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First Look: SCRATCHbread Rises in Bed-Stuy

Photo: Linnea Covington

Matthew Tilden spent about seventeen months flitting from oven to oven trying to get SCRATCHbread out to the masses. Finally, after starting out baking bread in the off-hours at Toby’s Public House and then briefly inhabiting a space in Red Hook, Tilden has secured a production spot in the old Foccaccino pizzeria in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He tells us: “A miracle got me here, and now it’s time to really start rocking.”

After learning to make bread at Chestnut in Carroll Gardens, Tilden decided he wanted to leave the traditional café setting and launched SCRATCHbread with only $5,000, peddling his loaves of cracked fennel, Brownstone focaccia, and scones at shops around Brooklyn. Currently, his wares are only carried on the weekends at the Brooklyn Flea, Café Grumpy, and Blue Apron Fine Foods. But, when production is back in full swing in October, Tilden will be able to cater to many of his old clients, such as Bklyn Larder and Gorilla Coffee.

He also hopes to serve the Bed-Stuy community and has developed a dark crusted bread, “approachable enough that someone who has never had sourdough can enjoy [it],” called Stuyvesant Style Sourdough. He also plans to start a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise the money necessary to convert the former pizza joint’s takeout window into a wholesale walk-up window where you’ll be able to pick up fresh bread for under $5. “I would really like to have wholesale bread for the neighborhood,” he tells us. “To me, it’s more than just a product — it relates to the people and can enhance the community.”

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