Half a block down the street from Volpi's is Missouri Baking Co., a simple storefront that stands in stark contrast to the chain bakeries found in just about every shopping mall in America today. (The company still uses black rotary phones.) Here, old-fashioned bakery shelves are stocked with biscotti, raisin-filled pan tranvai, cuccidati (iced cookies with figs, raisins, pine nuts, chocolate chips, and orange rind), and hazelnut croccante (crunchy cookies). Mimi Lordo, who owns the bakery with her brother Chris Gambaro, leads me into a back room—four times the size of the shop—filled with 50-year-old mixing machines covered by a patina of flour. ''Nearly everything we do is by hand,'' she says, showing me a boxful of yellowed recipe cards dating back to the 1920s, when her grandfather and great-uncles opened the bakery. Lordo's father, Ben, and her 83-year-old Uncle Lino are dressed in Bermuda shorts, white aprons, and sporty baker's caps. They could almost be ready for a day on the links—but they are in fact kneading hard enough to create a pale cloud of flour dust in the air around them. Since they passed the bakery on to the younger generation, they've both worked here for free—as does Mimi's Aunt Nini, who offers me a ''pull'' from a loaf of shampa, a round bread with puzzling, sausagelike protrusions. (This odd shape, Nini tells me, allowed farmhands to grab a quick lunch in the fields.) Mimi says her father also makes the best risotto on the Hill, adding, sotto voce, as if something illegal were involved, ''He uses cognac.'' He also uses cream. The result is an over-the-top rich, deeply comforting dish.