwiches.
A crisp light crust and a beautiful open, irregular crumb. Just try not to eat the whole thing on the way home.
We often bring along other varieties of bread, including breads made from stoneground whole wheat, red fife, spelt and rye flours.
In addition to artisanal breads, Brio specializes in viennoiserie. Viennoiserie is a French style of baking with roots in Vienna, and includes croissants, pain au chocolat and brioche. Viennoiserie is special: the dough is folded over and over again so that when it’s baked, all the layers expand into a light, flaky treat.
We make viennoiserie with the same attention to detail as we do bread, and it shows in the superior taste and texture you’ll surely discover when you try it. And, just like our breads, we use only organic flour in our viennoiserie.
Made with fresh butter and levain, our butter croissants will melt in your mouth.
Our almond croissants have simple syrup, frangipane and sliced almonds in the middle and on top of our butter croissants. A truly decadent treat.
Rosemary Ham and Swiss Gruyère Croissant
For those who prefer savoury, we’ve taken the ham and cheese croissant to a new level: starting with the decadence of our butter croissants and adding rosemary ham and Gruyère cheese.
Pain au Chocolat
Pain au chocolat uses the same rich dough as our butter croissants, but folds dark chocolate into the middle. A treat at breakfast, or anytime.
We often bring along other varieties of viennoiserie, such as Danishes, brioche, kouign amann, and more. We’re always experimenting, and can’t wait to share the results with you.