St. Bruno Bread Co. is baking old-world bread for Baton Rouge

Editor’s note: The list of restaurants and businesses St. Bruno Bread Company serves has been updated.

One day in 2012, Steven Gottfried watched as his friend’s dad, Chef Gary Darling, made pizza dough at his New Orleans home. Darling, owner of Zea Rotisserie & Bar, then taught Gottfried the steps. The whole process fascinated him: the mixing, the rolling and the cooking. He wanted to know all the bread’s chemical secrets and how they worked.

This was the moment that Gottfried, owner of the growing Baton Rouge bakery St. Bruno Bread Company, found his passion. His company’s old-world bread has no chemicals: only flour and water. This makes it all easier to digest and tastier with a thicker crust. He offers a variety of loaves of bread: old-country, ciabatta, baguettes and more.

St. Bruno Bread bakery Baton Rouge sour dough
Gottfried launched St. Bruno Bread Co. in New Orleans in 2019, but moved the company to its new bakery in May.
St. Bruno Bread bakery Baton Rouge sour dough
Gottfried’s passion is sour dough bread.

Gottfried got his bread-making start, per Darling’s recommendation, at the San Francisco Baking Institute just outside of the Golden City in San Bruno, California. There, he discovered his favorite type of bread: sourdough. He fell in love with the intricacies of the process and the challenge it presented.

“If you’re aware of sourdough, you know it’s a moving target,” he says.

School made him look at the American ways of bread in a different light. He realized that most U.S. breads use preservatives and sacrifice craft for shelf life. He decided to set out on his own mission to change that.

St. Bruno Bread bakery Baton Rouge sour dough
St. Bruno Bread Co. is named after Gottfried’s dog, Bruno, and his alma mater in San Bruno, California.

After school, he moved back to New Orleans and made the sourdough starter that all of his breads still originate from today. He launched St. Bruno Bread Co. in 2019 (named after both his dog, Bruno, and his alma mater) from his home, serving up breads, pizzas and even king cakes at popups at breweries and restaurants around town.

Last summer, Gottfried and his wife moved the business to Baton Rouge, thinking that the Capital City might be an easier place to start a business. In May they opened a commercial bakery off of Staring Lane.

Gottfried’s mission for his bread isn’t easy: “It’s not easy being the impetus for change. I’m trying to bring a better bread to this area,” he says.

St. Bruno Bread bakery Baton Rouge sour dough
St. Bruno Bread Co. focuses on crusty breads but aims to expand to po-boy-style breads in the future.

He currently provides bread to Iverstine Farms Butcher, Bin 77 and Rêve Coffee Lab. For now, he makes hard, crusty bread but plans on expanding to po-boy styles.

Most in Baton Rouge aren’t keen on changing the bread type they buy, Gottfried says, making the market harder to break into. “Baton Rouge is very neighborhoody. People like to stick to their neighborhoods,” he says. But he’s committed to his mission.

Soon after starting his new business in Baton Rouge, Gottfried’s dog passed. Devastated that Bruno can’t see the company grow, Gottfried says he wants to to continue his work for his dog, his family and the people of Baton Rouge.