After baking in Washington, D.C., at Roberta’s in Brooklyn and the Standard hotel in the East Village of Manhattan, Nora Allen has gone out on her own, with the help of the chef Flynn McGarry. Her rustic little bakery and shop sits on a peninsula at the start of Ludlow Street. But to buy her breads and other items, like croissants and cookies, means dealing with limited weekend openings; the rest of her time is taken up with filling wholesale orders. Her emphasis is on unusual, locally grown grains like teff, spelt, einkorn and emmer, which she mills in her downstairs kitchen. All her breads are sourdough, handsomely burnished and crusty. “I believe that using these grains helps the farmers and the environment,” she said. “Each flour has unique flavor and properties.” Her sturdy baguette is excellent. For now, the bakery is open only on Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but Ms. Allen said she planned to expand her retail hours on Dec. 16.
Mel Bakery, 1 Ludlow Street (Canal Street), no phone, melthebakery.com.