Bread Art in Bayport Shares Its Secrets of the Art of Bread-Making

The bakers at Bread Art reveal the artistry of making and breaking bread.
Find these treats at Bread Art in Bayport: a mocha chocolate muffin, lemon tarts, rye bread, French silk pie, blueberry muffins and whole-grain cobb.

Heather and Chris Peterson begin their work day much earlier than the crack of dawn. As bakers and the owners of Bread Art in Bayport, they start preparing bread dough and pastries at 2 a.m. and leave the bakery between 10 a.m. and noon, when the store staff begins working. “It’s just a different set of eight hours,” Heather says.

The couple bought the existing store 11 years ago after moving to Minnesota, Heather’s home state, from Rhode Island, where Chris went to school for baking. “We loved the cute, hometown, mom-and-pop feel. It was the feeling of the bakery in the small town I grew up in,” Heather says.

Bread Art has about 20 varieties of bread that rotate throughout the year, including classic white bread, onion asiago and wild rice. The bakery also sells cakes, tarts, muffins, cookies and seasonal items, all made from scratch.  

The secret to delicious bread is wholesome ingredients. The store sources these locally whenever possible, including honey from Stillwater, flour from Hastings and pumpkins from a farmer in Wisconsin. The high-quality ingredients provide a good foundation for the recipes, as Chris mixes flour, yeast, sugar, water, and nuts, onions or other additional ingredients; the dough has to sit for 12 hours or until it “feels right to Chris,” his wife says.  

The Petersons have gotten the rest of their family involved as well. Their four boys—ages 20, 17, 14 and 12—all work or have worked in the bakery.

With its busiest season coming up, Bread Art is starting to get into the holiday spirit with every kind of pumpkin baked good you could want, rosy apple pie with brown sugar and cranberries for $15.95, a cardamom braided bread for $5.75 and homemade Norwegian lefse made by Heather’s mother during the holidays.

Heather Peterson’s tip for bread makers at home: Let the bread proof in the microwave without turning it on. The controlled temperature makes a good environment for bread to rise.