Known for its airy texture and tart aftertaste, sourdough, alongside banana bread and whipped coffee, has somewhat graciously earned its place among the holy trinity of quarantine. Having become something of a mass movement over the last couple of months, the artisanally fermented dough has all but threatened our previously demonizing beliefs about bread entirely into extinction. A lockdown-inspired baking bonanza espousing practice, patience, and copious amounts of valor in the face of lactobacilli, sourdough has given people all over the world a much-needed reason to rise above their existential gloom.
Yet, from the hours required to create a loaf, to the hours required to wax poetic about it on Instagram, it might not be for everyone. If you’re a sourdough aficionado who would prefer not to claim your starter on your taxes—and yes we’re referring to sourdough parents whose starters have names, this list is for you. For all your dough-y artisanal needs this Sourdough September, look no further than these six Dubai bakeries.
Nestled amid the bustle of Al Quoz this cozy, artisanal bakery is home to a wide range of bread, viennoiserie, and pastries. With over nine sourdough options on the menu, each loaf is made from sustainably grown wheat, sourced from small-batch farms in Skagit Valley, Washington. While the menu speaks for itself, we recommend the simple and airy country loaf; comprising nothing more than wheat, water, and salt, as well as the sesame date, which, as the name suggests, houses an intricate mix of dates and sesame seeds.
Brothaus Bakery Bistro
Located at the Steigenberger Hotel in Business Bay, this German bakery is home to two dreamy sourdoughs; a rye and a spelt. Packed with grains and seeds, the rye lends itself to equally earthy flavors and would compliment a slather of butter and jam to perfection. Meanwhile, the spelt, albeit darker and denser, is a wonderful accompaniment to salad, soups, and savory items including poached eggs and avocado.
While perhaps best known for its signature cakes and Parisian inspired desserts, UAE chain French Bakery is no stranger to the art of sourdough. With two options in tow, diners can help themselves to the Rye bread; a traditional, hearty sourdough perfect for breakfast, or sandwiches with pastrami and cheese, or the German loaf; baked by hand using natural rye sourdough, fresh yeast, selected grains, and a careful choice of flours imported directly from Austria.
La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie
Another French-inspired favorite, La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie is undoubtedly one of the UAE’s best restaurants—and for good reason. Reminiscent of a classic Parisian boulangerie, La Serre’s baking arm comprises a wide range of pastries, viennoiserie, and bread; the latter of which often includes glorious loaves of sourdough. With a variety on offer; from rye to seeded, customers can choose to take home a loaf, or enjoy a slice alongside one of the bakery’s delicious menu items.
Located on Al Thanya Street, this standalone café is known for its excellent coffee and all-day breakfast menu. With a range of talented bakers on deck, patrons can help themselves to delicately aged loaves, all of which are mixed, kneaded, and baked in-house. Offering a wide range of sourdough varieties often made with flavors such as turmeric, beetroot, and lavender-hued butterfly pea tea; a purple-flowered tea used in South-East Asia, each loaf is more flavorful than the next. Whether you’re dining in or heading home—with sourdough in tow, Neighbors Cafe is a brilliant way to start the day.
Run by Emirati mother-daughter duo, Dr Kaltham Kenaid, and Fatma Saifan, Vanilla Sukkar is the perfect place to go if your sourdough cravings are in need of an upgrade. With its eclectic offering of sweet and savory, the cafe is home to sourdough of all shapes, sizes, and flavors. From cheese and chili to turmeric and black sesame, patrons can help themselves to beautiful, bouncy loaves of bread, filled to the brim with flavor and softness.