Filling your knead for bread with Marin’s bakeries

Bowen Rivera

Bread fills shelves at almost every supermarket in America, with hundreds of varieties and flavors. However, a couple of decades ago, bread was only available for purchase at local bakeries. Today, Marin still has many of these businesses, which proudly serve freshly made goods. Buying bread locally provides an opportunity to support these stores, while often getting a more delicious product than could be purchased in the average supermarket.


Bordenave’s Extra Sour Baguettes displayed at the front of the store.

Located in San Rafael and the oldest bakery on this list, Bordenave’s has been a local staple since 1918. This store is primarily known for its sourdough, which is unsurprisingly phenomenal. The crust provides a perfect satisfying crunch with every bite, supported by the fluffy and slightly chewy interior. However, the biggest appeal to this bakery was the flavor of the bread, especially for someone who enjoys sourdough, given the bakery’s extra sour option. The extra sour baguette provides enough flavor to be enjoyed by itself or with only a schmear of salted butter. On sandwiches, however, the regular sourdough bread provides a perfect option, transforming the powerful sour flavor into a delicate supporting note. Additionally, Bordenave’s does wholesale sales to stores across Marin and the Bay Area, making the bread even more accessible to consumers.


Flour Craft Bakery

Another Marin favorite, this popular bakery is entirely gluten-free, with two different locations. The original is in San Anselmo, with the second location having recently opened in 2018 in Mill Valley. Both bakeries serve an impressive array of gluten-free bread, pastries and dessert. 

Flour Craft’s Heather’s toast comes on its walnut sourdough bread topped with warm walnut butter, orange marmalade, and salted butter.

The bread is impressive for being gluten-free, but when compared to regular, gluten-containing bread, I found that the walnut sourdough didn’t keep up. The walnut sourdough had excellent flavor, but texturely suffered without support from gluten’s elastic properties. Despite this, the bakery excels in its pastries, with both the spiced apple scone and the pumpkin walnut bread being an excellent choice for a morning snack. Another feature to note is the beautiful location of the Mill Valley bakery, located in the former location of Mill Valley’s lumber yard.Maintaining a rustic feel with plenty of outdoor seating, it provides a perfect location to sit down and have a coffee while enjoying delicious baked goods.




M.H. Bread and Butter

Located in San Anselmo, this local bakery has the most expansive menu on the list, serving classic breakfast and lunch options in addition to housemade bread and pastries. This bakery’s bread has an incredible texture — perfectly chewy on the inside, even when toasted, with a crisp exterior. I felt that the flavor of the loaf lacked some of the depth provided by both of the other bakeries, but this was easily alleviated with a little bit of one of their flavored butters. Although I didn’t try the sandwiches, the soft flavor of the bread would likely pair very well in a sandwich.

M.H. Bread and Butter’s blackberry danish.

 Their pastry was quite good as well, perfectly flaky with a nice soft flavor. The blackberry danish was recommended, and was simply excellent. The sour flavor from the blackberries contrasted perfectly with the sweet filling and the dusted powdered sugar on top. This bakery’s environment was really a selling point, with cute fall decorations, and a view from the front counter into the actual bakery, providing a sense of accountability to the freshness of the bread.