"the way bread has been made for centuries in Europe"

This quote is taken from the About Us page on Sadie Rose Baking Co's website. They're a San Diego based wholesale baking company that does naturally leavened breads in a "French stone-hearth oven." 

What exactly is the way bread has been made for centuries in Europe? Has it been the same across time, and in every European country, even with changing borders and alliances allegiances? 

Sadie Rose also quotes from a Russian cafe sign, which apparently said this: “Bread is the warmest, kindest of words. Write it always with a capital letter, like your own name.”

Sounds like a good true false question for the interviews. "Bread is the warmest, kindest of words." True or false. 
 

Gusto Bread

Gusto Bread is a self-described cottage bakery in Long Beach, CA. 

They do all wholesale, direct to consumer orders, and miscellaneous events. 

Their country loaf is $10, their seeded country loaf is $11. Demi baguette is $4, whole grain rye $5 and fruit galettes $12 for 2 pieces. 

They have a $125 baking workshop, at the end of which you walk away with:

1. knowledge and exposure (priceless?)
2. a country loaf ($10 value)
3. a fruit galette ($6 value)
4. recipe booklet (unknown value, but let's say about $6)
5. a (hopefully) full stomach, because a build-your-own-sandwich lunch is provided (unknown value, but let's say about $18)

So I'm guessing you're paying roughly $85 for knowledge and exposure. Depending on how good your brain is at retaining information, and on how well you listen, this could be a great deal. 

 

Relationship: Tools, philosophy, method

Who is Blair Marvin? Blair Marvin is the wife side of the wife-husband (and now toddler son) team who owns Elmore Mountain Bread in Vermont. 

What does Marvin have to do with the relationship between tools, philosophy and method in bread baking? 

From this article, a quote: 

“We’ve been trying to bring back the historical relationship with tools, philosophy, and methods in bread. The decisions we’ve made in the bakery were influenced by trying to get as close as we can to the root of what we are doing."

-Blair Marvin

Research questions: What is this historical relationship? How is it manifesting in today's practice of it? Is the "old way" better straight up, or are there new adaptations that are improving on how things were once done?

Personalities

Lodge Bread in LA tags all their Insta posts with #livefreeandbake. IE their bread is freedom.

Kate of Kate's Bread in Ojai tells you openly that she started her bakery after splitting from her partner of 12 years and realizing that she was going to be raising her daughter Frances solo. IE her bread is raw, and honest.

Seylou Bakery does things the hard way. So their bread is exciting. 

Josey Baker of Josey Baker Bread quotes Rumi. So his bread is poetic philosophy.

Cortney of Wyld Bread likes to dance when she bakes. So her bread's got funk and groove.

Crystal White of Wayfarer Bread in San Diego bought six Lodge cast irons and started her bakery with the help of new friends in San Diego. IE her bread is iron trust. 

 

Tabor Bread

Start with the first or start with the last, but do start somewhere and please make it fast.
-anonymous

I found in a December 2012 Eyes and Edge article that Tabor Bread was "the first bakery in Portland to mill its flour in-house and bake all of the bread in a wood-fired oven." 

A November 21, 2012 Eater article reported that Tabor Bread was opening that day. 

Tissa Stein founded Tabor Bread. She likes to tango, and likes to make bread. She also used to own horses, and I read somewhere that she sees a common theme of non-verbal communication in all of those interests. 

This leads me to imagine Tissa Stein as a quiet and meditative person. This is not how I imagine every baker, so now I'm thinking it's like each baker is themselves a terroir, a complete natural environment that lends a particular taste, smell, texture, personality to the bread. 

In an interview on The Talks, Aesop's founder Dennis Paphitis listed good bread as one of the luxuries of life. It is a luxury to taste the terroir of each baker, to be able to live in a place and have the psychic and physical freedom to explore bread. To eat it not just for nutrition and necessity but for ecstasy and art. It may be a simple luxury, but it's a luxury no less. 

What does Tissa Stein think of luxuries? What does she think of access to luxuries? Is her bread a luxury?

The only logical way to find out is to ask her. Another coin in the bucket* for starting my interviewing process.

*I don't naturally keep idioms straight, so why fight it? You'll be hard-pressed to find an accurate idiom on here, except for the one I just used. 

 

Upper Left and little t

Upper Left Roasters has a menu of toasts and sandwiches. These require bread. ULR uses little t baker's for their toasts, and their own miche for their sandwiches. When the time comes, I'll ask ULR how they went about sourcing their bread from little t, and what goes into their miche, and why do they use a different bread for their sandwiches?

For now: Tim Healea is little t's founder/ owner/ baker. In browsing the bakery's instagram, I found a 2015 post documenting their bread experiments with natural yeast from Taro-ya Bread in Tokyo. 

Another PNW baker connected with Taro-ya's owner, Taro Hashiguchi. A 2014 KNKX Seattle article shared the story of Junko Mine, a Seattle-based baker who was inspired by a picture of yeast water that Taro Hashiguchi had posted on Facebook. She contacted him and asked him to teach her, then went to Japan and I guess learned everything she could from him in three days. 

At the time the article was written, his bread shop was only open two days a week, and judging by the calendar graphic on the website's homepage, it's still that way. This is how they describe their bread:

"Taro ya bread is made from home-grown yeast such as domestically produced wheat (Haru Yutaka blend), mineral salt (Gelando salt), seasonal fruit, vegetables, flowers and so on. The bread made according to the pace of yeast has plenty of seasonal fragrance, umami and wheat taste. "

That's what Junko Mine wanted to create. She's currently the pastry and bread chef at Cafe Juanita, a Northern-Italian-inspired restaurant in Kirkland, WA. I don't know if she uses wild yeast water for her day job, but maybe not?

Back to little t. I have an Instagram dm out to Tim Healea asking if he remembers what that bread from three years ago was like, or if he's done it again since then. 

I also have one out to Upper Left to find out about their miche. Which, I've learned, is typically a large, round sourdough loaf with a lot of whole wheat flour in it. Anyway, though I love a good, overwhelming and verbose dm, I refrained from asking about sourcing just yet. 

 

Help I can't find any bread

Just kidding. I just can't pay for it. 

Just kidding. Kind of, but the loaves of bread I want cost between $7 and $9 because they're naturally leavened and carefully made with freshly milled local grains. I know they're supposed to fill you up more so you end up eating less, but I am a superwoman, and I stomach my bread like it.

Thankfully, as a superwoman, I also have great self-restraint and a wicked smart essence, and I am learning to make a loaf of bread last for three people (two tall, one small) for at least five days. But it means I supplement. With other locally made bread, but not necessarily naturally leavened and made with freshly milled local grains.

Contrary to my subject line, my problem is that I can find bread, plenty of bread, too much bread. Because I live in Portland, OR. I want to try it all, for my own interests, and buy it on repeat for the bakers', and this leaves me so squished inside my budget that I spill out of it. 

This seems worth it to me, though. Making the bread seems worth it to the circle of Portland bakers who put their entire creative being into the small-scale production of bread. From personal experience, eating the bread has proven worth it. 

There are claims about the health benefits of this kind of bread. I'm hungry for a little more research on, say,  the pre and probiotic benefits of sourdough, but there's something sensical and dramatic about lactic acid overthrowing phytic acid and freeing the nutrients, so I'm leaning toward accepting it as true. Even though I want to dig through NCBI a little on my own to find out how sound these conclusions are. 

But I do believe in the bread, because I've tasted it. And in the bakers, because they're real. They're also localizing a process that has long been anything but local, and bringing together different threads of the community and connecting them, and creating a market for the farmers who can now be justified in growing grains for local and regional distribution.

I won't say these things are the ultimate good, but they are culturally significant. Economically significant too, especially in light of how the 2008 economic crisis spurred people like Tom Hunton of Camas Country Mill to mill his grains rather than outsource, and to sell close to home. 

In fact, they may just be all-around significant. It's an entire movement, with practitioners and advocates across the country and internationally. It's people, wanting to incorporate something of "old ways" while also pushing new frontiers. A part of a cycle, but a cycle that builds on itself and is different every time, even while being the same.

And what of the commercially produced and widely-consumed store-bought bread? I care about that phenomenon too. Where it's been and where it's going and what is the future of bread anyway?

I'm not a superwoman anymore. I'm Evaristo Baschenis, and this boy, who knows how to portion his bread serving, is my inspiration. 

Boy with Basket of Bread.jpg

In seriousness and simplicity, my aim is: document bread culture and tell its stories.

Whether they be happy stories or sad, stories of enjoying amazing bread or not being able to afford it, stories of the vilified wonder-less bread. 

For our own and posterity's sake. 

With as few cheap bread jokes as possible. Yes, cheap-bread jokes and cheap bread-jokes. 

 

Seylou and Josey Baker Bread

Josey Baker Bread in San Francisco posted on Instagram that Seylou Bakery in Washington DC's Blagden Alley is hiring. 

JBB said that if you have any interest and experience at all, you should get over there right now and apply. From wherever you are in the world. Because this is a rare opportunity to work at basically the best place doing the best things. "Run don't walk" he said. 

Jonathan Bethony, who shares a passion and initials with Josey Baker, is the head baker at Seylou. He seems to be over there just doing his thing, earning a reputation for running "the hardest bakery possible."

We learned previously that hard goes along with exciting, so I can see why JBB gives such a glowing recommendation for JB. He's basically saying go do something super hard and therefore also extra super exciting. 

The end.

 

Tissa Tissa Tabor Bread

I met with Tissa of Tabor Bread today and found out the following: 

1. Tissa, who started Tabor Bread in 2012, still bakes and makes in the kitchen. She was up and down as we talked, walking back to the kitchen when the cashier told her a ticket had come in, then coming to sit by me when she was done. Somewhere in the midst of this she told me that someone was supposed to be in to help her but hadn't gotten there yet. 

2. Tissa had written an "Homage to Alan Scott," printed it off and taped it to the east wall of the bakery, right above a two-seater cafe table. Alan Scott, you'll remember, is the legendary builder of wood-fired ovens and pioneering avid advocate of 100% whole grain, naturally leavened bread.

Scott built Tissa's first wood-fired oven, in Petaluma, CA. She and a man named Jed Wallach used to have weekly bread bakes at that oven, and people would come from all over the state for a taste. Inspired by this demand, Jed started the famous-if-you-know-it bakery, Wild Flour Bread, with Tissa's help. 

Tissa started Tabor Bread with Alan Scott in mind, hoping to achieve a bread that met his standards and continue the movement he began. She enlisted Lila, Alan's daughter, to help develop a recipe, and Tabor's 100% red wheat boule was the result. 

3. Tabor Bread is kind of like The Fumbally. Because Tabor Bread once employed Annie Moss, of Seastar, and Matt Kedzie, also of Seastar, and Ulises Alvarez, of Grano in Oregon City, and Sean Thompson Duffy, of the brand-new Culture Breads in Spokane, and probably many others. They're sweet, says Tissa.

Then she left. I wrote down a few notes, put my water cup in the bus bin, and showed myself out to the still-gray Portland day. 

Interview to follow.

Another piece of the framework

for investigating the contemporary culture of bread and bakers. 

This pleasantly cumbersome quote, from Mary Midgley, via Aesop

" 'Human life [is] like an enormous, ill-lit aquarium which we never see fully from above, but only through various small windows unevenly distributed around it.' "

We're finding windows and peering inside. And maybe also entering doors when the inhabitants open them to our knocking.

Hard and exciting

A wise person (Brie Larson) once observed that being a human being is hard and exciting. It's a little funny that being a being is hard, given that you just are what you are, but maybe we've been too long taught that being verbs are secondary to action verbs, when really, being verbs - existing verbs - are ultimately powerful, and primary, and fundamental to any kind of action ever taking place. 

What I'm saying is, if I were grading a high school student's English paper, I might not dock points for instances of is am and are. Because those are actually an action of a kind, you know? And I'd write in sparkly purple ink: word! 

In the last two days, I've seen at least two Instagram posts wherein the baker confesses some kitchen bloopers. One had to make 45 pounds worth of brownies, and she was a smidge nervous because she knows that she's messed up before (spoiler: they turned out okay this time). Another actually did mess something up, so her farmers' market bounty was smaller than normal. 

You're a baker trying to make it, serving up your creations at markets and maybe doing some wholesale and some special orders, masterpiecing your way through loaf after bagel after tart after hand pie, spawning daring and inventive recipes, hoping your commercial kitchen stays at a good temp for your sourdough dough... that's, like, hard and exciting. 

sourdough dough don't you go go
bubbling up too fast
sourdough dough that's a no no
or else my flag's half mast

Basecamp Bakery in Oakland posted an IG story recently to document the fact that their lives consist of itty bitty amounts of sleep and a lot of early mornings with hard labor and insane amounts of joy and satisfaction from creating their sourdough loaves and selling them at places like Grand Lake Farmers' Market on Lake Merritt.** Hard and exciting.

**They also started doing Thursday home deliveries. So people can order a bagel, or a loaf, or a baguette - all organic, naturally leavened, and made with California whole grains - and Basecamp does all the work. Their loaves are $8, except for seeded rye which is $10; their baguette is $4, and their everything bagel is $2. I don't see anything about home delivery fees. And payment is through Venmo so you don't even need to go to an atm. So, mostly just exciting for you. You'll have to find your Hard elsewhere. 

But you will! Don't worry. Hard is always out there, just like Lemony Snicket's Bad Mood

In support of the power of to be, we have before us Benedict Cumberbatch, who said: "Happiness for me is just being; just being at any given moment."

We should not be surprised that he, too, is wise. But we are permitted to be surprised that he's like some of the bakers I know. The ones who aren't interested in creating empires or moving up and up and up in salary and renown. From the mouth of the man himself (if we believe The Talks to be a credible source): "I am not really interested in going up and up and up."

Unrestricted flow of movement something or other, is more his style. 

The hard and exciting unrestricted flow of being. A pleasant merging of vivacious passion and Zen, if such a thing is possible. All into one single loaf of naturally leavened whole grain bread. Mm. 

A note on what the culture of a place can do for the culture of a place

I had just begun reading an Irish Times article called "Two Cafes Behind Ireland's Food Revolution" when I said to myself, "wow, I'm not surprised to see The Fumbally in here." 

Nick and I went to Dublin three-ish years ago. On our second day there I told him there was a restaurant I really wanted to go to, and Nick, who is pretty much always game for whatever as long as it doesn't involve slack lines near concrete, set out with me for a winding walk through the city.

Ah, the joy of getting to The Fumbally; the oddity of walking into a place that kind of felt like a fairy land/ the Shire/ the secret garden; the pleasure of ordering 3FE coffee to go with our falafel and whatever else we got. I usually keep a mental Rolodex of everything I've ever eaten at any restaurant, but all that was left after this meal was that I wanted more. 

Over time, after we'd returned to the States and Dublin had become a dream, I learned of the depth and breadth of The Fumbally's involvement in Dublin and beyond. Besides being wonderfully secretly smug about my finding it and deciding to go there, I was attracted and moved by their passionate pursuit of...everything. And their spunky, creativite (this is a word I just made up thanks to a fortuitous typo) ways

Now, today, in this current time that's already past, I find this article and see that what The Fumbally cultivates in their cafe is a sense of experimentation, of play, of boldness and vitality. Which nourishes and educates the people who work there, giving them a warm, welcoming home that also prepares them to go forth and choreograph their own dazzle dance. And this is what they do, across Dublin and Ireland as a whole. So much so that a national newspaper calls it a Food Revolution. 

I wonder how it feels for The Fumbally's co-founder-owners to be credited with essentially being a training ground for all the epicurean excellence and innovation now coming out of the city. I mean, they say how it feels in the article, but I wonder how it actually feels

Shane Palmer and Charlotte Leonard Kane are two of those people who spent time at The Fumbally and who now run their own business. They're the baker duo behind Scéal Bakery who are doing all-sourdough breads and pastries, laminated or otherwise. They learned their bread and pastry in San Francisco and from working at some other restaurants, but The Fumbally gave them good ground and support to then grow a successful bakery in Dublin. 

You should check out their Instagram if you're into that sort of thing. They bake beautiful. In fact, I'd grow wings if I could and fly there with the pigeons just to get a taste of the bliss.

And also it's like, wow, you're doing excellent things, partially because you came from a place of excellence that said to you "find your excellence!!" 

Anyway, that's what the culture of a place can do for the culture of a place, and we file this useful tidbit away for future reference. 

 

Friday Pop Quiz

You decide to get to all of these cities in a single day because you're an Adventurist. Where should you go for bread?

London: E5 Bakehouse and Wapping Sourdough and LBP and Brickhouse Just do all of them it'll be fine.
Dublin: Sceal Bakery
Tokyo: Taro-Ya
Monterrey, Mexico: BreAd 

And also Milk Pizza in Monterrey, owned by the same people from what I can tell. They at least share Berndardo, the bread baker. 

Sarah C. Owens, bread queen and author of SOURDOUGH and Toast & Jam and yet-to-be-published Heirloom, helped lead a fermentation workshop in Monterrey. They used Bread Panaderos' kitchen and worked with Bernardo, and this was how I came across them. Wyld Bread is the only PDX baker I follow who follows them, and I follow a lot now. Anyway, Milk Pizza serves their food on beautiful small floral blue and white dishware (via Google photos). The restaurant has a bar where you can watch the cooks in the kitchen while you eat. There are also cafe tables lining the walls. It looks tiny, so presumably they're making big flavor in a tiny space, which I always find to be very compelling. 

Unfortunately, knowing Latin doesn't translate to being fluent in Spanish, so I can't understand anything they're saying in this video, but maybe you can.

I've read that there's a growing market for slow-fermented, whole grain breads in Mexico. Not that breads like this are replacing corn products and white breads, but that they're starting to become more popular. BreAd in Monterrey, La Puerta Abierta and Panaderia Rosetta (click for the pretty website at least) in Mexico City. Bernardo (BreAd), shows up in this article too. He says they import flours from the US because they can't trust the quality and organic-ness of the local options. Maybe a time will come...

On the public health side of the coin, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, of Mediterranean diet fame, talked about the problem of white bread in the Spanish diet here, which, by transitivity, is a problem in every diet that has it in such excess. But white bread is what's easy and accessible, both physically and economically, and has been well woven into tastes and habits.

And voila! You have a situation that's uber difficult to change! Just like Martínez-González says, you have to make it easy to get the good stuff. Like taxing "unhealthy" things and using that revenue to subsidize "healthy" ones. But what do you do if that results in social upheaval and such? How do you begin to change a whole people's taste preferences and show them the wonders of ($8-10/ loaf) slow-fermented bread? I see that the movement can start small and grow big, but does it grow by small steps alone? Does it need big boosts? And then how does it maintain its integrity and quality when being boosted to ubiquity? The El Pais article on bread in Mexico notes that the supermarkets are starting to carry "healthier" bread, but one of the small-scale bakers interviewed calls out that those breads are often made with commercial yeast and added sugar for an aesthetically convincing crust color. I.E. dark. And then what? People just consume more because it's marketed as better and then run their health even further amok?

But really, this website. This is the restaurant arm of the Rosetta Bakery. Their landing pages give me hope, from the visuals alone. So even though the above questions look like Medusa's head to me, I'll be Perseus today. And perhaps I will kill the beast with the help of winged sandals and clear reflection - not just internal but a reflection of all the people who are out there walking the walk. I mean, making bread. 

Portland Bread Bakers

These bakers are doing naturally leavened breads. The bolded ones also use locally grown and milled flours.

For all loaves:
SeaStar - Matt Kedzie
Wyld Bread - Cortney Morentin
The 13th Loaf - Bram Yoffie
Tugboat Bread - mystery
Clockless Watch - Jordan
Tabor Bread - Tissa Stein (founder) + others
Wildflower Baking - Emily and Gillian

Grano (Oregon City) - Ulises Alvarez and Ava Mikolavich
Columbia River Sourdough Bakery - 
Kalama Sourdough Bakery - Robert Ahrens

For some loaves: 
St. Honore
Ken's
Grand Central
New Seasons
Pearl Bakery

SeaStar is a stand-alone cafe.
Wyld Bread is at People's Food Coop Farmers' Market and Woodlawn Farmers' Market. She also shares a commercial kitchen with Jen's Bagels and opens it to the public on certain days. 
The 13th Loaf sells at Migration Brewery on Thursdays between 4 and 7 pm.
Tugboat...?
Clockless Watch is available at Either/ Or cafe, where the owner/ baker works as a barista, and also Proud Mary. 
Tabor Bread is a stand-alone cafe
Wildflower Baking sells at the St. John's and Kings Farmers' Markets
Grano is a standalone cafe
Columbia River Sourdough distributes to several Portland grocery stores
Kalama Sourdough Bakery  distributes to Kalama-area-based stores and restaurants


 

 

In Bread We Crust

Stick Boy Bread's motto. They're a Boone, NC bakery. I was reading their About Page and saw a "Donation Request" button at the bottom.

A person with a charitable/ non-profit cause can submit a request for a cash, bread or volunteer donation. They review these requests and have to pick some over others. They receive hundreds of requests a year, according to their site, so they've developed a systematic approach with pre-defined, standardized donations. But they are also open to accommodating special requests. 

Documentation number one of an artisan bakery attempting to make their bread more accessible. 

The Non Definitive Bread Guide

If I published a bread book, this is what it would be called. My own revolution against misleading marketing and desperation. After only a few days of research into the whole grain artisan baking world, I don't even know what a definitive bread guide would look like. Especially a print version, because there's bakery after bakery after baker after baker after miller, etc, and new ones are popping up like whac-a-moles and no one wants to mallet them down. 

Oregon, California and North Carolina bakers have captured all my attention over the last two days. There's currently an Asheville Bread Fest under way, and 1000 Bites of Bread (Portland) is in attendance, and Josey Baker Bread (San Francisco) called it out on Instagram. Is Instagram the reason they're all connected? What was research and community like before it existed? Modern day bread guilds...on Instagram.

With all these bakers, all over, I want to know: what binds them and what distinguishes them? What are their motivations and goals?

I don't have a thesis so much as a desire to document. Who are the bakers, how do they approach their craft, what are their routines around bread making, what are their perceptions of the bread community, why are they doing it, what are their aspirations. A little anthropology. A little ethnography. [Now introducing...my secret addiction to, lust for, -ologies.]

In 2014 The NY Times had an article on the resurgence of sourdough across the country. Four years later and the surge still seems strong, unabating. The surge!! 

 

 

Notes from Stoneground: Merrill Lewis, for real

This article explains why I might say something hyperbolic, like, Merrill Lewis is my hero. Merrill Lewis is a retired English professor who calls himself, who made himself, a wheat reader. He is credited with developing the Edison wheat variety that now is used across the NW, prized for versatility and approachability and buttery, sweet flavor.

The article was written in 2014. It mentions how Tom Hunton had sent out sales-pitch samples of the flour to local bakers and restaurants, and it seems his aspirations have turned into reality because I see the flour popping up all over the PDX whole grain baking instagram world.

[aside: Matt of Seastar, Wildflower Baking, Sarah Minnick of Lovely's, Wyld Bread, Jen's Bagels, the13thloaf, clocklesswatch all list out the flour composition of their breads in some form on a regular basis. It's probably wortnothey, I mean noteworthy, that my subconscious was aware of Edison flour and recognized the name when I came across it on CCM's website.]

Rever Artisan Bakery in Wilsonville, OR has an entire line of Edison-based breads. "The Edison™ flour produces a wonderful, golden crust and pale yellow "tight" crumb with a sweet, floral aroma and buttery flavor." Judging by this picture, their sandwich loaf is actually an imperative, and that imperative is "eat me." Rever is a "cottage-based, micro-bakery." 

Bookmarked for later: Micro bakeries, Karin Anderson, Virtuous Bread.

This has strayed from Merrill Lewis, but I'm not going to put his White pages profile on here, which is the only other substantive Google search result that popped up. 

Notes from Stoneground: Camas Country Mill

Camas Country Mill grew out of Everett and Ellen Hunton's farm, called Hunton's Farm. Hunton's Farm began in 1952; Ellen is now 90 years old and still lives there. 

Her son, Tom Hunton, had the idea of growing and grinding grains for a local market, motivated by tanking commodity crop prices during the economic recession. A practical need for diversification turned into a region-wide movement.

Their Edison Hard White Wheat Flour is available to the general public on their online shop. You can choose between conventional and organic. CCM says it was "bred specifically for maritime Northwest climates by retired Bellingham professor Merrill Lewis," and later was refined (um, improved?) by the WSU Bread Lab. 

This ends the CCM post so I can now research Merrill Lewis. 

Notes from Stoneground

Kevin Morse of Cairnspring Mills sources grains from PNW farmers and mills them into flours. Does he mill the farmers? No, the grains.

Matt of Handsome Pizza and Seastar fame sources from Cairnspring mills. Also from Camas Country Mill, which mills both their own grains and grains grown by other PNW farmers.

Matt calls out City Bread on his Insta. Previously known as Country Bread, it's specific to city bakers who practice old-world baking methods. He says his version is lighter than their (Seastar's) 100% whole grain breads. Here's whole grain flour..................here's white flour, and the City Bread wheat flour is somewhere in the middle-ish. 

Matt / Seastar have also made a "T85 Red Wheat Flour bread." Where T stands for type, and 85 means that 10-15 of the (bran?) parts have been sifted out. It's a blend of hard red winter and hard red spring wheats. It apparently can be used for laminated and quick doughs (ref: Central Milling website) Anyway, Matt says its their whitest loaf ever, and most of the bran has been removed. Matt said it, not me. ("I" would have been grammatically correct but awkward sounding, no?)

Food52's Whole Wheat Flour Primer says that white whole wheat flour isn't bleached wheat flour. It's just flour that's made from the hard white wheat berry. This actually totally changes my internal biases against it. In a matter of seconds.

Carolina Ground is a mill in Asheville North Carolina that sources only southern-grown grains. They have a stone burr gristmill built by an Austrian company called Osttiroler. Their flours never exceed 100 degrees F in the milling process.

Carolina Ground came out of the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project, a 4 year grant-funded project endeavor. 

The bread made by the bakers who use Carolina Ground flour looks highly edible, ie, really good.