Clean, Fresh, Local Foods. Affordable, Seasonal Breakfasts & Lunches, Artisanal Loaves made with NY flours, From-Scratch Baked Goods and Desserts, all prepared in-house from responsibly grown, primarily local ingredients.

540 Delaware Avenue
Albany, NY 12209


Wed: 6 & 8pm Farm to Chef Dinners (reservation only)

Thurs/Fri: 11am-7pm

Sat/Sun: 11am-5pm

(kitchen open from 11 to 5, limited sandwich menu available between 5 and 7pm)
Loaves, Baked Goods, Sandwiches!

Please visit our website for current menu and supplier information:

Monday, June 27, 2011

What's In Your Bread And Is It Making You Ill?

Bread is the foundation of our business.  We prepare a variety of other offerings, but flour is our medium and bread is where our meals begin.  Nick has had a passion for preparing food since he was a very young; his maternal grandmother ("Gommy") faithfully baked fresh breads and pastries for his mother's family of eight, twice weekly (they couldn't afford to buy from the store).  The stories Nick heard from the extended Foster family, and one-on-one baking time with Gommy as he was growing up stayed with him.  Gommy passed away when he was 9, and at the age of 15 he began working in restaurants.  With no culinary degree and little working baking experience, the sensory memories gleaned from time spent at his grandma's house on baking days inspired our one-and-only bread baker to begin working from her techniques 9 years ago.

AGB's Sesame Semolina and
Whole Wheat Sourdough
Recipes can mean little when you're using just a few basic ingredients. Method is king in bread baking, an intuitive process.  When one person is mixing, kneading and baking large quantities, in the finite amount of time required for freshness, a "Surrender to the Flow" is called for (In Nick's case, that means listening to lots of Phish).  Crafting bread is an art, make no mistake.  Yes, admittedly, anyone can make a loaf but if you've ever tried it, you understand.  There are a million different paths one can take: quality and quantities of materials; length of kneading, rising times & baking temperatures; and a huge variety of sourdough concoctions & creative additions all come into effect when creating something as simple, and complex, as bread.

Extremely high-quality ingredients are the King's companion in our view.  Here at All Good, that means we use: Champlain Valley Milled flours that are un-enriched, unbleached, contain no GMO and are 100% organic (our White, Wheat & Spelt are from Central NY); Red Star baking yeast, Albany tap water, Kosher Salt and Sugars which vary from: local honey, fair-trade organic raw sugar, molasses, or the trub of a local brewer's mead or India Pale Ale.  Our variety of (still relatively young) Sourdoughs contain very little sugars and yeast, allowing the starters to grow naturally.  When preparing specialty loaves, we use only organic (or organic-practices) whole grains, oats, cereals, seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits and local cheeses free of hormones and antibiotics.  We source these additions aggressively from hyper-local producers as often as humanly possible.  We can't stress enough how important it is to us to use materials that won't make our community of customers ill over time - bread laden with preservatives, chemicals, GMO, unnatural dough conditioners and lab-produced sweeteners like High Fructose Corn Syrup have been found to do exactly that.
Notice the ingredients? 100% Organic White Flour.  That's it.

Despite the "healthy" claims of many current, major bread manufacturers,
The UK Daily Mail reported on June 15 that: 
"...the Real Bread Campaign, a (UK) non-profit pressure group, claims that bread has actually got worse since 1911 in terms of secret adulterants — enzymes that do not have to be declared on labels — still being smuggled into it. Today, despite the modern fashion for healthy eating, ‘nutritionally empty’ white bread accounts for more than 50 per cent of what we buy.   
Meanwhile, there is growing belief among medical researchers that modern industrial baking methods may be behind today’s extraordinary rise in digestive illness such as gluten intolerance and coeliac disease", and posted this graphic: reports that "Poor food choices not only cause Leaky Gut Syndrome but may lead to food sensitivities as well. Processed foods are low in nutrients and fiber and often contain lots of food additives, unhealthy fats and sugar. This creates an alkaline intestinal pH and a slow waste transit time."  If you're gluten-intolerant, have celiac's disease, or other intestinal difficulties, the culprits could be the chemically-produced additives and preservatives that have abounded in mass manufactured foods since the 1950s.  False claims from some manufacturers concerning the health benefits of their breads (and other goods) have fooled everyone, but hopefully not for much longer. Sourdough breads, with a starter more than a month old, free from additives are supposedly fairly easily digested by those with a gluten intolerance (the same isn't proven for those with celiac).

"Healthy" food claims may not be provocative, but they sure are popular, whether or not they are true.  We gladly accept the additional costs, management, research and time required to acquire our quality ingredients from people we trust.  And we won't ever lie to you, the only thing we wash that's green is fresh vegetables (and our compost bin). 

So we ask you, what's in your bread?  You know what's in ours and if you ever have any questions about any of the ingredients we use, we are always happy to take the time to delve into the details of our food.

Your bakers, 
Britin & Nick Foster


  1. Needless to say, I'm with you.

    Here's a similar analysis I did of sandwich bread:

    Even the "good stuff" is loaded full of bad stuff. There is only one brand of sandwich bread on supermarket shelves that I think is actually bread. It's really a travesty.

    I'm glad you are out there banging this drum.

  2. Thanks DB, there are an abundance of ethical bakers in the Capital Region who have begun to distribute their breads through the Co-ops now. The more awareness we can create about junk breads vs. truly healthy varieties, the better for everybody.