The moment I decide that I’m swearing off bread (Egads! Swimsuit season!) I find myself at the counter of Farm to Hearth Bakery in Salem. (And finding yourself at Farm to Hearth is no easy feat; it’s hidden behind Wings ‘n Things in Salem Four Corners). Baker Todd Solek, crafts his loaves from humble ingredients: organic flour, water, sea salt and depending on the variety he’s kneading that day, an addition of various grains, fruits and spices. After an hour or so in the outdoor wood-fired oven (in the parking lot!), you’ll agree that Todd’s bread transcends the sum of its parts. His farmhouse loaf is at once crusty, chewy, flavorful with a stretchy crumb. The Focaccia’s cheesy flavor is thanks to a sprinkling of Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm cheese, but it’s the Brown Bread, steamed in a coffee can and only available on Fridays, that will have you riveted. More of a meal than a mass of carbs: dense with molasses, cranberries, rye flour and locally grown corn meal, it’s sweet and salty, soft and crunchy, uber-umame and begs for a shmear of goat cheese. Farm to Hearth is available locally at Ashlawn Farm, Coventry Farmer’s Market and Smith’s Acres in Niantic. Check the website for which breads are available when and do NOT leave without a box of salty chocolate chip cookies. www.farmtohearth.com Updated 4/14/14 Farm to Hearth is now located at 1584 Saybrook Road, Haddam. 860.554.3063. Call for hours.