Charleston Edition: Charleston Bread

By Candace Nelson - 5:56 PM

Being a journalist, I sometimes get the opportunity to experience certain things that aren't available to the everyday public. Such is the case when I got an inside look at Charleston Bread. For my WV Uncovered class, I did a multimedia piece on the owner of Charleston Bread, so I had the chance to walk all over this great bakery and see what goes on behind the counter.
After working all day at this bakery, smelling the amazing breads, I knew I had to take some home with me. Since it was a Friday, their special was an olive loaf, with kalmata olives baked in. They have specials every day, with a good bit of constants, like their sourdough. In addition to my olive loaf, I chose a cinnamon-raison loaf, as well as a chocolate croissant. Unfortunately, someone before got the last chocolate croissant, which I've heard great things about, so I took the only other option - a day-old chocolate croissant. Close enough! I spent around $10
I got home and couldn't wait to rip into these. I first took a bite of the chocolate croissant. I was surprised that the croissant itself tasted sweet, and the chocolate was more like a dark or semisweet chocolate. It's not so much a dessert as it is a lovely breakfast pastry - exactly what it should be. The croissant was flaky - even a day old - and will go perfectly with a cup of coffee in the morning.
The olive loaf was next. I had Charleston Bread slice it for me, so I had these slices I just had to eat. It just so happened that I had a large block of Jarlsberg and some Lil Smokies that made this bread sing. It was so moist. The olives were not dried at all. The bread was infused with a slight taste of the kalmata olives, and I've never had a bread quite like it. It's like the appetizer you get at fancy restaurants wrapped up in a loaf. Half of it is gone already.
Finally, I tried the cinnamon-raisin bread. I plucked a raisin to taste: slightly tart but speckled with sugar and cinnamon. I took a small bite of the bread because I was so stuffed from the olive loaf. It was very tasty. It was sweet, moist, with little surprise raisins. I think some honey butter would be perfect. I just wish this was closer, maybe I could get a real feel for delicious bread.

Grade: A
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