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Homicide chief in Suffolk opening bakery in Huntington

Duck Island Bread Company's rye breads are made

Duck Island Bread Company's rye breads are made using a prefermented rye starter. Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

On June 6 at 9 a.m., Robert Biancavilla will open the door of his brand-new bakery, Duck Island Bread Company.

Behind the counter will be pains au levain, the great French sourdoughs, and sesame-seeded durum wheat loaves; olive-oil-rich fougasses (herb-topped Provencal flatbreads) and shatteringly crisp baguettes as well as burnished croissants and pain au chocolat, pretzels and bialys. (Most breads hover around $7; pastries around $3.50).

At 4 p.m. (or when the bread runs out), he'll shut the door until the following Saturday.

Unfortunately for Long Island's artisanal-bread-craving public, Biancavilla has a day job that keeps him very occupied: He is deputy chief of homicide for the Suffolk County district attorney.  A few years ago he started baking artisan bread at home and by 2012 he was renting a commercial kitchen and selling his wares at the Northport farmers market.

Biancavilla makes lavish use of various prefermented starters (dough that is alive with naturally occurring yeasts) and uses a reconditioned steam-injected Pavailler hearth oven from France. He developed such a following at the Northport market  that he started to plan for a post-prosecutorial career as a baker. He isn't due to retire for another year and a half, but when he happened upon the storefront at 201C E. Main St. last year, he decided to go ahead and build himself a bakery.

During the week, Biancavilla plans to rent his bakery to other small operators who need a commercial kitchen. If he can find a kindred baking spirit, he may be able to open on Sundays as well. He will continue to sell at the Northport Farmers market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Duck Island Bread Company is at 201C E. Main St., Huntington, 631-223-2799,


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