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. 


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Joanne…I love these pieces on the artisanal entrepreneur.Just people with passion with a great promise.Inspirational snapshots.

    1. Gotham Gal

      This guy rules

      1. awaldstein

        I’m going to go there for certain.I ‘collect’ inspirational winemakers in the same way: 

      2. Dory

        He rules, but you rock!

        1. Gotham Gal


  2. SCRATCHbread

    well this is just the nicest thing to run into.  You all made my night by stopping by, and have made my day with these incredibly generous thoughts and compliments.  Your amazing, your work is awesome and fun.  Thanks for this!  Cheers rock deliciousscratch

    1. Gotham Gal

      Love what you have created!

  3. John Revay

    Hi Joanne,You should do a blog post on your top ten restaurants…..I know from reading some of your posts that restaurants change…so maybe you can do an annual round up – GothamGal’s top 10 restaurants for 20XX.You can segment the listing by sections of NYC as well as any others re; I know you wrote about serveral of your favorites places in LA.I enjoy reading as always,

    1. Gotham Gal

      great idea.

  4. Conrad Ross Schulman

    “you scratch my bread, ill scratch yours” I like that quote a lot..this guy must be a 🙂 p.s. If i don’t try this bread tonight…i may go crazyyy!!!

  5. Mark Essel

    Now I’m drooling.The trick is getting it fresh.Unfortunately, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be in Brooklyn at that time.

  6. ellen

    delicious looking.  We have a few bread bakeries here, but I was wondering do any of your Massachusetts readers in the Boston   metro west   ( Brookline,  Newton, Wellesley, Weston) area have a favorite bakery?Years ago there was a bakery on almost every corner now I find it difficult to find a really good one here.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I know from working with Hot Bread Kitchen that bakers are hard to come by