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North Hills Monthly

Local Bakeries Offer Numerous Options for the Holidays while Supporting Those in Need

Nov 30, 2020 02:50PM ● By Max Mc Crory

Photo courtesy Wild Rise Bakery

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, where you can buy all of the treats your heart desires without being judged. Christmas is the best time to browse’s Pittsburgh’s various bakeries, as many of them have some delectable options for the holidays.

Driftwood Oven, located in Lawrenceville, doesn’t just have delicious pizza; they also bake a variety of fantastic breads and bakery items. You can sign up for a monthly bread share and each week, the restaurant’s talented bakers will make a different kind of sourdough loaf with flavors ranging from polenta porridge with rosemary and pepitas to oat and honey. You never know what you’re going to get, which is half the fun. They also have weekly bakery days on Saturdays, where you can buy different items made with sourdough such as cinnamon rolls, bagels, croissants and more. Make sure to sign up for both of these in advance, as items sometimes sell out.

The restaurant also participates in Neighbor Loaves, a program started by the Artisan Grain Collaborative. Customers can purchase one of these loaves, then Driftwood Oven will bake a bread made with at least 50 percent locally grown stonemilled flour; right now they’re using stoneground Red Fife flour from Don Hixon in Renfrew, PA. It will then be distributed to Lawrenceville United, which has been providing meals to those in need during the pandemic.

Wild Rise Bakery is a gluten-free bakery with a sweet selection of goods that will please even those without a gluten intolerance. The bakery has a weekly spot at the Lawrenceville farmers’ market, where they sell an assortment of gluten-free treats, such as cinnamon raisin swirl bread, autumn spice butternut sweetbread, s’mores bars, and more. They also offer classic loaves, like sourdough, seeded multigrain, and olive and rosemary. 

In addition to the traditional items he makes, owner Oliver Pinder makes things inspired by his family’s Caribbean roots, like savory potato hand pies. Everything that the bakery offers is primarily made by Pinder himself. Like Driftwood Oven, Wild Rise Bakery also takes part in the Neighbor Loaves program. They donate their loaves to East End Cooperative Ministry and 412 Food Rescue, both of which work in the same space and help feed hungry Pittsburghers.

Breadworks Bakery, located in the California neighborhood, is a Pittsburgh staple. Their bread is sold at several local Pittsburgh stores, such as Pennsylvania Macaroni, Lincoln Bakery, Giant Eagle, and more. However, it pays to go directly to the source of all of this deliciousness. The main bakery always has daily specials, as well as some exclusive holiday items. Their December specials include sweet egg bread on December 24 and 25, and chocolate babka on New Year’s Eve. In addition to their holiday treats, they have an extensive menu filled with every bread imaginable, including olive focaccia, potato knots, ciabatta, and more. 

Loafers has locations in Cranberry, Wexford and Fox Chapel, so you can get your fresh bread fix no matter where you are. The best part of Loafers is that they have something new each day of the week. On Mondays, you can expect challah and rosemary olive bread. On Thursdays, it’s cinnamon raisin walnut and rustic French. They also have a new baker’s choice bread every day; previous offerings have included focaccia, cheddar garlic, and jalapeño cornbread. 

Baked goods are the heart of the holiday season, so make sure you visit one of these local bakeries before the year is over!