Old-world charm and organic ingredients are at the heart of Beneficial Breads.
Just like every home needs a kitchen, every city needs a good bakery. In addition to providing our daily bread, bakers often sell treats to make everyday life sweeter, and tempting goodies to help us celebrate special times with family and friends.
Beneficial Breads is just such a place. This German bakery is in the historic town of Winter Garden, 15 miles west of downtown Orlando. This petite, black-and-white shop near the railroad tracks looks a little bit like a present, filled with goodness waiting to be discovered. Step inside this clean, white space, and you’ll find a simple seating area with a few bar stools and a low table with kid-sized chairs. A basket of books sits nearby – a nice touch for those with toddlers in tow. You can also take advantage of Florida’s glorious sunshine and nab a table outside or a spot on the bench.
Judging by how quickly Beneficial Breads sells out, there was a longing in this area for honest-to-goodness scratch-made European-style bread. Shortly after opening, the bakery quickly sold 600 loaves. Sourdough, cranberry walnut, olive, multi-seed and German rye flew off the shelves as quickly as they came out of the oven. It took me three visits to secure a loaf of sourdough. The first time I arrived too early, and the bread was still in the oven. The second time I came a few hours after opening and they were already sold out. But I struck gold on the third try and left with a still-warm loaf that I cradled close like a baby on the drive home. It was worth the wait to slice into this dense loaf, packed with all-natural ingredients. Owner of Beneficial Breads Colin Reichardt doesn’t use any artificial flavors or preservatives and relies on organic, hearty rye flour and lengthy fermentation to produce complex, flavorful loaves. It’s also worth noting that they carry some gluten-free breads and cakes.
In addition to bread, this stand-alone shop is also the place for a little bit of sweet luxury or an afterschool splurge on goodies like the Berliner. Like an American doughnut but smaller, these fluffy raspberry-filled yeast cakes catch the eye with sparkling sugar and satisfy the palate with a generous amount of raspberry filling. The Zupfkuchen is the German version of cheesecake, but it’s made with a creamy, lighter cheese called quark. This means it’s not too sweet so you can eat it for breakfast with a cup of coffee and not feel guilty, which is exactly what I did. And it wouldn’t be a German bakery without apple strudel, available on select days or by special order.
If you are in the Orlando area, take time to visit Beneficial Breads. Here you will find breads and pastries the way they were meant to be baked, with wholesome, organic ingredients.
Whether you enjoy a sweet treat with a latte in the shop, or take home a warm sourdough loaf, you will experience a little bit of the heart and soul of this beautiful city.