bricolage bread & co.
How to build a bakery
‘Mi casa es su casa’ (my home is your home) reads a sandwich board at the entrance to Bricolage Bread & Co., accompanied by drawings of children, a dog and a hand shake; on top, a rainbow flag flutters. Although modern and spacious, with grey concrete walls and lofty ceilings, the bakery is at once cosy and familiar. The vibe, as chef Shinobu Namae puts it, is a blend of ‘nostalgic Showa-era factory and grandma’s home’.
To ‘bricolage’ is to create something from what you have available – it's resourceful, creative and inherently personal. This book is about the bricolage-ing of Bricolage Bread & Co. bakery, and how Namae-san and his team managed to create a homely oasis amid the fast-paced life and skyscrapers of Roppongi. Over several chapters, Namae-san walks us through the foundations of the bakery’s identity… why the staff don’t wear a uniform, the link between traditional shikkui plaster walls and making good bread, why Bricolage serves a sashimi tartine, and how making sandwiches for the Tohoku earthquake relief in 2011 was the catalyst for the bakery and its community-centric focus.
While honouring the European roots of boulangerie, Namae-san and the Bricolage bakers diverge and forge a local path, incorporating local ideas like fermentation, obsession for craftsmanship and details, and local ingredients – wheat from Hokkaido, soy sauce, miso, kinako, matcha and bonito flakes. You’ll find in his book recipes for how to incorporate some of these ingredients into your baking – and there’s even instructions on how to brew beer with leftover bread.
Yes, this is the story of how one bakery was built (and continues to evolve) but at its core it's much more than that – it's a blueprint for any creative project and an inspiring example of how to make a house a home.
96 Page paperback
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