When you chat with Don Guerra, baker and owner of Barrio Bread, you realize he has not only a great knowledge of bread but also a passion for his product and his community. After studying anthropology at the University of Arizona, Don moved to Flagstaff where he worked at different bakeries.
Later on, he relocated to Ashland, Oregon where he opened The Village Baker of Ashland. Don shared with me that after a few successful years, he realized that he was foremost the owner of a bakery, and not a baker, so he closed shop and came back to Tucson to complete a degree in education and teach K-12 grade students.
While teaching, he continued his passion for bread and often baked for friends and family. In 2009, he decided to turn the garage in his house into a bakery, which became Barrio Bread, a Community Supported Baker. He would sell his bread to local restaurants and members of the community.
Local Grains/Local Economy
Don Guerra commits to support local farmers and sources most of his grains from farmers in the region. Once in a while, he has also supported farmers in the state of Sonora, Mexico, sourcing white Sonoran wheat, and mesquite flour.
Bread Recommendations and Tips
Barrio Bread’s menu changes depending on the day of the week, and also the time of the day. Don’t expect any preservatives or strange additions to your bread. Flour, water, and salt are the base of every loaf at this bakery. From a traditional french baguette to a Cubano roll, you will experience how bread should taste. Here are some of my favorite loaves of bread:
Cranberry Walnut – Sun-dried cranberries and walnuts are folded into the dough of a Pain au levain (Naturally leavened and created with unbleached flours and stone-ground wheat). Toast a slice and smother it with good butter.
Jalapeño Cheddar – Leavened dough with a combination of wild yeast (levain) and baker’s yeast.
BiroteWe – A traditional Guadalajara-style crusty bread made with beer malt and lemon. Personally, we use this bread to make some tortas ahogadas.
Here is a Secret
Going to Barrio Bread is quite an experience. If you go on a Saturday, you will likely wait for more than an hour in line while meeting other fans of Barrio Bread (which is a part of the experience). My secret to skipping the line? Buy extra loaves, slice them and freeze them. Later on, take out the slices you will eat, and put them in a toaster oven.
If you Google the business, you will see that the bakery closes at 2 pm, but don’t be fooled. Most of the time the bread will sell out around noon. For a better selection, be there between 9 am and 10:30a.
For a continued Barrio Bread experience, purchase some of his special flours and learn online how to bake your bread, or make some pizza.
Web – www.barriobread.com
Address – 18 S Eastbourne Ave, Tucson, AZ 85716
Hours – Wed-Sat 9 am-2 pm
(Visit their website for changes on hours of operation, special events, and catering)