Where to find the best bread in Auckland

by Kate Richards / 11 October, 2017

The loaves you knead

There are so many more options than plastic-wrapped, pre-sliced white bread. Here, we present some of Auckland’s most lovingly crafted loaves.

Amano’s Miche loaf

A dense and chewy spelt bread with a beautiful crust

All Amano’s breads and pastas are made with executive chef Jo Pearson’s recipes: her team of 15 full-time bakers works from early morning until late every night. The Miche loaf is made from 100 percent New Zealand-grown spelt and wheat flours from Vincent Luisetti in Canterbury, which are milled on site. This loaf is dense, with a strong, yeasty nose. It’s particularly intricate as the bakers use all parts of the grain – flour, semolina and bran husk. The dough is slowly fermented, then the bakers go wild scoring different patterns on top of every loaf. 66–68 Tyler St, Britomart

Wild Wheat’s kūmara sourdough

A golden loaf with the right amount of chew

Constant tweaks since its conception in 2001 have made this golden kūmara sourdough consistently rank as one of Auckland’s best loaves. The risk of adding mashed starch to bread is an unpleasing cakey consistency, but between equipment upgrades and trialling different recipes, head baker and owner Andrew Fearnside has managed to avoid that with this chewy-inner/crusty-outer sour loaf. Still using the apple-based starter he began his small business with in 1999, Fearnside runs a 24/7 production alongside nearly 20 bakers. 813 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden

Olaf’s emmer sourdough

Light and airy sourdough with a satisfying tang

Emmer wheat – or farro, as it is sometimes known – is a type of wholegrain. It was one of the first domesticated grains and is believed to have been used since around 10,000BC. At Olaf’s, the bakers use an emmer starter as well as two types of emmer flour in this special sourdough loaf. The dough undergoes a 22-hour fermentation before baking, giving it a pleasantly obvious tanginess and light, airy texture. The crust is thick and dense – we like to eat slices slightly warmed, with thick pats of butter and jam. 1 Stokes Rd, Mt Eden

Pasture’s wheat and rye sourdough

Crunchy sourdough with a caramel crust

Few people in this city are as bread-mad as Ed Verner – the restaurant he co-owns with wife Laura is a mecca for sourdough. Just inside Pasture’s door is a Scandinavian-style wooden bread rack with a limited number of fresh loaves available to purchase from 2pm daily. While each loaf here is freshly baked that day in a special deck oven used solely for bread baking, it takes three days to make, as hand-milled wheat and rye flours are combined with salt and water then laboriously fermented. The slow nature of the fermentation process creates huge air pockets in the dough, while a fearfully hot bake means an unbeatably crunchy caramel crust. It might not make much sense to invest this much time and money into bread, but because sourdough is so hard to get consistently right, it’s a challenge the Verners lovingly pursue. 235 Parnell Rd, Parnell

Orphans Kitchen’s sprouted lentil loaf

Lentil and seed-filled bread with a dark, honeyed crust

Breads that are leavened with naturally occurring yeasts are often favoured by the gluten intolerant; their lengthy fermentation allows bacteria to break down gluten and carbohydrates in the bread for easier digestion. A sourdough starter named ‘Matilda’ naturally leavens all the loaves at Orphans Kitchen, but the low wheat-flour content of head chef  Tom Hishon’s sprouted lentil loaf is particularly good for sensitive tummies. Dense and chewy with a dark, honeyed crust, it’s mostly made from lentils (as the name would suggest), as well as flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. This cute little rectangle loaf is ideal for sandwiches or making soldiers for dipping in eggs. Alternatively, eat in-house, topped with something from Hishon’s delightfully inventive menu. 118 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby

Learn to bake with Jerome Ozich

Be schooled in the art of bread making

Earlier this year, Jerome Ozich won a Cuisine magazine artisan award; the self-taught sourdough baker started making bread at home using New Zealand-grown, organic flours and a lot of trial and error. His starter, which is about 18 years old, is the same one you’ll bake with at any of his informal bread workshops. During the class, Ozich shares everything he knows about baking bread and everyone bakes a loaf to take home, using stoneground, organic New Zealand grains.

To book a workshop, contact Jerome via Instagram @jjeromes, email jeromeozich93@gmail.com or call  021 161 9845

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