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  • Writer's pictureMatias

What would life be without bread

Bread has been a dietary essential for centuries and is well-known for being enjoyed alongside wine, giving rise to the classic phrase 'bread and wine.' This humble but indispensable product remains a source of comfort and fuel, especially during the colder months. We need to face the fact that winter is approaching rapidly, and as the days grow colder, our natural instinct is to look for foods that provide warmth and comfort for both our bodies and souls.


When this time of year arrives, I cannot help but think of soups, creams, and stews that can be part of everyone’s autumn/winter diets, which require the perfect bread. Whether you prefer a rustic sourdough or a flatbread, having the right bread will most certainly add a cosy dimension to your meal, if chosen correctly. With so many choices available in the city, finding that perfect dough to accompany your meal is not an easy task though. Depending on the meal you're preparing, this city caters to every taste, offering options ranging from sourdough to pretzels and every shape and form you can imagine.

 

The cosiness of homemade bread

Not everyone is into baking bread for various reasons, with time being perhaps the most significant constraint. However, I believe it's time to revisit one of the few positive outcomes of the pandemic: the rise of amateur bread bakers. Many, including myself, focused on perfecting sourdough to proudly showcase our creations on social media. And yes, I was one of those who bought 5kg bags of flour regularly and baked bread throughout the pandemic but somehow stopped once we resumed life as we knew it.


Why did everyone stop baking bread?

Well, making bread demands time and a certain level of effort to get it right, especially when it comes to sourdough. The magic begins with your starter and is followed by the mix of flours you use to create your unique masterpiece.

Most of us aimed for bread masterpieces during those moments, although at the beginning there were more misses than hits. But yet, I still shared my attempts on social media as a proud and rookie baker. Below are a few pictures of my baking attempts.

Baking your own bread is unique, there's nothing quite like enjoying a slice of freshly baked, warm bread straight from your oven. It kind of brings a sense of pride.

Moreover, the act of baking and enjoying warm bread can give a sense of comfort and cosiness during the cold months. The distinct aroma of freshly baked bread can fill your home, bringing a smile to the faces of those who visit shortly after the loaf comes out of the oven.


This week, I decided to dust off my bread baking equipment and kickstart my sourdough starter in the hopes of baking the first bread of the season this weekend. Since I've been out of practice, I ‘m sharing a video by this Irish lad - his calm and straightforward approach, without all the ‘shebang’ from other YouTube bakers, has been a fantastic source of guidance for me in the past.

 

Where to get bread when not in the mood for baking - My top 7 shops

In East/North London, there's no shortage of bakeries, cool cafés, and deli shops with similar offerings. So, please don't be surprised if your favourite one isn't mentioned, as I'm sharing the places I typically visit to get my bread.


E5 Bakehouse | London Fields

One of the most well-known bakeries in the heart of East London, I've had the pleasure of experiencing their bread since their humble beginnings in 2010. A decade later, they have established their reputation as one of the top bakeries in London.


Bread by bike | Kentish Town

This award-winning sourdough bakery is quite possibly the best spot for sourdough bread in North London. They also offer a cosy atmosphere with a few tables where you can sip a fantastic coffee alongside your bread or pastry.


Spence Bakery | Stoke Newington

Located in Stokey, this is bread heaven, offering a full range of options from Sourdough, to buns and Danish style rye.


This bakery and café with two shops in North and East London, offers delicious bread, sweets, but also great sandwiches, salads and pizzas over the weekend. At their cool Dalston location, they share space with the 40ft brewery, an Asian tapas bar and live DJ, making it a fantastic location for more than just bread.


Jumi Cheese | Newington Green

Even though they’re essentially a Swiss cheesemonger, they realised with time they needed to expand to baking bread and boy did they hit the nail on the head. You can find the best sourdough baguettes plus their incredible sourdough that sells out in a matter of hours.


Nourished Communities | Highbury & Islington

This is a recent discovery my wife made, and even though this deli shop isn't a bakery, they offer fantastic bread. With three locations in North London, Nourished is a delightful place for shopping, and I highly recommend trying their bread.


Yield | Newington Green

This wine and shop bar, with two locations in close proximity in North London, offers some delicious bread. While I do find their breads a bit on the expensive side, it's worth it for the quality of the product you'll get.

Pictures: Bread by Bike, Dusty Knuckles and E5 Bakehouse Instagram

 

Any recommendations and places I'm not aware of? Happy to visit new bakeries :)

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