Baking Bread in the Backyard: Silverlake’s Mark Stambler

6-Bread-7 copy
Mark Stambler has always had a passion for bread, specifically fresh baked artisan breads. Although he had no real professional baking experience (Mark is self-taught with the exception of a couple courses with a master baker in Vermont), his passion for bread drove him to hand-build a masonry wood-fired bread oven in the backyard of his Silverlake, California home.

1-Bread-11 copy
2-Bread-3 copy

Mark’s been baking since 1972, but it was here in Silverlake that he began to create in the traditional French method ‘travail sur trois levains’ using a few simple ingredients: organic artisan flour and grains (which he grinds himself into whole grain flour), distilled water and sea salt.

3-Bread-19 copy
So popular is his traditionally crafted Pain Levain within the Los Angeles locavore movement that it’s now being sold through Silverlake Farms CSA. Those who are lucky enough to nab a bâtard are few and the waiting list is long as Mark can only produce a few dozen loaves a week.

4-Bread-13 copy
5-Bread-1 copy

I was fortunate enough to spend a day photographing Mark baking, which was impressive to say the least. The dedication, timing, care and focus he demonstrated showed a genuine love for the entire process and craftsmanship that it takes to create these coveted treasures.

×Stephen and Jodi Zeigler


  • Reply April 23, 2011


    Just heard Mark interviewed on 89.3 KPCC-FM in an Off Ramp segment titled Eat LA. He was speaking about his bread oven and I have to say his dedication to the craft of bread never ceases to amaze me. Woo hoo Mark Stambler!

  • Reply March 15, 2011


    I am also one of the lucky ones to have his bread at home on weekly basis; I just signed up for a new round with the SLF CSA and I hope that he’ll keep baking this amazing bread for a long time to come.

  • Reply February 26, 2011

    Rock Star

    Mark makes the best bread i have ever tasted. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones who has had plenty of this “Bread of the Gods” he creates, and I believe this is his religion. Mark Stambler is the Pope in the Brick Oven.

  • Reply February 26, 2011

    Stephen Roff

    Lucky me, I’ve enjoying Mark’s bread for decades. It’s the best ever! Steve R.

  • Reply February 26, 2011

    Sue Becker

    Love his bread and love him!

Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.

Leave a Reply to Stephen Roff Cancel reply