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Best Bread St. Louis 2011 - Red Guitar Bread

Alex Carlson, owner and operator of Red Guitar Bread, sings and plays guitar for Trigger 5, a traditional-country outfit. Like his band, Carlson's bread is a throwback. There's nothing at work here but the wondrous alchemy of flour, water, salt and yeast. Carlson combines those simple ingredients to form boules, baguettes, focaccia and other breads that are chewy but not heavy and so flavorful that you needn't pair them with anything -- though good butter, cheese or charcuterie will marry well with his loaves. You can enjoy Carlson's bread at Five Bistro, where he was once the in-house baker, as well as at Salume Beddu, the Mud House, Big Sky Café and Cyrano's. Or you can buy some at the Webster Groves Farmers' Market at Big Bend Boulevard and South Old Orchard Avenue, open every Thursday from 3 till 7 p.m., May through mid-October.

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