Hungry Ghost Bread, Northampton, MA

Hungry Ghost Bread 62 State Street, Northampton, MA

Although there are many bakeries that offer fine breads in Western Massachusetts where I live, one in particular stands out for its excellent artisanal loaves. Hungry Ghost Bread is not a fancy place. It is housed in a small brick bungalow set atop a hill with vines covering most of the façade including a sign with the shop’s name. Inside much of the space is given over to a large, dome-shaped oven with the remaining area modestly set up for sales. But, what comes out of that oven is outstanding. The organic breads, shaped by hand and baked in small batches in a wood-fired brick oven, have beautiful crusts and textures.

I’m a fan of their French batard, an oval-shaped loaf with an exceptionally well-balanced sourdough flavor. Recently I tried their beet-and caraway-scented fougasse (a flat Provencal bread) and was stunned by the bread’s original and tempting combination of tastes. If you find yourself in this part of New England, stop by. Hungry Ghost Bread is definitely worth a detour as they say in the Michelin Guides.

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