On a recent trip to San Francisco, I couldn't get enough of the legendary toast at The Mill, Josey Baker's place in the city's Western Addition. This operation, which has a Cinderella charming backstory (Joesy got hooked on bread baking after a friend gifted him a sourdough starter back in 2010), started the whole high-end toast trend. And before gasping at the $5-8 price for a piece of it, know this: It's totally worth it and it starts with the bread. You can definitely taste the love and care and attention that's gone into these loaves. Plus, the thick-sliced pieces are slathered with organic, homemade jam, sprinkled with carefully sourced cinnamon and sugar or topped with buttery, smashed avocado.

Avocado Toast
Photo by Buckwheat Queen

Winning Whole Grain Loaves

I'm no bread baker, but I'm determined to try and recreate this experience now that I'm home. So, I did some digging and found a dozen 5-star loaves that seem like they fit the "easy-ish" approach that'll work for beginner baker types like me. Here's the rundown of those loaves. The jam? I've already got that dialed in with these 7 Quick and Easy Jams for Summer Fruit.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread
Photo by Karen Hessling Mondora

Old-Fashioned White Bread

These versions are a world away from the airy, squishy stuff that fills supermarket shelves. It's dense and substantial. Just right to serve as a platform for all sorts of toast spreads.

650 x 465 974032-No-Knead-Artisan-Style-Bread-214751-cannawen-1024x1024
No Knead Artisan Style Bread. Photo by cannawen

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