After reading this review, we are sure that more Mumbaikars might want to ditch the humble white sliced bread for full grain varieties. The idea might get even more appealing to act upon, if you happen to be in the vicinity of new artisan bread shop, The Bakers Dozen.
A beautiful black-and-white board with The Baker's Dozen (TBD) written in a cursive, comforting font made this bread store in Prabhadevi a love-at-first-sight option. Moments into our entry, and we had warmed up to this charming space -- this, even before indulging in the bread treats displayed at the new 'artisan bread shop', as they called themselves.
The Baker's Dozen
Value for money: good
The interiors exuded a cosy, European bakery vibe with a blackboard that announced their specials and a neat rack that displayed breads stored inside transparent cases. For a bread novice, the names can be confusing, but the tags attached to each shelf will prove succour (so are the staff) to help decide the bread of your choice.
The Four Grain Bread had a generous sprinkling of seeds
TBD doesn't offer seating options nor do they stock dips for the breads, so keep dips, butter and jams ready for a bread tasting session at your home. For your sandwich cravings, they stock multi grain (Rs 40/ half loaf), Ragi (Rs 25/ half loaf) and plain whole wheat breads (Rs 25/ half loaf) and Ciabatta (Rs 30) for paninis. One can also pick Croutons (Rs 30 for a pack) for salads and Ragi crackers for a good snack. We packed up three of their specialities in paper bags (brownie points for the smart adlib on the bags) and were ready to break some bread at the office.
The Pain Au Levain took us to berry heavan with blueberries and cranberries mixed in. Pics/Abhinav Kocharekar
We began with the Four Grain Bread (Rs 120, made using the German method). It was possibly the best piece of bread one has had in a long time; as good as any of the fresh breads one gets at an upscale Paris boulangerie. It had the right texture, consistency, and the baker's choice of seeds -- pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and flax -- was brilliant. Their liberal sprinkling speaks volumes of the baker's commitment to quality.
It was one delightful discovery after another -- The Pain Au Levain (Rs 200) was a French bread, and no 'pain' at all. Biting into this classic, sourdough whole wheat bread was like traipsing into blueberry and cranberry heaven -- albeit in all its subtle flavours. Now, this bread isn't your average sliced variety; in terms of texture and chewy-ness and oven-cover. We fell in love with the sweet lacings that emerged from the dough casing, thanks to the generous blackberries and cranberries that sat smugly within. A definite carry-along for your teatime indulgence. TBD offers other varieties too: walnuts with raisins, and apricots with cherries (Rs 120).
We took a dinner roll version of the Foccacia, called Puccia (Rs 30 for two) for our final test. The rough, rustic exterior gave way to bursts of fresh Mediterranean flavour. Green olives decoratively specked the soft bread with the right consistency and greeted the taste buds with the fruits itself or their infused trace in the whole dough itself. We nodded to the right mix of salty and tangy. TBD offers home delivery to Worli, Mahalaxmi, Prabhadevi, Lower Parel, Dadar, Mahim, Matunga, Parel, Wadala, Lalbaug and Sewri. Luckily for us, our office falls under in their radius, as we were already ready to revisit the menu, real soon.
(With inputs from Sachin Kalbag)
At: 9 Jayant Apartments, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, near Century Bazaar.
The Baker's Dozen didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.