Mediterra Bakehouse Brings New Meaning to Local
Local, fresh-baked, wholesome bread will take on a new meaning this season when 35 acres of heritage grain will be harvested, freshly milled and then baked in a French stone hearth oven with more than 30,000 pounds of firebrick. A unique, partnership between farmer Noah Hiscox and baker Nick Ambeliotis of Mediterra Bakehouse will ensure carb lovers access to the freshest, most nutrient dense and complex, crusty bread available.
“Today, more and more people have taken an interest in understanding the origin of their food, which is why I felt such a connection to Nick’s vision,” Hiscox said. “We are fortunate here in Arizona to have the best conditions in the world for growing heritage wheat and my goal has always been to be the best steward of the land as possible.”
Hiscox has been farming 3,000 acres in Pinal County for the past 40 years. He uses irrigation ports, concrete ditching, and continuous crop rotation to grow wheat, alfalfa, corn, citrus and pomegranates. His durum wheat is shipped to Italy to make high-quality pasta.
Mediterra Bakehouse, owned by Nick Ambeliotis and located in Coolidge, Az., has been using Hiscox’s grains along with the best local ingredients to bake its hand-crafted, artisan bread since 2012. The bakery’s latest project, Farm:Mill:Bake™, launched in December when Hiscox planted the red fife heritage grain. Now, nearly seven months later, the wheat is ready, thanks to Hiscox’s great care and hard work.
“Commercial wheat tastes different and has contributed to the digestive issues many people have developed in recent years because of its modified structure and the farming techniques used to yield robust crops,” Ambeliotis said. “We are replicating the way things were grown and baked centuries ago using a system that mainstream companies cannot reproduce. By organically farming our own ancient and heirloom grains, we can control the entire process including quality and cost. And because we use only the best ingredients, our breads not only taste great, they’re also non-GMO.”
Mediterra Bakehouse has been leading the baking revolution, focused on a slow fermenting process that uses cold, filtered water and very few ingredients. Each loaf is handcrafted and can take up to 18 hours to ferment. Mediterra uses a 50-year-old Parisian starter dough, little to no yeast, sea salt and local, organic cheeses, olives and other ingredients. The fresh milled, nutrient-rich grains in Mediterra’s bread even appeal to the former carbohydrate-loathing crowd — making bread healthy and “cool” once again.
Mediterra’s bread are offered at the bakery, in fine specialty food stores, resorts, fine dining establishments and farmer’s markets in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Mesa. The milled heritage grain will also be available for purchase.