Brake Bread's new bakery is a good reason to cruise down West Seventh

Jalapeño cheddar bread. Smash-your-face-in-it good.

Jalapeño cheddar bread. Smash-your-face-in-it good.

You could think of the new Brake Bread bakery and its across-the-street neighbor Mojo Monkey Donuts as the yin and yang of baked goods. We can think of no reason to visit one without then visiting the other.

Brake is the brainchild of two musician buddies with a common interest in baking and bikes. The pair got together and decided that if they could get 20 people interested in a weekly loaf of freshly baked bread delivered to their doorstep by bike, they were just the guys to bake it and bike it.

Micah Taylor and Nate Hogue's bread subscriptions got far more popular than that, and they recently grew big enough to justify their own storefront in St. Paul's West Seventh neighborhood. 

The bright and spare space does only a few things but does them very well: big yeasty loaves of bread of course, but little ones too — something they call "spinners," savory buns the shape and size of a cinnamon roll, studded with savories like olives and feta. These are great if you're just one person and not ready to commit to an entire loaf. They're also great if you're of the savory pastry persuasion, a persuasion that doesn't receive nearly the indulgence that sweet-tooths enjoy in the world of baked goods. 

On the countertops, glass cookie jars tempt with items like the "After School Special," akin to a Monster Cookie but less monstrous and more human-sized so you can easily eat two. We also love the baker's dozen kraft paper sacks of chocolate chippers that are an instant gift. Or do as we did and pass them around the table for instant dessert at a dinner party table. Entertaining is easy! 

But the breads are really the main event at Brake, and we can't say enough about this cheddar jalapeño loaf. It's so yeasty, cheesy, and spicy you kinda want to smash your face in it. But that's a little socially awkward, so do this instead: slice, toast, and pile it high with avocado. You haven't lived until this moment.

Get your savory bakery needs at Brake Bread, then bounce across the street to Mojo Monkey Donuts for a sugary fix.

Get your savory bakery needs at Brake Bread, then bounce across the street to Mojo Monkey Donuts for a sugary fix.

Brake Bread also serves an excellent cup of hot coffee. A smattering of tables and chairs await in the sunlight, and it's all a sweet and simple way to while away the morning. When your spinner is gone, bounce across the street for a sweet ending to your savory start — Mojo Monkey serves the best raised glazed donut in town.

One more opening like this and we could officially name West Seventh Street "Bakery Alley." (Come on, Cronuts!)

Of course, if you're more of a stay-at-home sort, Brake Bread is still accepting bread subscriptions for pickup and delivery. Sign up here.

Brake Bread

1174 W. Seventh St., St Paul