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S.F. BREADMAKER HONORED AS LANDMARK

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Some things can't be improved.

But they can be saluted or consumed, or both, which is what civic leaders did recently at a fete commemorating Boudin's long and tasty San Francisco history.The California Historical Society has unveiled a plaque designating Boudin Fisherman's Wharf bakery a culinary landmark.

Boudin, flagship loaf of San Francisco French Bread Co., the largest U.S. producer of sourdough products, is the original San Francisco sourdough.

Its pedigree goes back to 1849 and the Gold Rush.

Now, as then, every loaf of Boudin sourdough is hand-made from fermented dough baked without added yeast, a 20-hour process. The dough proofs 12 to 14 hours under rigid atmospheric controls that keep it from rising while the distinctive sour flavor caused by acetic acid deepens.

Boudin remains top of the line, sold only at retail in the company's 28 bakery cafes (16 in the Bay Area, four in San Diego, eight in Chicago) or via Boudin Gifts, the mail-order outlet. About 12,000 loaves of Boudin sourdough are baked daily for the Bay Area.