Have you ever tried to make your own bread? You may have either succeeded, failed miserably or stopped just at the thought of making a huge mess resulting in a bland, dense brick-like carbohydrate.
Well, if you are still interested in making your own loaf, go to and pick up Baked Better’s bread mix, the Park Slope Staple. It’s all organic, vegan and easy to make: just add water, unless, of course, you want to add cheese, nuts, chocolate chips or even beer.
The organic bread mix company Baked Better, founded by DUMBO residents Daniel Schellenberg and Nushin Kormi in August 2011, was created out of the need for better and healthier bread that is easy to make.
"I'd rather have a piece of cake than bread from the store that has a lot of sugar in it,” Kormi told Patch, explaining that most bread is packed with sugar and sodium. “If I want bread I want it to be bread. I don't want all this extra stuff in it."
The team met at a mutual friend’s dinner party in Carroll Gardens and they started talking about how bread is usually made with too much of that sweet and savory stuff.
In fact, according to a Reuters article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in America, bread is responsible for more sodium intake than potato chips: forty-four percent of salt consumed in America is from eating bread.
During the dinner party, Schellenberg and Kormi also talked about how good their respective family recipes are and how much their friends love their bread, but would never make it themselves.
“‘Oh, baking is really hard, and bread? Oh, my God that's impossible!’” a friend told Kormi, who was a Vice President of Goldman Sachs for its environmental markets group for three years before quitting a couple months before their company took off.
So the duo teamed up and started making bread mixes based off their family recipes and started their company, Baked Better.
Bread was always a passion for Schellenberg, who is still a management consultant for various different companies from solar panel manufacturers to automotive suppliers and also lives in DUMBO near Kormi.
In 1989 Schellenberg came to Upstate New York as an exchange student from his hometown, Celle, Germany, which is two hours away from Hamburg.
During his studies, he told his exchange family about his vision: "One day I am going to do something with bread in the US, you need better bread over here," he recounted to Patch what he said 23 years ago. "Germans miss their bread when they go abroad, whether it is in China, New York or South Africa."
When he moved to DUMBO permanently in 2006 he realized that Germany’s bread culture still did not make it to New York.
“I tried to find it and finally I said, ‘Ah, forget it. I’ll just make my own,’” he said.
After he made his loaves and gave it to his friends they said, “‘This is great! I would buy this at a store.’” And when he told that to Kormi when they first met, she said her friends gave her a similar reaction, so they went for it.
They first made DUMBO Delicious in August 2011, since that’s where their office and apartments are located. Then after Union Market put their mix on their shelves in September that same year, they decided to honor the neighborhood where two of the market’s three locations are, dubbing it Park Slope Staple. They have a third mix called Cobble Hill Crave, which has cranberries inside.
Kormi explained that Park Slope Staple is a canvass mix, a plain whole wheat mix that you can build your own bread on top of.
“It allows people to be creative with their own recipe,” Kormi said, explaining that one recipe she likes to make with the mix has sharp cheddar cheese, walnuts and olive oil.
"When you cut it open cheese oozes out of it,” she said.
Although Schellenberg wanted to make a loaf that reminded him of the bread he used to eat in Germany, he said that Baked Better's product is not European bread.
"We are making American bread mix with the European tradition of baking and has a Brooklyn spirit," Schellenberg said.
If you want to buy Baked Better bread mixes go to any Union Market in Brooklyn or buy it online at: http://bakedbetter.com/shop/.