It was quite late when we walked into SCRATCHbread and you just knew that Matthew Tilden, the brilliant baker behind SCRATCHbread was just getting his day started. 

The smells of freshly baked bread incorporated with the rising yeasts is indescribably good.  This man can bake.  He is also charming and part of the local flavor of Bedford Stuyvesant making sure to wave to the local drunk who knocked at his door while we were there. 

Matthew grew up in Orange Country California.  His parents weren't entrepreneurs and that into food but he found himself at the Culinary Institute in upstate NYC eventually landing in Brooklyn to bake bread after a few stints in the restaurant world. 

He is a one man operation with visions of creating more products, giving classes and he does dinner parties too.  He said to me that bread is one of those things that you can just feel, it isn't an exact science.  His sourdough starter is something he takes pride in as that has been a work in progress.  

We went home with the parm loaf that is a white olive oil bread crusted with Parmesan, fennel and black pepper.  A bourbon wheat loaf that is a brown bread filled with toasted pecans, currants and raisins.  The breads are insanely good. 

Oh, yes and the shortbread. The shortbread is light yet dense and buttery all at the same time. Those hands are Matthews.  Sublime.  

He took over an old pizza place with a wood burning oven.  He just moved in painting over the menu signs on the wall. He serves food including breads, sandwiches, scones and more out of a tiny window around the back. 

We left soon letting Matthew get back to his baking.  He blew me away.  A serious one man band who is all about the bread and his bread is seriously out of this world.  Read his website…it kind of defines his brilliance.