Melbourne's best bread from restaurants and bakeries

Bread comes twice as part of the degustation menu at Ides.
Bread comes twice as part of the degustation menu at Ides. Photo: Supplied

Here are 10 local loaves we love.

Bakeries

Vegetable loaf, Babka

​Made later in the morning and hot from the oven between 8am and 9am, this yellow-tinged loaf has a wholemeal base speckled with grated carrot, capsicum, zucchini and onion. It's wonderfully soft and sweet, but rarely survives the car journey home.

Glicks' challah bread.
Glicks' challah bread. Photo: Supplied

Continental fruit loaf, Convent Bakery

Chock-full of figs, apricots, dates and sultanas, it's a wonder there's enough dough to hold this loaf together. There's so much fruit crammed in that the bakers sometimes remix the ratio before baking. After 12 years in existence, it's all part of the process.

Soir, Woodfrog Bakery

Dan Hunter getting ready to bake at Brae.
Dan Hunter getting ready to bake at Brae. Photo: Colin Page

Translating to "evening" in French, this dark blend of organic sourdough, wholemeal wheat, rye and malted barley makes for a light, wet crumb and caramelised crust. Great with savoury fillings as well as loads of butter and jam.

Sourdough baguette, Loafer Bakery

The baguette is a best seller at this local gem. The dough is baked off in batches so it's always fresh. There's a bold contrast between the dark caramelised crust and fluffy flavourful interior – it's not just a vehicle for spreads and fillings, it adds substance.

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Challah, Glick's

Some grew up with this traditional kosher braided egg loaf on Friday nights with the family, others discovered it as french toast on trendy brunch menus. Either way, it's sweet, fluffy and impossible to stop at one slice.

SOFIA LEVIN

Restaurants

Brae

Like everything at Dan Hunter's fine diner Brae, bread is next-level. The wood fired brick oven cranks up at 7.30am for an 11.30am bake. The wheat is from local heirloom crops, and the thick crust emerges malty, chewy and deeply burnished while the inside is all stretch and air for spreading with their cultured butter you could eat like cheese.

Oakridge

Matt Stone and Jo Barrett (ex-Tivoli Road Bakery) are fighting the sustainability fight at this winery restaurant. But it's Barrett's slow fermented sourdough, made with 40 per cent of grain milled on site in the wine library for maximum freshness, that gets attention. It's served with house-churned butter and reportedly, the gluten-sensitive haven't had issues.

Embla

Everything is wood-fired at Dave Verheul's kitchen, from gravy to the loaves of bread which surpass the loaves he was known for at Town Mouse. Again, it's the thick crust, and ghostly hint of smoke. Scooped through their silky parfait or the house-made creme fraiche.

Ides

Chef Peter Gunn of Smith Street's deg-only restaurant likes bread so much, he serves it twice. The first course is a nutty sesame-encrusted dinner roll which comes with jar of fluffy, salty peanut-infused butter. A few courses later comes thick slices of the same bread base, peppered with nuts, served with a honey-thyme butter.

Bar Liberty

The house bread has a wholemeal, almost elastic and fluffy centre, with a dark, chewy and salty crust (they spray the dough with salt water which subtly seasons the shell) that contrasts excellently against nori-infused butter. As part of the $45 Sunday lunch menu, it might come with finocchiona (garlic and fennel salami) and pickled fennel.

GEMIMA CODY