RICHMOND, Va. -- Evrim and Evin Dogu are the brother and sister team behind some of the country's best bread. Their Richmond bakery, Sub Rosa, has become a favorite of locals and a tourist destination for traveling foodies.
Five years after opening Sub Rosa Bakery in Church Hill, Evrim and Evin were named James Beard Award Semi-Finalists outstanding bakers in the country. A feat the duo repeated in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
What's the secret to their success?
Quality ingredients, a nice brother-sister balance, and their wood-fired oven.
"We load each bread by hand into a wood-fired oven. And the wood-fired oven is the whole thing." Evrim shared on the latest episode of Eat It, Virginia. "It has fire in it from around 3 p.m. till 10 p.m. So it's just fire inside of the oven."
"So even if we wanted to bake more, there's a cut-off at 3 p.m., we can't bake anymore, because we have to start the fire for the next day," Evin added.
It's a baking method the Dogus can trace back to ancient Egypt.
"It's the same thing. They built a room, they build a fire in the room, they take the fire out, the room is hot. Put the stuff in," Evrim said. "So [the Sub Rosa oven is] the same exact principle, the bricks are a little better now and we get our wood from Powhatan. They call it a falling oven, the temperatures falling all night long. And then the baker comes in early in the morning, and just tries to catch that wave of heat as it goes from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m."
Evin added that their team switches up jobs often to avoid burnout in the bakery and they hold each other accountable to help ensure the best quality bread.
"We have a monthly meeting and whoever bakes that day will pick out the croissants and the breads they think are their best example of their best work. And we'll just talk about it. So I think just like constantly talking to each other and checking in," she said.
Sub Rosa Bakery
620 N 25th Street
Richmond, VA 23223
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