A simple comfort: Silver Falls Bread Co. owner loves what he does

December 2015 Posted in Business
Dan Lliteras, owner of Silver Falls Bread, Co.

Dan Lliteras, owner of Silver Falls Bread, Co.

By Melissa Wagoner

Love is the word most commonly used by Dan Lliteras when he talks about baking at the newly opened Silver Falls Bread Co. in Silverton.

“I love the daily rhythms and routines,” he said. “I love the feeling that I get when I have a great bake. I love knowing that I can redeem a less-than-great bake the following day. I love providing nourishment to my community, to offer the simple comfort of good bread. I love when a loaf comes out a little too funny looking, and when, during a quiet moment, I cut it into thick slices, slather it with good butter, and eat it while it’s still hot from the oven.”

Lliteras’s passion for baking began as a craving for the quality of fresh baked bread he had access to while living in Chico, Calif.

“I was buying bread from a guy named Dave Miller, who, it turns out, is a world class baker; something I didn’t appreciate enough while I was there,” Lliteras said.

Silver Falls Bread Co.
Baker and owner: Dan Lliteras
Retail at Gear-Up Coffee
430 McClaine St., Silverton
Open weekdays 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
weekends 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

After leaving Chico for Santa Barbara, he missed truly great bread and decided to take matters into his own hands by learning to bake.

“I learned I really like making bread, and I started making enough for the five people I was living with,” he said.

What started out as a hobby became a part-time job when he joined a bakery in Jackson, Wyo.

Later, he decided to make a change; move to Oregon and open his own business.

“I settled on Silverton because it’s central to this big area where there isn’t anyone making the kind of bread I want to make, and it’s the lovely kind of small town I want to live in,” Lliteras said.

Although Silver Falls Bread Co. is housed in a retail space where passersby can view Lliteras as he bakes, it is not a storefront.

Instead Lliteras has partnered with next door neighbor Gear-Up Coffee where his bread will be sold.

“Working with Gear-Up has been a real pleasure for me, and so I think it’s going to continue to be the only place to buy loaves here in Silverton,” Lliteras said.

“I’ve gotten plenty of feedback that folks would like to buy right at the bakery, and I understand that people are hungry for that authentic bakery experience, where you come in and smell the bread and browse all the goodies and treats, but that’s not really what I’m doing here. I’m hyper-focused on making the best possible bread. I feel like I have a lot of ground to cover in that regard and running a retail space is a distraction I don’t want to deal with.”

The bread Lliteras is describing is a European-style hearth loaf.

“Broadly, it means I’m baking shaped loaves directly on the floor of a very hot oven with a lot of retained heat. It’s the only way to make the kind of bread I really love,” he said.

Lliteras said bread should taste great and be a pleasure to eat, it should look beautiful, “seductive even, and it should be good for you.”

Lliteras believes the bread he makes is a healthier form of the bread than that found in most supermarkets.

“I would really encourage people who’ve been avoiding gluten, if they don’t have a medical condition like Celiac Disease, to try some of my bread and sincerely evaluate how it makes them feel.

Silver Falls Bread, Co.

Silver Falls Bread, Co.

“I’m making a very honest loaf of bread here; organic, long fermentation times, zero additives, not dissimilar from the breads that sustained most of our ancestors for centuries, millennia even,” he said.

Silver Falls Bread Co. currently offers several types of loaves; a baguette, a country style sourdough, a whole grain sourdough, a dark sourdough rye, and a deli style sourdough rye. “I’m also making a loaf with rosemary, olives, and walnuts, and another with blue cheese and garlic, and I’m looking forward to playing with more flavors, but that’s mostly for novelty and fun,” Lliteras said.

He said he makes sure that all the ingredients used in his breads are of the highest quality, including flour from Bob’s Red Mill.

“Bob’s is great because it’s local, employee owned, and they offer a wide selection of organic stone milled flours,” he said.

Although still new to baking and to Silverton, Lliteras has come to feel at home in both his vocation and location.

“I love that I get to see every sunrise, when familiar faces wave as they pass by, that I can make time to visit with friends at Gear-Up over good coffee. There’s much to love about making bread. For me making bread cultivates a sense of quiet dignity. I feel quite lucky to have stumbled my way into this profession. Well, that’s how I feel on a good day, at least!”

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