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FAQs

Do you make gluten-free products?

No. Wheat is in almost everything we make, and almost every corner of the bakery.

Do you sell parbaked or frozen bread?

No, all our products are fresh baked. Many can be crisped in a hot oven, if desired, but none require it.

What allergens do your products contain?

All our products contain wheat. We also work with milk, eggs, and tree nuts. (While we do not process peanuts, the nuts we do use may have been prepared by our vendors on equipment that also is used to prepare peanuts.)

Do you use genetically modified ingredients?

Neither wheat nor rye has been genetically modified for commercial distribution, so our major ingredients are not GMO. We use organic, non-GMO cornmeal. Please call if you have specific concerns.

Which of your breads are vegan?

Our baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia, heritage wheat, landbrot, pain au levain, olive bread, pain de seigle, potato-onion bread, and seed bread are all vegan. We also make a vegan whole-grain burger bun and a vegan whole-grain pullman loaf. Our multigrain bread is not on this list as it contains honey. All the sugar we use in the bakery is vegan (refined from cane sugar without the use of bone char).

Are your products certified organic?

No. While we use a lot of organic flour, only our organic whole-wheat bread is made exclusively with organic flours.

Are there trans fats in your products?

No. For a letter certifying that we do not use trans fats, click here.

Where do your ingredients come from?

Most of our wheat flour is milled in Martins Creek, Pennsylvania. The wheat itself is sourced by the miller from throughout the Midwest. Our butter is made by a collective in Massachusetts; our eggs are produced by cage-free hens. In summer and fall we source a lot of produce from Hudson Valley farms and orchards.

Do you use any local grains?

This is something we’re really interested in, as more grain grown for baking is becoming available in our region. Right now we’re working with heirloom varieties grown in Maine and milled by Maine Grains in Skowhegan. The rye flour we’re using now is milled just outside Montreal.

Do you ship your products?

No. We deliver to our wholesale customers every night, but we don’t offer any shipping or delivery of retail orders.

What is your delivery range?

We deliver to wholesale customers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx; in parts of Westchester and Rockland counties; and around New Jersey. We don’t deliver to Connecticut or Long Island, but we work with distributors who do. Please call for more specific information.

What is the shelf life of your products?

Baguettes, rolls, and pastries are meant to be eaten the same day they’re baked. And all our breads are meant to be sold the same day they’re baked. Many will retain their freshness several days, but those days belong to the customer, not the retailer.

Can I freeze the bread?

You can freeze whole or cut loaves sealed in plastic. We recommend thawing the bread in its plastic wrapping, then crisping it in a hot oven for a few minutes before serving. Once the bread has cooled from the oven, it should be almost as good as new.

Do you slice the bread?

Most of our breads can be sliced at 7/16” (standard slice) or ¾” (thick slice).

Why do I have to place my order so early?

Good bread dough develops slowly over time. If you call us at 8am to order bread for the next day, we may have mixed that dough five hours earlier. We can accept orders for baguettes (or rolls made from baguette dough, like petits pains) until noon the day before delivery.

What is sourdough, anyway?

Sourdough breads are naturally leavened, without the use of commercial yeast. We maintain several natural starters—fermenting cultures of flour and water—in the bakery, and use these to leaven our pain au levain, pain de seigle, heritage wheat, potato-onion, and whole-wheat breads. We also use a portion of starter in many other breads that rely for their leavening on commercial yeast, but we don’t consider these breads sourdoughs.

Will you bake a custom product for me?

We don’t do any contract baking, generally preferring to pursue our own ideas and interests. And while most bakery products have a tradition behind them, free to all to reinterpret, we won’t intentionally knock off the products of other bakeries.

What about changing the shape or size of an item you already make?

Different sizes and shapes require distinct amounts of time to rise and to bake, so the feasibility of customizing these for you usually depends on the size of your order. Let’s talk about it.

What’s your minimum order for wholesale delivery?

We ask for a $30 minimum order in Manhattan, and $40 everywhere else.

What happens to your leftovers?

We try to donate all our unsold bread and pastries to local shelters, food pantries, and soup kitchens. We’re really grateful to our partners: Helping Hands Food Pantry (Teaneck, NJ); Office of Concern Food Pantry at St. Cecilia (Englewood, NJ); Good Counsel Homes (Spring Valley, NY); and all the others who have helped to distribute our leftovers.

Will you support our charitable event?

We can’t make as many donations as there are worthy causes. So we concentrate our giving on efforts to alleviate hunger. Please email your donation request to poland@balthazarbakery.com.

What powers the bakery?

The wind! Since 2012, all our electricity has been purchased through renewable energy certificates, so that clean, emission-free electricity from wind farms equal to the total amount of our consumption is produced and delivered to the electric grid. In 2017 the amount was 878,755 kWh.

What’s the best bread for avocado toast?

We like the multigrain batard or multigrain pullman.