Loafing around

mary turner with loaf's loaves

In the Bull Durham days, downtown Durham, N.C. was perfumed with the scent of tobacco curing. Today, if you take a deep breath, you’re likely to get a whiff of baked goods instead. How it happened, I don’t know, but three bakeries have settled downtown (including the oldest, Ninth Street Bakery).

My food-adventurous friend Mary Turner has been posting Facebook photos from her job at the newest of the three, Loaf. Although Scratch Baking is just around the corner, she says the two don’t compete. Loaf has no sit-down dining, and no fancy coffee drinks – just fresh baked things. The spot draws a lot of morning traffic from office workers, who grab cinnamon rolls or chocolate croissants. The cinnamon rolls have no

some of friday's offerings

nuts or raisins, and are made with croissant dough, with makes them different from the typical cinnamon roll.

Amply sized loaves of bread contain oat, almond or, the one I tried, polenta. It was ultra-crusty with a moist interior. Really nice. The bread menu is evolving. (Challah, perhaps?)

I also brought home a chocolate tart and what Mary described as a Canadian seven-layer bar. But if The Hub is reading this – so sorry, Bug the cat got them.

Owner Ron Graff began at the Durham Farmers Market, and still sells there during the season. The store at 111 West Parrish Street opened in November 2011.