If you want to gain instant cred among serious bread heads, ask a baker when their grain was milled. These days, it’s vogue to buy whole wheat berries and grind them into flour shortly before mixing — the dough is livelier to work with, and the resulting breads offer superior taste, texture, shelf-life and nutrition.
One might expect such care for detail from a tiny, grain-obsessed artisan bakery. But house-milled wheat is also the rule at Great Harvest Bakery Café, which opened its first New York location in Woodbury earlier this month.
"We mill our wheat berries in house every day," said owner Nimesh Patel. "Nothing is frozen, or par baked — it’s all made from scratch."
Breads are baked daily, and on a schedule. Popular varieties such as honey whole wheat are made every day while seasonal loaves and specials (Cheddar garlic loaves and rolls, a blueberry-cranberry loaf) are baked on set days of the week. Bread is sold on its own and also factors into menu items.
Breakfast goodies include biscuit egg sandwiches (with or without meats, cheeses and veggies) and wholesome sweets such as pumpkin-chocolate-chip muffins, whole wheat cinnamon rolls and berry scones. Baristas prepare coffee drinks with beans roasted at Unique Coffee Roasters in Staten Island. Hot outside? Grab a can of cold brew.
At lunch, sandwiches are the main attraction. Find turkey and havarti drizzled with green goddess dressing on honey whole wheat bread, or grilled cheddar-and-provolone with green apples, bacon and spicy pepper jelly. Classic stackers include BLTs and deli-style sandwiches stuffed with cold cuts. The salads are big and hearty, and the soups change daily. For dessert? Cookies, bars and other sweets.
Great Harvest of Woodbury’s opening hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 8285 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, 516-224-4900, ghbreadwoodburyny.com.