James Ramsden: on London’s best loaves

James Ramsden knows his bread. The man behind beloved Hackney institution Pidgin, recently opened another branch of his super sandwich emporium Sons + Daughters in Borough Market. And earlier this year he published his fourth book, Every Last Crumb, packed full of clever ways of cooking with every last crust. Here he is on London’s best loaves.

The Dusty Knuckle, Dalston

The Dusty Knuckle’s potato sourdough will always have a place in my heart. It was the bread we served to guests at Pidgin for the first few years and remains up there with the best sourdoughs in the city. 

The Dusty Knuckle, Abbot Street, Dalston E8 3DP; thedustyknuckle.com

e5 Bakehouse, Hackney

Alongside it sits the staggeringly good Stockholm loaf from e5 Bakehouse, whose ludicrously high hydration and presumably glacially slow fermentation makes for a bread that is deeply savoury – almost umami-ish.

e5 Bakehouse, 396 Mentmore Terrace, Hackney E8 3PH; e5bakehouse.com

Paul Rhodes Bakery, Greenwich

When we want a proper, old-fashioned sandwich loaf, we use Paul Rhodes. Its white bloomer is never less than perfect, and I’m very fond of its granary bread too. I guess not everything has to be sourdough.

Paul Rhodes Bakery, Lassell Street, Greenwich SE10 9PJ; paulrhodesbakery.co.uk

Fabrique, Shoreditch

The breads at Fabrique don’t disappoint, and I’m particularly fond of its Danish rye – it’s excellent toasted and I particularly like it cut into small cubes and fried hard in butter for use as croutons.

Arch 385, Geffrye Street, Shoreditch E2 8HZ; fabrique.co.uk

James Ramsden is a food writer and restaurateur; twitter.com/JamesRamsden_ 

Pidgin (pidginlondon.com), 

Sons + Daughters (sonsanddaughterslondon.com

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