The first time I walked down the small lane off 26th Avenue in Santa Cruz where Evan Lohr lives and bakes, I wasn’t sure I was in the right place—until I rounded a bamboo-lined fence and saw a friendly face dusted with flour.
Tall and tan, with a surfer’s physique and oceanic blue-green eyes, Lohr wasn’t exactly the baker I thought I’d encounter. He greeted me with a rough hand and told me to pick any loaf I wanted from the baker’s rack. Heat radiated from the clay oven nearby as I chose a wide, crusty loaf scored with a fern. I couldn’t resist giving it a sniff, and a warm, heady bouquet spiked with the soft tang of fermentation filled my nostrils and made its way down my throat.