Food & Drink

Build a Better Sandwich

Le Marais’s Head Baker Unlocks Lunch

Assembling the perfect sandwich requires a sturdy foundation.

Start at Le Marais, a new Marina bakery where fresh artisan loaves take center stage.

Head baker Justin Brown (a Julliard-trained bassoonist who worked at Bien Cut and Roberta’s in NYC) uses a complex-sounding process (long-fermentation, high-hydration doughs baked in a steam-infused deck oven) to create five flavorful varieties.

We asked the rising star for the knead-to-know details.

: This traditional Parisian recipe hails from one of the owner’s friends who owns a Normandy boulangerie.
Spice It Up: “In Paris, where owner Patrick Ascaso grew up, people line up for their baguettes each morning and eat them simply warm with butter. We would suggest making a sandwich with Cowgirl Creamery’s fromage blanc topped with French plum, mustard seed, and onion chutney from Philo Apple Farm.”

Country Levain
: The bakery’s take on French pain de campagne (a.k.a. country bread) is moderately sour and acidic (similar to sourdough).
Spice It Up: “A single slice of our country bread makes a delicious open-face croque monsieur. We make ours with cave-aged Gruyere, Parmigiano-Reggiano, asparagus, ham from Llano Seco Rancho in Chico, and Patrick’s favorite french mustard, Pommery Mustard from Meaux.”

le marais!

Whole Wheat: Not to be confused with the health food store variety, this loaf has a moist texture and slight buckwheat flavor.
Spice It Up: “This is the perfect bread for a rustic grilled cheese. We make ours with California’s Bellwether Farms Carmody, Washington State’s Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar, and an Italian goat cheese called Pantaleo.”

Rye: Light and subtle, this is one versatile loaf.
Spice It Up: “Try pairing with some roasted vegetables and our white bean and garlic scape spread.”

Pain de Mie: Classic white bread, enriched with milk, eggs, and butter; makes the ultimate toast.
Spice It Up: “We make a version of the pain de mie with cinnamon and champagne-soaked raisins. The best way to enjoy it is with some good Strauss butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.”

Le Marais Bakery, 2066 Chestnut Street, at Steiner Street (415-359-9801 or lemaraisbakery.com).

Photos: Joe Biafore / Getty Images; Courtesy of Le Marais

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2066 Chestnut St
@ Steiner St
San Francisco, CA 94123