It’s bread week on The Great British Bake-Off; here are the bakeries you need to know about.
The Great British Bake Off is back, and this week it’s bread week: cue drooling and lamenting the French baguette and salted butter we hoovered up every day during our summer holiday.
However, before you book a one-way ticket on the Eurostar, there’s good news on these shores, as a raft of cool new bakeries are opening up across the country. From slow-fermented sourdough to legendary chefs branching out into doughy goods, get your orders in ASAP so you won’t be weeping into a loaf of Hovis come 8pm tonight.
Fortitude Bakehouse, London
Set in a former stable that is dangerously too close to the Stylist office, Fortitude Bakehouse specialises in slow-ferment bakes and sourdough cakes. Think banana, walnut and molasses sourdough; chocolate, rye and honeycomb cookies; and even gooseberry-topped sourdough brioche. The tiny space is mainly for takeaway but there are five stools if you must eat your bake immediately. And you’re going to want to. What’s more, they also offer workshops so you can learn to bake with alternative flours such as millet, chestnut and almond.
35 Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1JA; fortitudebakehouse.com
After two years tucked under the railway arches near Piccadilly station – where bankers-turned-bakers Chris Kelly and Hannah Calvert would regularly attract hour-long queues for their cruffins – sourdough specialists Pollen Bakery laid down permanent roots in Ancoats this summer. The beautiful waterfront location at New Islington Marina is the perfect backdrop for gorging on organic oat porridge loaves, arty chocolate hazelnut eclairs and the airiest croissants you ever did see.
Unit 2B, Cotton Field Wharf, 8 New Union Street, Manchester M4 6FQ; pollenbakery.com
St John Bakery, London
Due to open any day now, we predict the first permanent bakery from Fergus Henderson’s legendary restaurant St John will be popular. Tucked away in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, the bakery will sell sourdough, rye and raisin loaves to take away, as well as pastries, brownies and Eccles cakes. But most importantly, St John’s famed, pillowy soft doughnuts will be restocked twice daily. Plus, should the licensing request go through, you’ll soon be able to grab a bottle of wine with your loaf too. Consider us sold.
3 Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9DP; stjohnrestaurant.com
La Boulange, Edinburgh
Baker Vincent Aplincourt and his wife Céline left their native France in 2010 to set up a traditional boulangerie and pâtisserie, La Barantine, in Edinburgh. Eight years later there are now four branches, including La Boulange – their main production site – which opened in the Bruntsfield area of the city at the tail end of last year. The open kitchen means you can watch the magic happen while you brush up on your Français to order authentic baguettes, glistening fruit tarts and enormous perfect pain au chocolat. C’est trop bon.
La Boulange, 10 Brunstfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4HN; labarantine.com
Rise Artisan Bakehouse, Newcastle
After building up a successful wholesale business supplying Newcastle’s top restaurants from their bakery in Crook, County Durham, Rise Artisan Bakehouse opened its first retail store in the city at Newcastle’s Grade I listed Grainger Market this spring. Get there early for your pick of freshly baked brioche, seeded sourdoughs and cheese and jalapeno focaccia.
165 Grainger Market, Grainger St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5QQ; facebook.com/RISEartisanbakehouse
You’re going to have wait just a little bit longer for this one, but we have a feeling it will be worth it. From the team behind celebrated Indian restaurant Gunpowder (and the recently departed Madame D and Gul And Sepoy), Custard, a bakery and wine bar inspired by the old coffee houses of Kolkata, is due to open in October. On the banks of the Thames, right in the shadow of Tower Bridge, the location couldn’t be much more special. And they’ll be serving up the likes of mutton and egg sandwiches, Goan pork sausage rolls, and a delicious sounding soft-serve custard.
4 Duchess Walk, London, SE1 2SD; custard-bakery.com
Rough Hand Made, Liverpool
Family-run bakery Rough Hand Made has been a huge success in its Penny Lane location for the past four years. Now, it has upped sticks to a waterfront location at the Royal Albert Dock, selling its much-sought-after hand-shaped pitta bread, as well as wholemeal and rye loaves, and sweet treats such as dulce de leche croissants (yes please). As everything is made fresh, any produce not sold at the end of the day is donated to local homeless charities.
Unit 2A, Britannia Pavilion, Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AD; roughhandmade.co.uk
If you’re a fan of north London small plates purveyors Primeur and Westerns Laundry, you’ll be thrilled to hear the team is opening a new venue next week (18 September) – a bakery-come-restaurant in Newington Green. All baked goods will be made from scratch each day, with the team even milling their own grains on site to create breads, pastries and pasta. Then, once the clock strikes 7, the bakery will switch, Cinderella-style into a restaurant, serving up more of the same brilliant seasonal dishes found at the previous two sites. We plan to stay all day…
21 Newington Green, London, N16 9PU; jolenen16.com