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Its my Bag-uette Baby
Its my Bag-uette Baby

It's my Bag-uette Baby

If bread means more to you than just some square, flavourless board on which to spread your favourite margarine then this guide will spare you disappointment and protect your senses and digestion from an assault of factory-baked goods. Supermarkets have in-house bakeries but their tempting arrays of exotic breads are mostly wishy-washy imitations built from the same dough batch.  And in the heat of espresso fumes and the company of glossy patrons the bread counter at the fancy deli can be hard to resist. Get it home and you’ll find that bronzed baguette is just another well-presented airhead: all external glamour and promise with no substance to chew on and savour once out of the brown paper bag. Don't be despondent…

 

But be prepared- some of these places are not open on weekends and can run out of stock just as you want to buy your stuff. Having a phone number and placing your order takes the suspense out of it all and ensures reassuring, still gently radiating bread when you need it most.

 

Jasons (formerly Jardine Bakery), tel 0214245644, captainbread@gmail.com- corner of Bloem and Bree Streets, Cape Town central. A tiny set up with a hatch through which the baked goods are served. All hand made breads are from good South African stone ground flour. Sourdoughs of rye and wheat, sourdough bread rolls, good baguettes with brittle crust rolled in those canvas baguette rollers. The bakers are crammed into a small space with their dough, work surfaces and hot bread furnaces: a kind of floury Hades for bakers. There’s more: hand rolled croissants, incredible danishes with buttery spirals of flaky pastry embedded with cranberries, Kick-Ass pies (their description), rich and satisfying bran muffins (who would've believed you could get such a thing?) and some good cakes and desserty things. Getting your bread here is a great excuse or opportunity to order a decent coffee of theirs, which comes with (but not always) a thin and complementary biscuit, and sit at one of the pavement bench tables. Bread out to the view of our favourite piece of granite between the urban office slabs. Obtain a beer or glass of champagne from Jason's next door to swill the bacon roll down with on payday. Their opening hours are: Mon-Fri 7AM - 3.30PM, Sat 8AM - 2PM

 

Raith Gourmet, tel 0214652729, fillet@raithgourmet.com ‎- Lower Level, Gardens Centre- A butchery and deli with Teutonic temperament. The bread is baked elsewhere and brought in- heavyweight rounds and ovals and squares form the artillery of loaves here. Good fortifying and solid: some augmented with sesame or sunflower seeds and with names that make you want to go and plough a furrow after fuelling up on a few crusty chunks. Great bread rolls, salty rolls and brezels. Be a devil: get a sack of farmer steaks and a couple of kilos of scored pork belly for the braai. If the R30 per loaf starts getting hard to handle then keep a look out for the ½ priced frozen bread sign. These are the kind of loaves that come out of the freezer feeling and tasting almost like they did on the day they came out of the oven so a 50% saving is a good deal.

 

Melissas, tel 0214245540, kloof@melissas.co.za – 94 Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof, 8001 - they are a speciality food and grocery store with a platinum priced lunch buffet. Some country loaves but the ciabatta from Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay is why they are a lifesaver in the city bread wilderness. Also at Victoria Wharf at the V&A Waterfront.
Olympia Bakery, tel 0217886396, info@olympiacafe.co.za – 134 Main Rd, Kalk Bay -Home of the ciabatta mentioned above with some colourful beetroot and butternut variations also. Read our full on-the-spot review here.

 

Durbanville Market, tel 0219769250 – 1 Scher Street, Durbanville - Durbanville is a great place, made better by Durbanville Market, a big fruit and veg warehouse on the edge of town. They stock a range of breads by a German speciality baker, Die Backstube, the best being the crusty white sourdough, although the criss-crossed nut bread and the big paninis are make a good lunch time roll- even for those possessed of ginormous appetites. Or venture to Die Backstube’s own factory shop amongst the dark satanic mills of Brackenfell Industria: From Cape Town > Take the N1 towards Paarl> Take Okavango road Turnoff> Turn right to go across bride> take sliplane directly felt at Penny Pinchers> Turn right at the next two corners and the bakery will be in front of you. GPS coordinates 33°51'41.28"S 18°41'53.77"E. Phone Nel de Villiers,  Backstube himself, on 0732624785.

 

Joostenberg Deli tel 0218844141, deli@joostenberg.co.za – Klein Joostenberg Farm, R304, Muldersvlei – Excerpt from Swine, Wine and baked goods er... Divine: “But in the perpetual struggle between bread and meat, for me bread will always win. The centre bench has an array of crusty stuff that will please the dough-lover. Real baguettes and round sourdoughs with gently scorched surfaces. The scones are big and buttery and the spirals of the raisin danishes would make Denmark proud. Eat both whilst driving: it makes for a good journey and a car full of crumbs and pastry flakes.”

La Masseria tel 0219760036 – Huguenot Avenue, Evertsdal, Durbanville - Where leafy suburbia starts to be encroached on by office buildings oddly named Buena Vista or Frazzita;  La Masseria restaurant is the baker and vendor of an Italian country kitchen loaf that is naturally formed with a dark and strong crust and a pale and creamy interior.  It’s as if its parents were a white sourdough and a good hand made sandwich loaf and it inherited some of their looks and character and brought some of the forgotten family traits out too. It is served if you eat there and if you phone a day or so in advance you can have one all of your own to sniff and prod and tear up and drown in olive oil or suffocate under a blanket of chicken liver pate.

 

Or get back to first principles with flour, water and wild yeast with my own wheat/rye natural Philadelphia sourdough recipe.