Whether made with wheat, rice or corn, leavened with yeast or a bubbling substance from a jar; bread is essential.
North Fork bread has gone upper crust.
Here are a few of our favorites.
8 Hands Farm, Cutchogue
The organic sourdough with flax, rolled oats, steel cuts, chia, quinoa, and millet goes fast, so call ahead. $6.50
1610 Bakehouse, Riverhead
A tangy, crusty sourdough bread with a cult following made with New York-grown grain. Available by pre-order at 1610bakehouse.com. $11
Jamesport Sourdough & Coffee Company
Their chocolate and classic sourdough get raves, but unless you get lucky and find it at Lombardi’s in Mattituck on Friday, or at Sang Lee on Thursdays and Saturdays, you must preorder. $18, or an eight-week supply from $53
Sunflower seed pain au levain
Blue Duck Bakery, Southold and Greenport
The sunflower-seed encrusted loaf is one of the first breads offered when Blue Duck opened 22 years ago. Made with a solid sourdough starter and wheat flour, the sunflower seeds add a nutty flavor. $4.99
It doesn’t get better than a crusty, savory loaf made in an iron skillet. Great with their chili or on its own. $2.25
Briermere Farms, Riverhead
The challah-like braided bread is rich and buttery with a dark, glossy crust. Nice for toast or sandwiches and righteous for French toast. $6
Rosemary focaccia, ciabatta, pizza dough
Lombardi’s Love Lane Market, Mattituck
This herby focaccia ($3.99 a piece, $35 for a whole sheet) and a rustic ciabatta ($5.99) are baked on site. Lombardi’s will also sell you enough dough to make your own 12-inch pie, or pat it thin, drizzle it with olive oil and herbs and eat hot and crusty for $3
Marie Eiffel Market, Shelter Island
When fresh from the oven, the crust of Marie Eiffel’s baguettes practically shatters, and the crumb is soft. $6