Friday 11 January 2019

Proper Bread in Dublin 2: Bread 41

I was in France for the new year and was so envious of my parents' routine of going to the bakery every morning to pick a baguette or pain de campagne. Even though the local baker operates a van delivery service to their remote hamlet they still feel they need to go to the village's bakery; it's a ritual that kicks off their morning routine. In the early evening if we had eaten most of the bread at lunch they'd run to the bakery again to get bread for dinner before it had closed at 7pm. We eat far too much bread in my family.

I've been crying out for a long time for a place where I could buy quality fresh bread in Dublin city centre on a daily basis. I even wrote an article (which needs to be updated) on where to buy good bread in Dublin a few years ago and I was happy to see a surge in good sourdough bakers in Dublin more recently. I've been following Eoin Cluskey for a long time on Instagram and I was delighted to see him opening Bread 41, a bakery and café on Pearse Street, only 15 minutes away from where I live.

Mr FFID passes by it every morning on his way to work and has been bringing home their excellent malt loaf (my favourite of all their breads) on a regular basis since they've opened. I also got to taste their cruffins (an hybrid between a croissant and a muffin) and croissants at some of my local cafés as they do wholesale business (under the name "Bread Nation"). I've also been for breakfast dates there twice over the last few weeks. So as you can understand, I completely endorse Bread 41 at this stage!

Bread 41 has a nordic feel to the decor, from its minimalist furniture with communal tables and high stools to its dishware. There is a massive counter with a display of the freshly baked breads and pastries in the middle of the room, along a bricked wall that reveals a wood fire oven.

They open from Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 3pm. The pastry menu features different varieties of croissants, cruffins, cinnamon buns and more. Mr. FFID is a big fan of their sausage roll which is made with proper homemade puff pastry, you can't really beat that. Breakfast includes porridge, homemade granola and sourdough toasts with various toppings. For lunch they do sandwiches, a toastie as well as a salad box while brunch at the weekend also offers more eggy dishes. Coffee is supplied by Dublin roastery 3FE.

My avocado kimchi (€7) consisted of slices of avocado sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and topped with fresh salad leaves on sourdough smeared with a kimchi mayo. Simple but good, the kimchi wasn't as pungent as the one I make at home so it's actually something you can eat before 9am. Mr. FFID's dish was also simple but made with good ingredients: two fried eggs on sourdough toast with a slightly sweet housemade brown sauce (€6.50). On our second visit we went for sweet stuff with fresh plain croissants and an excellent mince pie, one of the best I've ever had.

On my first visit, the service when ordering at the counter was not the warmest and could have done with a smile but Mr. FFID told me that it's not usually like that, maybe the person was having a bad day. Service was much more pleasant on my second visit. In my opinion Bread 41 was the most needed and one of the most exciting openings of 2018 in Dublin's food scene.  I just wish they would open on Sundays, us bread addicts need our fix every single day of the week.

Bread 41
41 Pearse Street
Dublin 2
Bread 41's website

Disclaimer: This is an independent review, I paid for my food and drinks.