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Fans of the old Transilvania Peasant Bread bakery in Kitsilano, take note: baker Floran Moldovan has now opened up his new spot, Beyond Bread Artisan Bakery, down a few blocks on Fourth Ave and Alma.

Those unfamiliar with Transilvania are missing out on what has been touted by numerous people as the best bread in Vancouver. Moldovan, who graduated with a degree in computer science and worked in the printing and publication industry in Transylvania before moving to Canada, opened up the rustic bakery a few years back.  The former location on Broadway felt more like a workshop from yesteryear than a bakery, and featured a wood-burning oven which Moldovan used to churn out little more than a couple dozen loaves a day, which generally meant that most everything was sold out before the afternoon.

Having relocated to a new location in a relatively-newer building, the wood oven is now gone due to messy legalities.  In their place are more standard commercial ovens, which means that Moldovan can now churn out more loaves than before ("Bread all day long!" he exclaimed as we left the store).  He also has more staff and a cafe, though it's hard to take your focus off the bread.

The loaves themselves are beasts to wrestle down.  Weighing numerous pounds, carrying them home are in-and-of-itself enough of a workout to balance out any carb-guilt.  There are four to choose from: Moldovan's famous peasant bread, a whole wheat sourdough available in two sizes (the one featured above is the small); a light rye; a sprouted wheat loaf; and his rustic baguette.  Each still has that amazing crust, which helps to keep the bread viable for days.  They are a toothsome bite, require a solid effort, but give back in many rewarding returns...enough to take your mind off the heftier price tag (the large peasant bread loaf goes for $12, but it also weighs as much as a small newborn). 

Joe.

Beyond Bread
3686 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
(604) 733-3931

Beyond Bread Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

5 comments

Betty said... @ January 31, 2011 at 10:30 AM

The yummiest bread ever!

Steve said... @ February 1, 2011 at 8:04 AM

This is the richest bread in the city and you can tell it is made with Love!

ornivea said... @ February 3, 2011 at 10:14 AM

I've been a customer of the old Transylvania for years. Glad to see it re-open! Their rustic baguette is the best I've had outside of France.

Florin said... @ July 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Just ran into this post again after a long, long time. How nice and kind of you guys.

I'm out of the "baking business" now, but still very much enjoy baking and teaching about bread.

Check out my blog (www.bakingstories.blogspot.ca) for some interesting recipes and baking stories.

Anonymous said... @ July 16, 2014 at 6:57 AM

Have been buying bread at the old Transilvania bakery since it open the first time by a guy (forgot his name) who built his first oven from scrap bricks and rebuilt it a couple of times when it cracked. Used to take my now-11 y.o. son there in a stroller when he was a baby and fed him crust he loved while walking back home. The place looked and smelled (dough/smoke/wood) like my gramma's house when she baked bread back in the old country 50 years ago. It's been the only bread I'd eaten in Van in like 12 years. I was really worried when Florian closed down the place, but delighted when I found out his bread was sold and Beyond Bread (on my way there now for fresh bread for my breakfast). Best bread I've ever had (and tried many, many in both N. America and Europe). I hope they can churn it out forever.

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