SCRATCHbread Branches Out in Bed-Stuy


The walk-up window at SCRATCHbread, now open four days a week

SCRATCHbread has been at 1069 Bedford Ave. in Bed-Stuy for nearly a year, but save for a once-a-week stretch of time between 4pm and 8pm on Wednesdays, when owner and baker Matthew Tilden sells his radical focaccia and crusty boulles from the walk-up window on Lexington Ave., you had to find his bread at various markets and cafés around town. This week, that window of opportunity is widening.

Starting today, SCRATCHbread will open its walk-up window Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 to 8 pm, where you can get loaves of fresh bread or a “hunk” of focaccia pizza with Matthew’s homemade mozzarella and sauce. And on weekends, they’ll offer a brunch on the go with pastries and sandos. Saturdays will be an all-day affair from 10 am to 6 pm, featuring a market fresh sandwich and new SCRATCHspreads, “like pink beans with goat cheese and pickled red onions… or our kale pesto, which seems to be addicting to those who have tried it.” Sunday the brunchy options continue, but from 9 am to 2 pm. Ultimately, the goal is to have a drip coffee bar as well; he’s already talking to Café Grumpy.

For now SCRATCHbread remains a “sit on your stoop” take-out spot–there’s no room among the ovens and kneading surfaces inside the storefront for tables and chairs. But it is growing up, and responding to the neighborhood’s demand to offer more retail hours. Tilden has a roster of apprentices from every background–baking and non–who help with the operation, and he’s hired a former pastry chef, Jackie Mazza, to make sure their expanded retail offerings run smoothly.

“We’ve taken ourselves out of investing into outdoor markets,” he wrote in an email, and are “now fully focused and committed to Bed-Stuy”–from figuring out how to contribute compost materials and labor to local gardens to offering kids bread-making classes (at some point). Above all he is making good on his promise to make SCRATCHbread “accessible” and affordable. His Bed-Stuy Boulle is $2 per and his pizza is $3 a hunk–a reasonable sum for a gourmet slice in this town.

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