The Breadery | Best Sourdough in Crested Butte, Colorado

Review by: Jess Dawson

We are actually heading somewhere else when we happen upon The Breadery, a new addition to Crested Butte with the best sourdough around. And we are so happy we did. The minute we sit down, Jonah greets us. A Northern New Mexico transplant, Jonah saw an ad for Crested Butte in a magazine and moved here three days later. That was four years ago. He is emphatic about the menu, and our order, and we are, too. As the chef here says, “Our menu is a love letter to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.”

A senior starter with legs

At the heart of everything here is the tangy sourdough, which is lovingly made with three ingredients: flour, water and salt. The 60-year-old starter, Trisha, has been passed down from generations past. The hand mixed dough goes through a 36- to 72-hour fermentation for easy digestion and a crackly crumb that’s hard to forget.

No need to think: Get the special sourdough

To start, the kitchen always has special sourdoughs, and today there are two options: Gruyere and cheddar jalapeño. We go with the latter, and add on black garlic butter. The four ample pieces of sourdough arrive warm, with an incredibly crunchy crust and awesome sour flavor. Huge, whole slices of jalapeños and ample cheddar add spice, but there is also a bit of sweetness. The black garlic butter is creamy and a little sweet, too. It also comes with a dish of olive oil and balsamic. 

Next, the Garden Greens arrive with gorgeous edible flowers on top. We try both, and they’re as flavorless as they are pretty. The rest of the salad, however, is an homage to fresh summer ingredients. There are sweet peas, pea shoots, and slices of watermelon radishes with bursts of pink at the center. Thin green apple and asparagus are dressed with a sweet-tangy lemon-shallot vinaigrette.

The “Too Early For Summer Burrata Salad” is another display of summer produce. The huge, creamy dollops of burrata sit next to zucchini in pasta ribbons. Next to that, slices of yellow squash, bright orange squash blossoms, sunflower seeds, parsley, garlic scapes and a handful of toasted buckwheat. On top, a squeeze of lemon and white balsamic.

Pizza, pizza

The main event is the sourdough flatbread. The entire lineup is tempting, and we are especially intrigued by one of our favorites, a Spicy Hawaiian with applewood bacon, pickled jalapeños, roasted pineapple and mozzarella.

We go with the more unique Roasted Potato Flatbread with sliced and roasted potatoes, extra virgin olive oil and small rounds of spicy house sausage. A trio of cheese includes lemon ricotta, provolone and parmesan. In the middle, a generous scoop of shaved Brussels sprouts cut the richness with much-needed acidity.

The dough is naturally leavened and feeds “1-2 earthlings.” It’s thin in the middle and chewy on the edges, perfect to dunk into “crust dipping sauce,” which is basically melted butter with spices. Jonah tells us it’s like the Papa John’s butter sauce, but better, and we agree. He also brings us a “fancy ranch” which is a light, frothy, herby number. It’s all incredible.

A salty, chocolate finish

Finally, Jonah tells us we don’t need to hear the rest of the dessert specials: We need the Chocolate and Olive Oil Budino. We’re in. It arrives with a thin layer of olive oil and flaky Maldon salt on top and is uh-mazing. The texture is like buttercream, but somehow richer. It comes with a rather dry double chocolate chip cookie cookie that, when dipped in the budino, is the perfect balance of textures. 

Along the way, we enjoy great drinks. The cocktail menu is refreshed daily by whichever bartender is on that night, and we got Polly. She whips up a delicious Timely Old Fashioned and a Honeysuckle martini made with grapefruit juice and Colorado honeysuckle simple syrup with a sugared rim. The wine list is local and mostly natural, including the wonderful Colorado Buckel vineyards Cinsault.

You’ll want more leftovers

Our leftover pizza dough is slid on its cardboard base into an oversized paper bag, and even though I’m full to the brim, I can’t wait to dig back in again tomorrow. I will also tell everyone I know who goes to Crested Butte to prioritize a visit here. 

A semi-offshoot from the Sunflower restaurant across the street, The Breadery began supplying bread to Sunflower, graduated to a bakery with “back-door pizza nights” and quickly became a staple until it ran into Covid. This year, in April, they re-opened to high acclaim, and have been busy ever since.

What To Eat

Cheddar Jalapeño Sourdough

DISH
Garden Greens with Flowers

DISH
Too Early For Summer Burrata Salad

DISH
Roasted Potato Sourdough Flatbread

DISH
Chocolate and Olive Oil Budino

DISH

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