Best Bakery

On the Rise

Some nights, we haven't even hit the sack when Adam Gidlow unlocks the door of his Cleveland Heights bakery and begins tending his starters, fermenting his batters, and proofing and baking loaves of unsurpassed beauty and flavor. His approach is patient and meticulous, informed by love, chemistry, and an artisanal "slow food" mentality that finds him spending as many as 30 hours creating long, golden baguettes and chubby loaves of rustic Italian bread. This painstaking approach is what separates his bread from the stuff produced at popular chain bakeries, where breadmaking typically takes no more than five hours -- not nearly enough time for natural wheat flavors to develop -- and honey and salt are the major flavor notes. In contrast, when you walk into Gidlow's bakeshop, the aromas speak of nuts, toast, and smoke, and when you sink your teeth into a warm slice, the flavors are deep and subtle in ways you may have never before encountered. The staff of life? It's never been more enticing.