Destination bread and pastries have been surprisingly elusive in San Diego, a city with access to stellar ingredients and international influences that aren’t beholden to rigid baking traditions. Now there is a destination, thanks to Crystal White and her new bakery, where a mural depicts the sunrise over a wheat field, signaling a new dawn for San Diego baking.
That shouldn’t come as a shock given her bona fides. The Napa native attended California’s Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and worked for highly respected Proof Bakery in Los Angeles and San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery, but always dreamed of opening her own bakery by the beach.
“After living in L.A. from 2010 to 2012, and seeing signs of that revival, I saw a lot of the same signs in San Diego,” Ms. White said. “It’s a ripe market and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Ms. White originally envisioned a basic bread and pastry window, but the space she found inspired something more substantial: Wayfarer Bread & Pastry opened in May in an airy space with a bustling patio in the sleepy Bird Rock neighborhood.
She trained with traditional Tartine baker Chad Robertson and fell for a “super dark, caramelized, crisp crust and custardy crumb.” Wayfarer’s mixed grains and fermentation process produce exactly that effect; the results are sourdough loaves and baguettes that are marvels.
Pastries are just as painstakingly produced, but with an added note of seasonal adventure. During a recent visit, flaky, pull-apart croissants include a version rolled with…