Everything You Need to Know About Zingerman’s Breads

And Why We Love the Bakehouse’s Loaves

Walk into the Deli and, just inside the front door, you’ll immediately spot the “Bread Box” with bountiful stacks of bagels and shelves loaded with a diverse array of lovely loaves (and loads of delicious free smells and tastes, too). 

It’s hard to beat a fresh baked loaf of bread, but the fact that these artisan breads arrive multiple times throughout the day from our friends and partners across town at Zingerman’s Bakehouse is far from the only thing that makes them special.

What Makes Zingerman’s Breads a Standout Staple

Flavorful ingredients. We’re committed to using the best ingredients we can find, and Zingerman’s Bakehouse is, too, with a preference for organic and locally-sourced whenever possible. They use dairy products from Guernsey Farms Dairy in Northville and Hiday Farm in Burlington, dried cherries from Cherry Central in Traverse City, and ingredients from fellow Zingerman’s businesses, like farm cheese from Zingerman’s Creamery. What’s not in their breads also matters—you won’t find preservatives, fake flavorings, or unpronounceable ingredients. 

Time-honored processes. Most breads are baked directly on their stone hearths to enhance their crusts. The Bakehouse has two stone mills, so they can freshly mill flour in-house. It’s a way to connect to the local stone-milling heritage and learn more about whole grains and freshly milled flours. Working with freshly milled whole grains also has the benefit of added flavor and nutrition! Since acquiring their first mill in 2018, they’ve been continuously improving many of their already great breads with a flavorful boost of freshly milled flours.

Traditional recipes. Many of the Bakehouse’s breads are naturally leavened, otherwise known as sourdough (they’ve been caring for their starter since they first opened in 1992!). This means that time is the “secret” ingredient they rely on for well-developed flavor in their breads—their naturally leavened breads take anywhere from 18 to 28 hours to make! A lineup of lots of sourdough breads doesn’t mean they’re all sour breads though! Naturally leavened breads can range in flavor from sweet to sour—take a look at the spectrum of flavor.

From crusty to soft, sour to sweet, Zingerman’s Bakehouse has something for everyone.

Our Best Sellers

These are the breads that fly off of our shelves, sometimes faster than we can stock them. If you’re new to Bakehouse breads, these are a good introduction. You’ll notice we use a lot of these classic offerings for our deli sandwiches!


Crusty, chewy bagels made the old-fashioned way with great ingredients, traditional boiling, and stone hearth baking. Flavors include Plain, Everything, Sesame, Poppy, Roasted Garlic, Salt, and Cinnamon Raisin. A perfect partner for a schmear of Zingerman’s Creamery Cream Cheese.

Better Than San Francisco Sourdough

A classic sourdough made with just 4 ingredients—sourdough starter, organic wheat flour, water, and sea salt. It has a thin blistered crust, a soft, tender interior, and a pleasant tang. (Get the full story behind that slightly sassy name.) 


Available in a braid or a pan loaf that they call “squares,” this Jewish bread is rooted in tradition. Their mahogany-colored challahs are made with organic wheat flour, lots of egg yolks, local honey from Gearig Apiaries in Ithaca, Michigan, yeast, and a little corn oil. The flavor is rich, but not too sweet; the bread is soft, but substantial enough to stand up to sandwiches or bread pudding. 

For the Jewish High Holidays, they also bake a couple of special variations: a spiral-shaped turban, available with or without rum-soaked raisins, and a traditional Moroccan braid covered in aromatic seeds.

Detroit St. Sourdough

A delicious twist on the classic sourdough, named for the Deli’s location, this loaf is topped with a blend of flavorful seeds—fennel, poppy, and sesame. Check out how Ari likes to use this bread.


Another naturally leavened loaf, this one is intentionally baked darker than some other loaves to get the desired flavor. It has a thick crust and soft, white chewy interior. You’ll taste—and smell—a delightful nuttiness from the wheat.

French Baguette

Crispy-crusted baguettes start with a flavorful poolish (it’s similar to a starter)—made with organic wheat flour, water, and yeast—and they’re baked directly on a stone hearth. The result? A thin crunchy crust that will shatter when you tear yourself off a hunk and an airy open crumb that gives off the sweet aroma of fresh baked bread.

Jewish Rye

The flavorful foundation of our famous reuben sandwiches since 1992! A traditional Jewish rye made with a high percentage of rye flour, about 25% (believe it or not, most “rye bread” sold in America has hardly any rye flour); a natural rye sour, fed daily with freshly milled organic Midwest rye; “old,” a mush made from leftover rye bread and water; and ground caraway.


This is a rustic Italian peasant bread, once again made with only a handful of ingredients—organic wheat flour, water, sea salt, and yeast, plus a dusting of organic cornmeal on the crust. It has large air pockets (due to the high water content in the dough and a long fermentation process), making it perfect for ripping and dunking in olive oil


Naturally leavened bread made with a trio of organic grains—rye, wheat, and cornmeal—and a touch of molasses. This is the house bread served at our partner restaurant, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, and it’s become a local favorite. In fact, it’s Zingerman’s co-founder Ari Weinzweig’s official favorite bread. 

Rustic Italian

A versatile bread with broad appeal, making it one of the Bakehouse’s best-selling loaves. It’s made with just organic wheat flour, water, sea salt, and a little yeast. It has a beautiful white crumb and a golden brown crust.

State St. Wheat

A sandwich loaf that’s soft, sliced, and packaged—a little different from the crusty loaves the Bakehouse usually makes. This naturally leavened bread is made with a blend of freshly milled organic soft white wheat and high-extraction hard red spring wheat, both Michigan-grown, and a touch of honey and olive oil. Get the full story of how this loaf came to be.

True North

Pure Michigan. You help support sustainable local agriculture every time you eat this naturally leavened loaf made with whole grain hard red spring wheat grown on the Leelanau peninsula. The stone-ground milling process leaves 80 percent of the wheat kernel—the bran, endosperm, and germ—in the flour for great flavor, texture, and nutrition, making it a wheatier counterpart to the classic Farm bread.

Daily Specialty Breads

These are Bakehouse loaves that take it up a notch, like with the addition of outstanding add-ins or maybe a mix of freshly milled grains, and, you guessed it, are available every day.

8-Grain 3-Seed

A dense, tasty, long-lasting, naturally leavened loaf made with freshly milled, Michigan-grown hard red spring wheat and rolled in sunflower seeds. It includes a mix of oats, buckwheat, rye, corn, barley, rice, millet, flax, and poppy seeds. Read how Ari likes to top his on our blog.

Cinnamon Raisin

Cinnamon raisin bread with substance—this naturally leavened loaf is made with organic flour, juicy Red Flame raisins, Korintje cinnamon from Indonesia, Michigan honey, and real vanilla extract. 


A traditional German bread made with freshly milled organic regional spelt and a touch of honey, and covered in sunflower seeds. Dense and nutty, this bread packs a healthy punch and tons of flavor!

Parmesan Pepper

This naturally leavened bread is made with organic flour, Parmigiano-Reggiano from the small Roncadella dairy in Italy, and bursts of freshly cracked Zingerman’s Five Star black pepper.

Pecan Raisin

A naturally leavened bread with over a half pound of toasted pecan pieces and juicy Red Flame raisins in every loaf. Each bite is the perfect balance of sweet and sour. Check out Ari’s favorite ways to enjoy this bread on our blog.

Limited Bake Specialty Breads

Like the previous batch, these are also specialty Bakehouse loaves, just with limited availability. Though they aren’t available daily, these breads are available at least once a week (some are available 3 or 4 times a week!). Check the schedule to see when we’ll have your favorite.

Caraway Rye

The same traditional Jewish rye bread with the addition of whole caraway seeds inside and out. Perfect for sandwiches and toast. Read more about it on our blog.

Chile Cheddar

This irresistible naturally leavened bread has a mild tang flavored with chunks of aged Cabot cheddar and mild New Mexican green chiles. Great on its own, served with a meal, or used to make an over-the-top sandwich

Chocolate Cherry

A chocolate lover’s fantasy come true! The dough is flavored with melted 68% Nicuargua chocolate from French Broad Chocolate in Asheville, North Carolina, and then studded with chunks of Callebaut dark chocolate and Michigan dried cherries. Read about its recent flavorful upgrade.

Chocolate Chunk Sourdough

Naturally leavened sourdough bread studded with chunks of semi-sweet Belgian chocolate. We like it with a bit of cultured butter or fresh cream cheese, but it also works great for breakfast, snack time, dessert, or a wildly unique sandwich.

Country Miche

A superb naturally leavened bread made with high extraction hard red spring wheat, organic local spelt, organic buckwheat, and Michigan-grown organic rye—the latter three of which are all freshly milled right at the Bakehouse. This loaf is boldly baked to a dark caramelized crust to bring out the grains’ natural sweetness and a deep, complex flavor.

Onion Rye

Fresh, caramelized onions and lots of poppy seeds baked inside and on top of traditional Jewish rye make this loaf a major hit with onion lovers. The bread makes great toast and exceptional sandwiches.


Old-world style pumpernickel bread—dark, moist, and full of flavor. It’s made with the same detailed process and organic rye sour as its cousin, our famous Jewish rye bread.

Sesame Semolina

Traditional Sicilian bread made with golden semolina and freshly milled whole grain organic durum flours. This sesame seed-crusted loaf works with nearly any sandwich or toast combination you can come up with. Read more about why it’s better than ever on our blog.


A naturally leavened German rye bread made with freshly milled organic whole grain rye flour, rye chops (smaller cracked pieces of whole rye berries), and sunflower seeds. This dense whole grain loaf continues to add flavor and complexity as it ages. Ari shared his favorite ways to top it over on our blog.

Zinglish Muffins

There is too much ZING packed into this dough to just call it an English Muffin! Zingerman’s Bakehouse makes these with what bakers call a preferment, giving them a slightly sweet and buttery flavor (just because of the fermentation process!) and the nooks and crannies we’ve all come to expect without any odd ingredients or preservatives. Breakfast just got an upgrade!

Special Bakes

Zingerman’s Bakehouse has made some great specialty breads over the years that developed their own small followings, so they bring them back seasonally or the occasional weekend every now and then just for fun. If you’re looking for a little adventure for your taste buds, check out what special bakes are coming up soon.

Chestnut Baguette

Zingerman’s Bakehouse was inspired to make this bread in part by Zingerman’s Deli managing partner Rodger Bowser’s work to promote Michigan chestnuts! Great flour is one of the building blocks for great bread and here, the flours are the stars—chestnut flour from Treeborn in Jackson, Michigan, and freshly milled Michigan hard red spring wheat. This naturally leavened baguette has a rich tan and purple-colored crumb and a gorgeous crust. It’s also full of flavor and is a unique and special addition to a cheese plate. Read more about it on our blog.

Cranberry Pecan

A perennial favorite for the holidays, bread fans everywhere wait all year long for its return. This bread is a magical combination of Better Than San Francisco Sourdough, toasty pecans, and dried New England cranberries. Visit our blog for a few serving suggestions.

Chocolate Challah

Golden challah with lots of egg yolks and local honey, taken one step further with the addition of chunks of bean-to-bar dark chocolate from French Broad Chocolate in Asheville, North Carolina. This bread is pillowy soft, rich, and sweet. Read about how Ari likes to enjoy it on our blog.

Hot Cross Buns

Tender yeasted buns made with freshly milled whole grain durum wheat, high extraction hard red spring wheat, golden raisins, currants, house-made candied orange and lemon peel, and a touch of mahlab spice (ground cherry seed kernel) from Épices de Cru spice merchants in Montréal, all topped off with a sweet royal icing cross. Read more about why they’re better than ever on our blog.

New Yorker Onion Rolls

Fire up the grill and get ready to elevate your burgers with a truly epic bun. A sweet and savory caramelized onion and poppy seed mixture is blended throughout the dough and then the center of each roll is filled with even more of that enticing concoction. Get more ideas for how to enjoy them on our blog.

Peppered Bacon Farm

Everything’s better with bacon, right? Adding Nueske’s applewood-smoked bacon and black pepper to the Bakehouse’s signature Farm bread creates an indulgent loaf that’s rich, salty, and smoky. Pro tip: this bread makes a mean fried egg sandwich! Find more delicious ways to use it on our blog.

Potato Dill

Roasted potatoes, fresh dill, and chopped scallions get mixed up in a round of chewy, naturally leavened sourdough, resulting in a delightful, tangy loaf with an earthy heartiness and a bright herbiness. Use it to make yourself a tuna melt and then head to our blog to learn more about the history of putting potatoes into bread.

Pumpernickel Raisin

Our traditional, old-world style pumpernickel bread with the pleasing addition of juicy Red Flame raisins and subtly nutty sesame seeds. This dark bread is moist, densely chewy, a little tangy, and a little sweet. Head to our blog for perfect pairing suggestions.

Somodi Kalács

A traditional, Hungarian celebration bread from Transylvania. Somodi Kalács (pronounced sho-MO-dee-ka-loch) is soft, yeasted, golden pan loaf featuring organic flour, Michigan honey, fresh eggs, and a sweet, buttery, cinnamon sugar swirl. Learn more about this special loaf on our blog.


This traditional German Christmas bread is a holiday highlight. It has a symphony of great ingredients: sweet butter, Bacardi® white rum, cinnamon sugar, toasted almonds, Red Flame raisins, fresh eggs, organic flour, candied orange and lemon zest, dried cherries, citron, real vanilla, and fresh orange juice. The whole loaf is brushed with rum butter, not once but three times, before getting a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy a slice with tea by a crackling fire while reading about the history of stollen on our blog.

Walnut Sage

A naturally leavened, freshly milled whole grain bread with toasted California walnuts and a hint of wild sage from our friends at Épices de Cru. A combination of the relatively modern hard red spring wheat with super flavorful ancient wheat, emmer, and a touch of freshly milled whole rye results in a delightfully complex flavor. Find ideas for how to enjoy this bread on our blog.

How to Care for Your Bread

Store your bread at room temperature or in the freezer for longer storage (more on that in a moment)—anywhere except in a refrigerator. As Amy Emberling, co-managing partner at the Bakehouse says, “Friends don’t let friends store bread in the fridge—it dries it out and the humidity of the fridge ruins the crust!”

Emberling also recommends avoiding storing Bakehouse breads in plastic, explaining:

We’re suckers for an extra-crusty crust. A golden, caramelized crust is where all that flavor lives! So, in order to keep your crust perfectly crisp, avoid storing your bread in a plastic bag. A paper bag, bread box, or open-air storage allows air to circulate around the loaf, meaning you get a crust with some serious integrity.

Of course, as is often the case in life, there are exceptions to the rule. State St. Wheat is sold sliced, so it comes in a plastic bag. (Likewise, if you’re having us slice a loaf of bread for you, we’ll put it in a plastic bag for you.) Vollkornbrot comes tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and should be stored that way—either on your countertop or in the fridge (this is the only exception to the fridge rule!).

Freeze what you’re not going to eat within a few days. Whether it’s a full loaf or a partial loaf, double-bag it using two freezer bags and freeze until you’re ready to enjoy it. When that time comes, place the frozen loaf directly into a 350°F oven (it goes without saying to remove the plastic bags, right?), and bake for 40 minutes. Or, if you prefer to enjoy your bread in smaller doses, simply slice your loaf before freezing, and then warm a piece or two at a time in your toaster.

We’ve never had this happen to us, but legend has it that the occasional guest has discovered a neglected, uneaten loaf hiding amongst counter clutter many days after purchase. Revive your bread by placing your loaf into a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. (Fine print: You can only do this once with a loaf of bread. Even magic has its limits.)

How to Get Your Favorite Breads

Stop by the Deli to peruse what breads from Zingerman’s Bakehouse we have on hand, place an order online from the comfort of your couch, or call us at 734.926.4005 to quiz us about our favorite breads. Curious about what will be available at any given time? Check out our delivery schedule for the full rundown of when every bread arrives at the Deli from the Bakehouse. Looking for a specific special bake? Keep an eye on our special bakes page to stay up-to-date on upcoming not-to-be-missed offerings or ask us about getting added to our email list to be notified of its return.