Greg Wade of Publican Quality Bread is one of the most notable bread bakers in the country, having won the James Beard Foundation Award in 2019 for Outstanding Baker. The Chicago-based baker is using his bread expertise to help develop sandwich breads for another Chicago company, Farmer’s Fridge.
The Chicago-based company that provides fresh, wholesome, hand-crafted salads, snacks, and other foods, packed into well-designed, recyclable jars, is putting sandwiches in 40 vending machine locations around Chicago, as well as fridges in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey.
A few years ago, Farmer’s Fridge hoped to expand into other categories beyond salads while maintaining its quality and high standards for whole ingredients. The issue was finding quality bread that isn’t pumped full of artificial leaveners, preservatives, and other ingredients. Greg Wade’s natural, long-fermentation approach to bread-making at Publican Quality Bread was the answer.
Wade bakes his bread using only high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients from Spence Farm, a biodynamic farm outside of Chicago. Using a natural sourdough starter containing wild yeasts and body-friendly bacteria, his bread is fermented for up to 60 hours. The hydrated dough breaks down the nutrient-blockers typically found in grains such as wheat, allowing the body to fully absorb all of the vitamins and minerals the bread has to offer such as potassium, phosphate, magnesium, and zinc.
For Farmer’s Fridge, Wade created PQB’s Seeded Rye Boule and the Multigrain Sourdough Pullman— two nutrient and flavor-packed loaves. The breads will be featured in Farmer’s Fridge’s Smoked Turkey & Cheddar Sandwich and its Chipotle Turkey Sandwich. The sandwiches are made fresh in Chicago and then sold in more than 400 fridges in six cities across the U.S., as well as Farmer’s Fridge’s Chicago brick-and-mortar location – The Farmstand – at Revival Food Hall.