Open Tab: Hewn Bakery is Evanston’s winter solace
January 22, 2020
Tucked in at 810 Dempster St, Hewn Bakery is a carb-lovers dream. I open the door, and even as the snow falls, the warmth offered by an earthy color palette and the smell of fresh sourdough greets me — objectively the best bread (if you don’t believe me, read the science). Dozens of loaves line the wall, each a different shade of brown and offering something unique in their bite. Their artisan loaves come in a range of flavors, which can vary based on the day, from honey oat and garlic parmesan to potato rosemary and caramelized onion rye.
Since 2013, Hewn has found a home besides other small, southern Evanston spots. Almost seven years later, the bakery has found a loyal customer base and attracted almost nine thousand Instagram followers. Loaves can range anywhere from $6.50 and up, while most pastries fall in the three to five dollar range. You can also score a latte or drip coffee for under four dollars.
Each bread is made with a sourdough starter, and if bread making is your thing, you can buy the Hewn cookbook, “Heritage Baking: Recipes for Rustic Breads and Pastries Baked with Artisanal Flour from Hewn Bakery,” written by Ellen King with Amelia Levin. The book offers 45 recipes and thoroughly explains how to choose the right flour, make your own starter and make an artisan loaf.It also includes recipes for pastries like scones, muffins and cookies.
If indulging in eating an entire loaf of bread for lunch isn’t your idea of a good day, that’s OK (I mean, I don’t understand, but that’s OK). The bakery also sells a delicious array of pastries like scones (the lemon ginger scone is my favorite), croissants and monkey bread. Stop by after a Trader Joe’s run for a ginger cookie to warm up your taste buds or treat yourself to an oat milk latte before a long day of studying.
Located just off the corner of Dempster and Sherman, the bakery is a short hike away from campus and there isn’t much seating to settle inside, but that just makes it the perfect treat. On those days when the sun is shining and I’ve had a long week, nothing feels better than getting away from campus to indulge in a scone and buy a fresh loaf.
Even after four years here, I’m not a Midwesterner — really, I’m far from it, which is pretty clear when I ask what four-wheel drive is. But there is something special about these Midwestern grains. They add a unique layer to the flavor, something that comes close to justifying the harsh winter. And when I bite into a piece of Hewn bread or a housemade pastry, I feel just a little warmer.
Read more from the January edition of The Monthly here.