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Tucked away in Liberty Village lies Brodflour, a quaint and innovative bakery that mills flour in-house and serves unbeatably fresh breads, baked goods and now, pizzas.
Founded in 2017––and currently operated by general manager and co-founder Matthew Faust––Brodflour has been on a mission to "give people the license to enjoy bread again." By milling and sifting their flour in-house, they are able to create a beautiful "living" product that retains its moisture for an extended period of time due to the high hydration levels and minimal processing of the grains.
The mill was made in Vermont by New American Stone Mills, and features two granite stones that grind down the grains at different pressures set by the miller. The bakers will start the machine every day early in the morning, and it runs for at least 10-12 hours to keep up with the high demand for their flour. The friction created by the contact between the grain and stone is so powerful, it even produces an impressive amount of heat in the milling room.
Brodflour sources a variety of premium heritage Canadian grains that are tested to make sure they meet the carefully-set standards for quality, protein content and moisture. Prairie Hard Red, Red Fife and Spelt are all sifted through the sifter at the back of the mill, and Rye and Einkorn are milled whole grain through a chute on the side of the mill.
The flour is sifted into four separate categories––however, the finely sifted flour and the flour sifted with middlings (the portions of the wheat kernel that are richest in proteins) are kept in the same bin before they are mixed together for added flavour, nutrients and texture. The flour is so fresh, when it's picked up, it clumps together like clay. Depending on what is being made, the bakers use a variety of flour types, as they each possess their own textures and flavour profiles.
Because the flour is milled in house, the bakery has the opportunity to be constantly testing and improving their recipes. Fresh flour is "alive" and can sometimes be unpredictable to work with, so it takes many efforts in order to perfect a recipe. It is important that the entire grain and bran remains intact while milling, because the flour can retain more moisture and oils, that standard flour does not.
Though Brodflour has become known for their loaves, cardamom knots, cookies and sourdough slabs (like the killer Almond Butter and Jam slab), they are now re-launching their pizza program with a brand new dough recipe that is unlike any other in the city.
Brodflour's new and improved pizza is perfectly crispy, but has the same great flavour of fresh flour and naturally-leavened sourdough. They have made the switch from Prairie Hard Red grain with bran to finely sifted Prairie Hard Red, because the texture and taste is so much better.
Though bran is commonly used to keep a chewy consistency in most breads and pastries, it's doesn't quite work the same when it comes to cultivating the perfect pizza dough. The result however, is a crust that maintains its crisp quality, but is jam-packed with nutrients and doesn’t leave you feeling full or bloated after the first couple of slices.
Since the Brodflour ovens are designed primarily for bread baking, it became the team's mission to develop a recipe that would work well in a non-conventional pizza oven. By removing the bran in their dough, the pizza cooks beautifully at the oven's max temperature of around 300 degrees Celsius. The dough was developed by their head baker John Cates, who has years of pizza-making experience and has collaborated with the rest of the team to create a well-rounded pizza menu.
As expected, the team makes as much as possible in house, with the exception of outsourcing some ingredients like meats and cheeses from local outposts, including the beloved Cheese Boutique in Etobicoke. That being said, their onion jam, hot sauce, truffle garlic base (for the vegan pizza), za'atar seasoning, hot honey and chipotle mayo dips are all made in-house.
Broadflour is currently offering a variety of 14-inch pizza options, and each one of them is loaded with only the finest ingredients. The Margherita and Marinara are perfect for those wanting to start with the basics, but the vegan White Truffle Pizza (with truffle garlic sauce base, marinated zucchini, red onion, bagel seed crust & lemon zest) is a Mediterranean-inspired pie developed by Brodflour's assistant general manager, Jordyn Ferriss.
Ferriss also highly recommends the Goat Cheese Pizza; a masterpiece and perfect for those looking to try something a little different. With organic mozzarella, goat cheese, and house made sweet and spicy onion jam, this pizza has melt-in-your mouth toppings with flavours that are perfectly balanced. Some might even recall their famous onion jam from their incredibly successful Onion Jam seasonal loaf from the Winter, which they hope to bring back as the weather changes.
If you're a meat lover, be sure to give the Spicy Pepperoni a try (with tomato sauce, pepperoni, organic mozz, grated parm, jalapeño peppers, house-made fermented habanero hot sauce and house-made hot honey) or the Nduja and Roasted Broccolini (with tomato sauce, 'nduja, organic mozz & roasted broccolini).
As Brodflour continues to become one of Toronto's most notable bakeries with an expanding, versatile menu, they are continuing to experiment with their fresh flour blends for an assortment of other menu items.
"We strongly believe fresh flour is more flavourful, better for you and under-appreciated. We're aiming to make caring about what's in your flour the new norm," Ferriss says.
They are also hoping to expand in the future if all goes well, and will keep making as many different types of goods with their freshly milled flour. And If pizza wasn't enough, they are also making exclusive salads (with house-made dressings), as well as special desserts for pizza nights, that will rotate weekly.
If you're thirsty, the bakery has an excellent beverage program, serving up Monogram Coffee, Java Roasters Coffee, Sapsucker sparkling water, and Greenhouse Juice. In terms of their bags of pre-packaged flour, you can find them on-site, as well as a number of local grocers, including Summerhill Market, McEwan Fine Foods, and Unboxed Market (to name a few).
Brodflour is located at 8 Pardee Avenue in Liberty Village, and is now running pizza night exclusively on Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Be sure to order ahead of time to secure your pizza, as there will be limited quantities available. You can pre-order pickup by phone, stop in and take it to go, or stay and enjoy on the patio. Delivery will also be available on UberEats, in case you're wanting to have a cozy night in, with some of the best pizza Toronto has to offer.