Edible Omaha


Photo by Sarah Kay Bryan
Photo by Sarah Kay Bryan


By Emily Brocker

David Bryan, owner of Omaha’s Stick & Stone Brick Oven Bakery, has always had a passion for food—baking, cooking and creating it. It was this passion that led him to attend the Institute for the Culinary Arts (ICA) at Metropolitan Community College.

David and some other ICA students attended the international bread-baking Olympics competition—the Coupe Du Monde De La Boulangerie—in Paris, France, and it had a profound effect on him. Among what they discovered during their visit were “all the amazing things Paris bakeries had to offer, in particular their bread,” David said. What stuck with David was how the French bakers baked their breads in wood-fi red brick ovens. “When I got home, I started researching how to build a brick oven,” he said.

The ICA later held a competition called the Blue Sky Fund, during which David pitched his idea in front of a panel to open a bakery that specializes in brick oven-baked breads. “I won a $500 grant to use toward the construction of a brick oven,” David stated. He began building his oven last fall, and hopes to have it completed and ready for bread-baking this summer.

Although he doesn’t limit the bakery’s breads, David specializes in breads that are naturally leavened using a sourdough starter—the way bread has been made for centuries—prior to mass production. Naturally leavening bread gives it a heartier, more robust flavor and texture.

Stick and Stone’s breads go through a cold fermentation process during which the dough sits in a cold environment for 12 to 18 hours before baking. This method allows the enzymes in the bread to break down the flour’s gluten, allowing many people with gluten intolerances or Celiac disease to enjoy bread again. The varieties produced include Pain au Levain, caraway rye and cottage cracked wheat.

While he waits for the weather to warm up so he can finish constructing his brick oven, David bakes at his home bakery in Fort Calhoun every Friday. To order breads for pick-up at David’s home bakery or at Omaha’s Whole Foods Market at 5pm on Fridays, visit StickAndStoneBakery.com.