In these days of social distancing, eating fresh pastries, bread, and other baked goods brings more comfort than ever. Fortunately, South Africa’s bakeries are still hopping.
The array of bakeries in the country is as diverse as its citizenry. We are fortunate to have numerous establishments making just about every kind of baked goods imaginable.
From long-time shops to the newly opened, here are some of the best bakery shops to find freshly baked goods to take home.
Dough Girl specialises in things like croissants, pies, cakes, pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) and more. It’s a modern-traditional style bakery, taking old-school pastries and revamping them to make something new and different. Founder Courtney Stuart said that they like to keep things funky yet they strive for their products to capture that “home-made” style as it is always a crowd favourite.
"We cater for the foodies and keen beans who like to think a bit out of the box, and for the people who know what good quality goods taste like but want them to be affordable at the same time. The idea behind my menu is to open Durban to try new things, instead of just going for quantity over quality, and to see that there’s more out there than just the basic chocolate-covered doughnut or milk tart or cake.
“The menu I like to create is also mostly to satisfy my food cravings, something that I concoct in my head and test it out, and if it's as good as my foodie's brain thinks it is, I provide it to the public! We all have weird and wonderful cravings and that’s what I love to cater for," said Stuart.
Located: 339 Stephen Dlamini (Essenwood) Road, Musgrave
The Glenwood Bakery
The bread they produce is all hand-formed, slow-fermented, and baked in a hearth oven. The bakery’s flour comes from three different sources, all stone ground and unbleached: from a mill in the Swartberg producing Eureka flour, a mill more locally based near Winterton producing Highland flour, and from an organic farmer who mills his own grain on the Orange River near Prieska.
None of their bread or Viennoiserie is gluten-free. They do make 100% rye bread, a bread using potato, one using rice, and another using barley. But all of these have some element of gluten.
In December the bakery released A Book About Bread. If you want a simple, fail-proof recipe for bread, look on any old flour packet. You won’t find it in A Book About Bread though, owner, author, and master-baker Adam Robinson said.
In the book, Robinson teamed up with local photographer-designer Roger Jardine to produce a good-looking volume that takes a deep dive into the dough and its making and baking. If you are already comfortable in the kitchen or have at least dabbled in bread, this is the book for you. And you’ll find plenty to get your teeth into.
Located: 398 Esther Roberts (Frere) Road, Glenwood
Lucky Bread Company
Looking for an island of intrigue, where the smell of roasting coffee and freshly-baked artisan bread hangs over the hubbub of friends meeting friends, punctuated by the occasional gasp of escaping steam? Lucky you. Because Lucky Bread Company is just the place.
Every morning, their adventurous bakers rise to the challenge; guided by the mantra “keep it interesting” they produce an inspired selection of mouth-watering sandwiches, made with fresh, wood fire-baked artisan bread – from daily favourites like ciabatta and baguettes to sourdough, 100% rye, seed loaf, and sweet potato. Their bold bakers have something to prove and you will want whatever they knead.
Located: Shop 289 Mezzanine level, Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria
Chaly’s Cakes and Delights
Chaly’s Cakes and Delights is a family-run food, cakes and catering business established in 2003 by artist and cake designer Thailys Freites (Chaly), her husband José Valcárcel, and their sons.
They have become a recognised cake, food and catering company specialising in creating delicious and beautiful bespoke cakes and other goodies, plus delicious Spanish and Latino-American food and platters that are not only visually stunning but taste delicious. They will take your inspirations to create whatever your imagination desires.
Located: 693 Aurelia Street, Garsfontein, Pretoria
Jason Bakery is your go-to for decadent croissant cups, pies, sandwiches and donuts. Serving breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, this bakery is always busy, which comes as no surprise. When you taste their delicious, beautifully presented food, you’ll definitely be back for more.
Located: 83 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town
Martins offers a selection of healthy home-made goods as well as gluten-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, and banting products. From delicious farm-style breakfasts and lunches to a large selection of cakes, they have the perfect choice of shopping and dining for a health-conscious person in the heart of the southern suburbs.
Located: 43 Main Road, Diep River, Cape Town.
Feature image: Unsplash