BY PALOMA LACY
I’ve bemoaned the loss of the high street bakery on more than one occasion, but have recently revised my opinion.
Where they have been replaced, the new guard of bakery has brought with it proper bread, with no preservatives, and a more conscious approach to the very best ingredients when it comes to high calorie snacks.
Fergus Jackson, founder of Brick House Bakery, says of his sourdough bread: “We specialise in slow fermentation sourdough breads, made using traditional methods and just a few simple ingredients; flour, water, sea salt and naturally occurring yeast.
All our sourdoughs are handmade over two days, baked on stone, and use organic flour and other wholesome ingredients including nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruit.”
That’s what I mean by proper bread and it is to die for.
Brick House Bakery now boasts three outposts and I popped along to East Dulwich to find a bevy of bakers hard at work in the open kitchen.
If their number is anything to go by, the bread is flying off the shelves, and that’s not including the night baker who starts at midnight.
I love the industrial look of the Brick House, you feel you’re part of the action. The deal here is simple, open from 8am until 4pm, breakfast, brunch and lunch are all served, and you can also pick up a loaf or pastries to take home with you.
Unsurprisingly, bread is the star attraction so brunch specialities have taken the simple is best approach: boiled egg and soldiers (£5), chorizo and egg breakfast bap (£9), which seemed a little steep.
And plenty for the sweeter palate too: toasted brioche with fresh figs, mascarpone, ginger crumble and honey (£8.50), alongside a range of house-produced pastries and cakes.
And they’ve borrowed from North Africa with shakshuka, spiced tomato and peppers with an egg, zhug and yoghurt (£10). Add spicy lamb sausages, Merguez, for additional £3.50.
If you’re off bread, there are a few solid dishes that’ll hit the spot nicely. Summer squash salad with bobby beans, confit garlic, ricotta and sage (£7), was wonderfully fresh and exciting. Varied in texture, it delivered some big, juicy flavours.
With something of a Mexican feel to it, sweetcorn and black-eyed bean salad with peppers, tomatoes, lime and coriander (£7), also looked to be a good lunchtime option and vegan friendly.
Little people have not been forgotten, with the kids meal deal cheese sandwich, cookie and a drink, all for £4.50.
Brick House Bakery, 1 Zenoria Street, East Dulwich, SE22 8HP.
Call 0208 693 2031.