I just moved to Oak Park, Il, which is just west of Chicago. There are three bakeries in town, two of which are aweful IMHO and one that looks like it started decades before the artisanal movement. I had hopes for the Prarie Bread Kitchen because it had a sense of place and is definitely home-grown, but the bread could just as well come from the supermarket. Great Harvest is a chain, and their speciality seems to be flavored Wonder-bread style breads. No thanks.
So I'm back to making my own version of the NYT no-knead bread (50% ww flour, 80% hydration, ferment for 4 days in the refrigerator and shape into batards), which is fine but it would be nice to have an artisanal bakery nearby for inspiration and occassional indulgences. Any ideas?
Well, if you can't find anything local, Zingerman's Bakehouse here in Ann Arbor, MI does mail order. And Chicago's not that far away!.
Here's a link to help: http://www.zingermans.com/Category.pasp?Category=bread
No help on the bakery I'm afraid, but I'm curious about the 4 day refrigeration on the bread you make. How are the results different from a straight following of the original instructions?