Boudin Bakery, known for its Original San Francisco Sourdough French Bread, was established in 1849 by Isidore Boudin, son of a family of master barkers from Burgandy, France, who blended the sourdough popular among Gold Rush miners with French techniques. Steven Giraudo bought the bakery from the Boudin family in 1941. “Papa Steve”, an artisan breadmaker who immigrated to to San Francisco from Italy in 1935 had servd as Boudin’s master baker before taking over the business at age 22. Today Boudin has over 30 bakeries in California, and continues using the original starter yeast-bacteria culture it developed during the Gold Rush.
Boudin’s flagship location, situated on Pier 39 along Fisherman’s Wharf, opened on 2005, replacing a smaller bakery that opened in 1975. The 26,000-square-foot space includes Bakers Hall, home to a Marketplace and Cafe, a patio with an outdoor fireplace, a full service restaurant, Bistro Boudin, and the Boudin Museum and Bakery Tour. A 5,000-square-foot demonstration bakery opens up to Jefferson Street with 30-foot windows where passersby can watch sixteen bakers trotating through shifts over a 22-hour work day produce nearly 3,000 loaves of bread daily. The dough is mixed on a 20-foot high platform and tossed to the bakers below. Finished bread travels to the cafe in wire baskets on an overhead railing. The sourdough bread museum, with a 28-foot-long time line display and a collection of artifacts from utensils and rolling pins to an antique bakery wagon, sits upstairs from the bakery.
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