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We are proud to bring great sourdough bread recipes from the small village of Les Aldudes in the Basque country to downtown Los Angeles. Our recipes derive from the tradition of the Garacochea family whose well-known bakeries, including Pioneer Bakery in Santa Monica, were “a must go to” for almost a hundred years. Learn the story behind our delicious bread and be apart of the Garacochea legacy.
The Story Behind Our Sourdough
The Garacochea family has made their famous bread with the same sourdough starter since the 1700s. The heirloom starter, nicknamed the mother dough or Amatxi (which means “grandmother” in Basque), traveled with Jean Baptiste Garacochea in 1899 from the French Pyrenees to America. A decade later, Garacochea founded the National French Bakery where customers flocked for French white bread and sourdough rounds. He made deliveries to farms as far north as Malibu and south as San Pedro, spreading the bakery’s popularity. Jean eventually moved his business to Venice, California where it continued to thrive as “Pioneer Bakery.” His family lived above the bakery, and planted a vegetable garden that supplied delicious produce for his soups. They also built a barn to shelter their wide selection of wine.
After Jean’s passing, the bakery was passed down to his son Bap, and then his grandson, Jack. Under Jack’s management, advances in technology allowed Pioneer Bakery to grow dramatically. In the 1960’s, a machine was invented that allowed the bakery to slice the sourdough bread and seal it in cellophane. This machine allowed the bakery to start distributing the newly packaged bread to major Los Angeles grocery stores and to restaurants.
Today, Jack’s sons, John Baptiste and Charlie have continued the tradition of baking the Garacochea family recipes and distribute wholesale products to restaurants and Etchea Café and Bakery. The sons still make it a priority to keep their secret ingredient – the mother dough, Amatxi – a well-guarded secret.
Etchea Café Bakery & Catering is lucky enough to have John Baptiste Garacochea not only as our baker, but as a partner. The traditional Garacochea starter is used to bake every loaf of sourdough bread that is served at Etchea. We are thrilled to share the living Garacochea heirloom with the Los Angeles community. Visit Etchea Café Bakery & Catering to enjoy John Baptiste Garacochea’s bread known for its gorgeous, lean, and golden brown ridges and pointy ends.
Amatxi’s sourdough isn’t the only delicious bread you can enjoy at Etchea. Here are other varieties we are pleased to offer our customer, all baked fresh daily:
Voted Best Sourdough Bread in Downtown Los Angeles By Tasting Table!
Check out the article here!Stop by Etchea Café Bakery & Catering today for quality, fresh, homemade bread from the Garacochea family.