This chef can’t escape the daily grind — and he doesn’t want to!
A Williamsburg baker is making his own flour via a massive stone mill and using it to create fresh loaves at his new Moore Street bakery. But the finished product is almost beside the point, the carbohydrate craftsman said — this operation is all about celebrating heirloom grains and the delicious things you can do with them.
“It’s not about bread — it’s about the wheat,” said Chef Adam Leonti, who opened Brooklyn Bread Lab between Bushwick Avenue and White Street on Dec. 2. “About how it makes its way in everything, and about how if you have it fresh it’s good for you.”
The bakery is equipped with a 7,000-pound granite mill that crushes 400 pounds of whole grains every hour for Leonti’s operation, which regularly sells out the 25 to 30 loaves it makes daily before 3 pm.
Leonti grinds a different kind of weirdo wheat every week — right now it is one called “warthog,” next it will be a strain of durum — and creates an ever-rotating selection of funky-flour-powered focaccias, pastas, and pastries.
The freshly-pulverized grist doesn’t just taste better, it is better for you, Leonti claims.
“You get more nutrients as it grinds because of the coarseness,” he said. “It makes it kind of creamy, which is good for flavor and for health.”
The bakery will eventually supply its grainy goods to the forthcoming Williamsburg Hotel, when it opens at Wythe Avenue and N. 10th Street next spring. Leonti will be the hotel’s executive chef while continuing to keep an eye on the mill.
The hotel is lending the kernel colonel the space for his experimental operation while it wraps construction, and depending on how popular the bakery becomes, it may stay where it is or move into the new hotel.
Leonti will also begin hosting cooking classes at the bakery in January — including a beginners’ bread-baking class, pizza and pasta-making classes, and lessons for kids.
The Brooklyn Bread Lab (201 Moore St. between Bushwick Avenue and White Street in Williamsburg, (718) 418–4400, www.brook