If bread is the staff of life, then a slice of Original Sheepherder Bread from Erick
Schat’s Bakkery in Bishop, California, is the good life. And Schat’s offers up
blue-ribbon-winning baked goods of almost every variety in its large-yet-quaint
establishment. During California’s gold rush, Basque sheepherders longing for one of their
traditional staples shaped dough by hand and baked it in stone ovens. Today, Schat’s bakers
still form sheepherder bread by hand, using water straight from the Sierra Nevada
Mountains, and bake the dough in the finest European stone-hearth ovens. This and a
multitude of other breads move off the shelves at great speed, partly because they’re
delicious and partly because once travelers along U.S. Highway 395 visit this Dutch-influenced culinary institution, they return time and time again.
Erick Shat is a
third-generation baker; his grandfather opened a bakery in Holland in 1905, and his father
later opened one in America. Erick’s son, Paul, maintains the family tradition in his
Bakkery in Mammoth, California–and what a tradition it is. The list of delicacies prepared
on the premises is practically endless. Best-sellers include the Swedish almond cake, the
Danish cheese pocket and chocolate-dipped macaroons. Erick Schat’s Bakkery is open daily
year-round. Call (760) 873-7156 for hours and directions, or (888) 224-7647 for mail order.