Baltic Bakehouse boasts the best sourdough bread in the city – we’ll seek no argument about this. Baked fresh on the premises each morning (together with yummy Chelsea Buns, mini Bakewells, sausage rolls and the like) the Baltic loaf is a thing of beauty.
If bread is having ‘a moment’ – this pocket-sized bakery with its brick walls, industrial chic and sublime bacon butties, is the place to bear witness. It’s so good we served it at our wedding.
The Ultimate Grilled Cheese standby is a thick, indulgent delight, while frequent detours into focaccia and pastries mean there’s a rotating menu of bready goodness. Simple tastes? You can’t go far wrong with a tick, buttered slice of toast with a selection of condiments. Yes, there’s Marmite.
But Baltic Bakehouse is more than just bread. There are hearty veggie salads, a huge range of snackettes and fresh-baked pastries, cakes and biscuits every day.
Baltic Bakehouse is open daily til mid afternoon, for teas and coffees, butties and take outs. And, of course, for your daily loaf. We needed to know more…
Liverpool Underlined: Why bread? Where did it all start for you?
Baltic Bakehouse: It all started when we were kids, we’d get fresh bread from Chalkins, a great traditional baker on Church Road (off Penny Lane). Huge crusty loaves of white bread, massive Chelsea buns and great bagels, it was a fantastic traditional bakery and we loved it. Unfortunately, Chalkins closed about ten years ago and it was the last traditional bakery in Liverpool, our only option was to reach for an old copy of Mrs Beaton, from our Mum’s book shelf, and try baking our own. It all stemmed from there.
So you’re completely self taught?
Baltic Bakehouse: More or less. Everything we know is from books or the internet. Bread is a strange thing, you start by trying a simple white loaf with an old bag of flour and next thing you know it’s two in the morning and you’re arguing about sourdough on an internet bread forum. The more you learn, the more you want the know, it’s a fascinating and complex subject. The joys of scrubbing old dough from an industrial mixer are unparalleled.
Why is a good loaf so important?
Baltic Bakehouse: Bread is a fundamental of British food. Most of us eat some every day. The stuff we get from the supermarket has so many additives the chemicals it’s a wonder that it can be considered food at all. We offer really great bread, we’re not saying you should be eating toasted walnut sourdough. A simple loaf of white, consisting of only flour, water, salt and yeast is a great and reasonably priced loaf. It’s real bread, with no chemicals, you can actually know what you’re eating.
Talk to us about the mechanics behind a good loaf…
Baltic Bakehouse: Good flour, gentle mixing and slow rising are the fundamentals. So much bread is over-mixed and quickly risen, it results in very light flavourless pap. Sourdough is the opposite of this, full of flavour and great texture. Some sourdough can be very sour and that heavy German style can turn into an exercise in worthiness, and actually isn’t always great to eat. We offer something that’s far more approachable, our Baltic Wild, a white sourdough, is soft yet has a complex flavour. But it’s not too sour.
Isn’t it all a bit faddy?
Baltic Bakehouse: Yes, bread is undergoing a big Renaissance, and rightly so. People are fed up of eating flavourless rubbish, we’re looking for great bread and are inspired by childhood memories and trips overseas to places where great bread is still alive and kicking.
Baltic Bakehouse46 Bridgewater Street