KNEAD Bakehouse AJ Brown

AJ Brown co-owns Knead Bakehouse and Provisions with his wife, Kirsten.

While spending more time at home over the past year, home cooks everywhere are honing their skills in the kitchen. Feast consulted with some of St. Louis' finest chefs and business owners for their best food and drink advice in their fields of expertise. Find out how to make the most of your pantry staples in this Q&A series, which outlines some pro tips for creating comforting meals, snacks and more.

AJ Brown knows a thing or two about sourdough: The popular slow-fermented bread is a staple at Knead Bakehouse and Provisions, which he co-owns with his wife, Kirsten. The artisan bake shop debuted in Lindenwood Park in 2017 with a mission to revitalize old-world American bread culture. Knead currently offers online ordering, available for pickup inside or curbside. Indoor carryout is also now available. Check out the Knead website for the full menu of housemade sourdough donuts, breads, sandwiches and more.

What’s your favorite ingredient to work with and why? Sourdough because it connects us to our past. It connects us to the ancient way people have been preparing and enjoying meals with others since before written history. I also love that it is alive, and there is a relationship you develop with your sourdough as you feed it daily over years and decades. 

When you're cooking at home, what are your favorite go-to comfort dishes to make? We love breakfast as a family on Sunday mornings. It is a time for our small family of three to rest and spend time together around the table. We usually have eggs, bacon and sourdough rustic toast and, of course, our sourdough cinnamon rolls! If we have sold out of our cinnamon rolls, we enjoy sourdough pancakes.

What advice can you offer beginners hoping to make their own bread? Keep baking. There are so many nuances to bread. You will learn each time you bake a loaf. I am still learning about bread and have been baking for over 10 years. 

Knead Bakehouse & Provisions, 3467 Hampton Ave., Lindenwood Park, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.376.4361, kneadbakehouse.com