by Cheryl Baehr
Jake Marks, Chris Scheets and Jenny Wilson are on a mission: to bring St. Louisans real bread. Crusty bread. Rich, yeasty bread. Wake up in the middle of the night needing a baguette and a side of butter bread.
And they're succeeding.
The trio opened Red Fox Baking & Catering (3101 Arsenal Street; 314-802-7090) in 2013. At first they didn't have their own space, and instead used Black Bear Bakery as a commissary while they perfected their recipes. They developed a following by selling their wares at local farmers' markets, and eventually got their own bakery at Grove East Provisions (they share kitchen space with Grove East Provisions owner Barry Kinder).
Rather than purchasing an oven, the three built their outdoor, wood-fired one by hand -- and even built many of their own bread-making tools. The amount of care they put into the oven foreshadowed the love they put into their toasty, naturally fermented loaves. Classic ciabatta, with a crunchy exterior and soft, spongy interior, is a crusty masterpiece. Red Fox Baking's baguette is so dense (a mark of superior quality) one could do curls with it, and the sesame semolina is a seed-lover's dream. Not only is it covered with the toasted seeds, but the bakers swirl them inside as well so that they bake throughout the loaf. Grab a knife and some quality unsalted butter -- it gets no better than this.
Previously: #56: Cafe Natasha's Beef Shish Kebab #57: The Maine-Style Lobster Roll at Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. #58: Panorama's Croque-Madame #59: The Italian Beef Sandwich at Vinnie's Italian Beef & Gyros #60: The Egg Rolls at Bek-Hee Chinese Restaurant #61: Pumpkin Maple Latte at Kaldi's Coffee #62: Casconcelli at Giovanni's Kitchen #63: Athlete Eats' Bibimbap Bowl #64: Salt + Smoke's Beef Brisket #65: Buffalo Cauliflower Bites at Lulu's Local Eatery #66: Home Wine Kitchen's Shortbread Sea-Salt Biscuits #67: Death in the Afternoon's Grilled Mahi Mahi Sandwich #68: The Brisket Burger at Three Flags Tavern #69: Siam's Kimchi Hot Pot #70: Urban Chestnut's "Strammer Max" #71: "Mom's Special" at Mom's Deli #72: Broasted Chicken at Frank & Helen's Pizzeria #73: Parmesan Chicken Broth at Bocci Wine Bar #74: "Burger" at Small Batch Whiskey & Fare #75: Smoked Salami Sandwich at Adam's Smokehouse #76: Gyro on Pita at Olympia Kebob House & Taverna #77: The Johnny Cake at TreeHouse #78: A Classic Glazed Doughnut from Pharoah's Donuts #79: Skordalia at the Purple Martin #80: Beef Brisket Birria Taco Taco at Mission Taco Joint #81: Cappuccino from Sump Coffee #82: The Salted Caramel Croissant at Pint Size Bakery #83: Gnocchi at the Good Pie #84: Truffled Tater Tots at Blood & Sand #85: Marinated Feta Cheese at Evangeline's Bistro and Music House #86: Chorizo and Egg Sope at Spare No Rib #87: Duck Burger at Planter's House #88: WildSmoke's Smoked Chicken Wings #89: The Duck Prosciutto Flatbread at Bella Vino #90: The "Dam Burger" at the Dam #91: The "Hog Mess" at Blind Tiger #92: Khao Soi at Fork & Stix #93: The "Smokehouse Club" Sandwich at Bud's Smokehouse #94: Cafe Natasha's Yogurt Dip #95: Macarons at La Patisserie Chouquette #96: The Libertine's Fried Chicken #97: Pork Belly at Element #98: M'Lwee at Baida #99: Breadbasket at Juniper #100: Bucatini All'Amatriciana at Pastaria