Each One Off Hospitality concept is fueled by the desire to use the highest quality and most responsibly sourced ingredients - produce, meat, you name it. In 2014, the One Off team brought on Greg Wade, an experienced and innovative baker who previously helmed Little Goat Bread. Collaborating with Executive Chef Paul Kahan and our Chefs de Cuisine across The Publican family of restaurants, Greg and the entire Publican Quality Bread team now have a dedicated place to explore how whole grains and thoughtful fermentation can yield ridiculously good bread. Greg and his team now oversee the bread program for all One Off Hospitality Group concepts, creating new breads that fit with each restaurant's distinct menu. Additionally, Publican Quality Bread has a burgeoning wholesale division that currently supplies to over 50 restaurants across Chicago.
Growth and cultivation are vital to any experience, the human one included. For us, it’s as important to grow our grains as it is to grow our relationships and our community. Our bread wouldn’t be possible without Marty and Will Travis of Spence Farm in Fairbury, IL, a connection we’ve fostered over more than five years. Each year, we collaborate with Marty and Will on the grains we’d like to use, as well as growing conditions for the year and our collective quality standards.
We choose varieties of heritage wheat, not for yield or ease of harvest as conventional farmers do, but for flavor, baking quality and soil health. Our bread starts, quite literally, from the ground up. As the Travis family sows the seeds of grain, our connection to them extends to a larger community, bringing together our farmers, our team and our partners from restaurants and retail locations across the city. Bread has always been a catalyst for shared experience, and it’s our goal to share that mentality with the chefs, restaurateurs and guests we’re lucky to work alongside each day.
The liveliness of the farm leads directly into our fermentation process. Marty and Will mill our grains every week, and their biodynamic techniques preserve the integrity of the grain without adding chemicals, pesticides or other processes.
Publican Quality Bread uses a long-fermentation process that encourages depth of flavor and ultimately makes our breads more nutritious. We produce the most wholesome products we can by sourcing ingredients locally, from people who have ethical practices. Honey is our go-to sweetener in lieu of refined sugar, and our refined flour is grown on transitional organic fields. Like most things in food, we believe that the best thing we can do is buy the highest-quality ingredients from people we care about, and let those ingredients speak for themselves.
At Publican Quality Bread, we focus on naturally fermented, whole-grain breads. We bake our breads in a hearth oven and achieve a darker crust color because we believe more caramelization equals more flavor. We favor gentle mixing methods and fully hydrated doughs which require hand shaping. Because of this, each loaf of bread has its own characteristics, reflective of the ingredients and energy that characterize our process from start to finish.