Nathan's Artisan Sourdough in Fall River Mills
By Sharon Hamblin
On a Roll
By Sharon Hamblin
Photos by Ron Gregory
Each loaf of Nathan’s Artisan Sourdough bread is made with one common ingredient: Love.
Yes, that’s correct — it’s right there on the label. For example, the organic garlic asiago loaf contains wheat flour, water, organic sourdough starter, garlic, asiago cheese, sea salt and, you guessed it — LOVE.
Based in Fall River Mills in eastern Shasta County, Nathan Maupin has been making and baking old world style sourdough bread for about five years. After completing culinary school at The Art Institute of California in Sacramento in 2011, Maupin started selling his bread locally at small-town farmers markets. Word spread, and the 38-year-old baker now sells his goods at farmers markets across the county and at retail markets like Tops Market and R&R Meats.
What is Maupin’s recipe for success?
“I use the best ingredients I can and I do everything I can by hand,” he explains. His bread-making process takes time, patience and manual labor. Maupin makes loaves twice a week, with each batch taking three-and-a-half days from start to finish. He spends one day on preparation, then making the bread, proofing it and baking it. All of this is done in his county-approved kitchen. He uses natural leavening (also known as sourdough starter) in all of his products. This allows the body to easily digest and quickly absorb the nutrients in the grains. The rest of his time is spent packaging, delivering, marketing and selling his product.
Maupin offers eight varieties: country bread, cranberry-walnut, kalamata olive, jalapeño cheddar, roasted garlic asiago, sesame whole wheat, dark rye and cinnamon raisin (made with golden raisins). He has also experimented with ancient heritage grains that have not been genetically adulterated. These breads – kamut and spelt – are rich in flavor and naturally existing trace minerals.
The most popular variety is the country bread, Maupin says, adding it is the loaf most similar to what is commonly considered “white bread.” “People love old-fashioned white bread,” Maurine says, but then adds that his white bread has a secret. “It’s loaded with whole grains,” he reveals.
During the summer months, the single dad of 7-year-old Willow works between 60-70 hours per week. In addition to his twice-weekly baking schedule, Maupin is a staple at the farmers markets in Redding and Burney, and patrons can often find him alongside girlfriend Adrienne Tirre, who sells baked goods (including whole or miniature berry pies) at the markets. Together they share a website – www.whenpiemeetsbread.com.
When winter comes around and the markets end for the season, loyal bread lovers can find the tasty loaves all year round at Tin Roof Antiques in Fall River Mills (owned by proud parents Diane and Paul Maupin). The shop is open every Friday and Saturday or until the bread runs out (which it does every week). Look for the handmade white signs with red and green writing: “Nathan’s Sourdough Bread” and “Tin House Antiques” on the side of Highway 299 as you come into town. Freshly baked loaves are delivered to the shop at around 10 am Fridays.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy the results of Maupin’s hard work. “I haven’t tried any bread of Nathan’s that I didn’t like,” says Fall River Mills resident Vini Colon, a nurse at Mayers Memorial Hospital.
And as if Maupin isn’t busy enough, he is also available for special orders, custom-made breads and, if you’re lucky, he’ll even deliver it himself.
Nathan’s Artisan Sourdough • (530) 953-8538
www.whenpiemeetsbread.com • Find them on Instagram