Sometimes you come across a food that is special. The flavor. The look. The method of preparation and the people who put their hearts and souls into creating certain foods all come together in a beautiful, artistic way. It is my pleasure to introduce you to my friend, gifted artisan baker and owner of Barrio Bread™, Mr. Don Guerra.
In 2009, Guerra started his current business in his home garage in Tucson, Arizona. Barrio Bread™ wasn't a spontaneous concept, but rather a rebirth of something that he had started years ago. After training under skilled bakers in Flagstaff, Arizona, and owning his own bakeries in both Arizona and in Oregon, Guerra decided to leave the scene and return to school. Moving back to Tucson, he earned his bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Arizona and taught K-8 grade school students for seven years.
Although he loved teaching, Guerra returned to what he always had a passion for: baking bread. In November 2016, he moved his garage bakery to a brick and mortar location in the Broadway Village Shopping Center and the community who had purchased his artisan breads at farmer's markets and Community Supported Agriculture pick -up locations responded in a major way. They formed lines outside of Barrio Bread bakery just to grab a fresh loaf of Pain au Levain, Barrio Baguette or (my personal favorite!) a Super Seed Whole Wheat and Guerra's bread shelves were empty before closing time.
Guerra proudly uses locally sourced grains that are grown and harvested right here in Southern Arizona. He is a passionate supporter of our local grain economy, works closely with the farmers and enjoys teaching others about his model and his method --after all, Don is a teacher at heart! Don Guerra and his world-renowned Barrio Bread™ are indeed, a Tucson treasure.
Although I haven't tried all of Don's breads, here are four of my favorites that I've combined in ways that make for perfect small meals and appetizers. Look below to see four short and simple recipes including Barrio Breakfast Toast made with Super Seed Whole Wheat, Barrio Baguette topped with a fresh and delicious Tomato Basil Bruschetta & Mozzarella, Fresh Fruit and Nut Butter on Whole Wheat Sesame, and a hearty Meat Sauce Toast made with Pain au Levain. ENJOY!!
Want more Barrio Bread? Check out Guerra's new collaboration with Chef Riley Chandler, Barrio Sandwiches. Now open for lunch every Tuesday-Friday from 11am-2pm on the premises of the Arizona Theater Company, 330 S. Scott Ave.
1. Barrio Breakfast Toast
One of my favorite weekend breakfasts is this right here! So quick to make and it's a delicious and nutritious way to start off my day.
- 1 slice Barrio Bread™ Super Seed Whole Wheat Bread, toasted
- 1 egg, cooked over medium or scrambled
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tablespoon Just Good Salsa
- Optional: cilantro
- With the back of a fork, smash avocado onto toasted bread
- Place cooked egg over avocado and top with salsa and cilantro, if desired
2. Barrio Baguette with Tomato Basil Bruschetta & MOZZARELLA
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 16, 2 tablespoon servings (2 cups total)
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon. balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon. fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
- 1 pound vine ripened tomatoes, diced (I prefer roma or campari tomatoes)
- 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
- 1 ounce fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced in two
- 2, 1/2 inch thick slices Barrio Baguette, toasted or grilled
- In a medium bowl, gently mix first nine ingredients (oregano through garlic)
- To assemble, add one slice of mozzarella cheese to each baguette and top with one tablespoon of Tomato Basil Bruschetta
- Garnish with extra basil, if desired
Nutrition Facts per 2 tablespoons of Tomato Basil Bruschetta:
Calories: 15, Fat: 1.5 gr; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 20 mg; Carbohydrates: 1 gr; Sugar: 1 gr (Added sugar: 0gr); Protein: 0 gr; Potassium: 73 mg (2%)
Nutrition Facts for 2 Tablespoons Tomato Basil Bruschetta plus 1 ounce cheese:
Calories: 90, Fat: 8 gr; Saturated fat: 4 gr; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 35 mg; Carbohydrates: 1 gr; Sugar: 1 gr (Added sugar: 0gr); Protein: 5 gr; Potassium: 73 mg (2%); Calcium: 106 mg (8%)
3. Seeded Barrio BreaD™ with nut butter and fresh fruit
Can't get much simpler or more delicious than this! This is one of my favorite go-to breakfasts during the week. Whole grain seeded bread topped with nut butter and fresh fruit. It's filling, nutritious and tastes fantastic with my morning cup of coffee!
- Sliced Whole Wheat Sesame Seed Barrio Bread™ (or Super Seed Whole Wheat Bread), toasted
- Sliced strawberries or banana
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon honey
- Spread nut butter evenly onto sliced bread
- Spread sliced fruit over nut butter
- Drizzle honey over fruit, if desired
4. Meat sauce Toast
Leftover heaven with turkey or beef meat sauce over toasted Pain au Levain and topped with melted shredded mozzarella cheese. This works wonderfully with thick and chunky sauce that I typically add to pasta or to my lasagna. This can also work well with your favorite chili recipe!
- 1/3 cup of any leftover turkey or beef meat sauce made with sautéed vegetables (shredded carrot, mushrooms, sliced celery, mushrooms, onion and garlic) and your favorite pasta sauce
- 1 slice Pain au Levain Barrio Bread™, toasted
- 1 tablespoon part skim mozzarella cheese
- Heat up leftover meat sauce and place on top of toasted Pain au Levain bread
- Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the meat sauce and place into a 350° F oven (regular or toaster oven) until cheese melts, about 5-7 minutes.
- Serve along side a fresh salad and enjoy!