Signal Mountain bakery sweetens its sourdough

Signal Mountain bakery sweetens its sourdough

April 29th, 2011 by Casey Phillips in Business Around the Region

• What: Sourdough bread

• Company: Bread Basket

• Address: 7804 East Brainerd Road D and 2116 Taft Highway, Signal Mountain

• Website: www.breadbasket.com

• Telephone: 886-7771

• Owner: Anson Hyde

• What's special: Bread Basket adds sugar to its sourdough recipe, which makes for a distinct, Southern flavor, said Hyde. "It's a little different from your traditional, San Francisco sourdough," Hyde said. "It's a softer bread and makes you think of something your mom or grandmom would make."

• The origin story: Hyde's mother became interested in baking after the family became hooked on sourdough bread a neighbor brought over as a housewarming gift. When Hyde's mother asked for the recipe, the neighbor gave her a quantity of liquid, living sourdough starter. The starter produced too much bread for the family, so Hyde's mother began giving it away and eventually started selling it. She and Hyde's father opened Bread Basket in 1989 and moved into their current facility in 1993.

• How long does it take to make: The starter is fed every morning, after which it sits most of the day before being mixed with other ingredients to make dough later that evening. It rises overnight and is shaped before rising a second time and is baked. The total process takes 36 hours, Hyde said.

• Where it's sold: At the East Brainerd and Signal Mountain locations as well as franchisees in Cleveland, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C.

• What it costs: From $1.50 (muffins) to $6.50 (large loaves).

• Future expansions planned: Hyde said he recently added gift baskets to his product line and is seeking to expand his online presence and increase his regional and national sales.

• Lessons of the trade: "Never stop working hard to make your product as good as it can be, and good things will flow from that," Hyde said. "If you have a good product and follow it up with good service and people, then you will be successful."