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Hart Holmen

Copenhagen's sourdough revolution

14.4.2021
Photo: Michael Gardenia

Pastries or sourdough? Good question. People around the world know of the phenomenon 'Danish pastry' and for good reason. Denmark is the homeland of baked goods like wienerbrød and just as avid a sourdough destination. A place where many share a huge love for great bakery - and here's why.

Over recent years a strong international focus on Danish and Nordic gastronomy has also sparked a veritable bread and pastry revolution in the streets and squares of Copenhagen.

A huge influx of bread and pastry shops have popped up across the city and entered the bucket lists of things to do or try whilst in Copenhagen. Whether it is serving classical Danish pastry, crispy croissants, or freshly baked loaves of sourdough bread, some outlets
 are found in untraditional locations such as a football stadium or located in a former industrial dock area.  Even noma’s René Redzepi talked about a sourdough-bread revolution during a virtual press event that took place during the 2021 pandemic and talked about Copenhagen as one of the best places in the world for sourdough bread.

Coffee Collective Bakery

Photo:Michael Gardenia

The classic Danish pastry

Danish pastry, sometimes shortened to just ‘a Danish’ (especially in American-English), is a multi-layered laminated sweet pastry in the viennoiserie tradition. The concept was, in fact, brought to Denmark by Austrian bakers in the 1850s, but since then it developed into an actual Danish speciality. Like other similar pastries, such as croissants, it is a variant of puff pastry made of laminated yeast-leavened dough that creates a layered texture. The Danish version of pastry was then again taken by immigrants to the United States and here they are often topped with fruit or cream cheese filling.

Galst Bageri

Photo:Mellanie Gandø

The sourdough bread

Danes' appreciation of sourdough goes a long way back. In fact all the way back to the Viking times. The dark, compact, Danish rye bread - rugbrød - is made on a sourdough base and with rye as the main grain, and the most important grains to Vikings were rye and barley. According to The National Museum of Denmark, rye was used for making sourdough bread in the Viking ages – a coarse bread, quite similar to today’s Danish rye bread. Today it is still popular for Danes to enjoy rye bread for lunch, typically served with a variety of toppings in the classic Danish dish called smørrebrød. Other forms of sourdough bread has also gained more and more popularity over the last decade with speciality bakeries popping up around the capital and locals happily standing in line to get their fingers on the right curve on a rainy morning! 

Leading bakeries in the sourdough revolution

So where do you get a bite of the most delicious cake or the best bread crumb in town, then? Get the details below:

Apotek 57
Daniel Rasmussen

Apotek 57

Website / Press photos

Apotek 57 is a hidden gem in the yellow-houses district of Nyboder. The eatery, run by Chiara Barla, formerly at 108 and Mirabelle, is a cooperation between the Italian chef and the Danish design brand Frama, and it's hosted in Frana's charming flagship store. At Apotek 57, you will find a rotating menu featuring in-house seasonal breakfast and lunch, sourdough baked goods, Italian focaccias and great coffee. 

Bageriet Benji
Michael Gardenia

Bageriet Benji

Website / Press photos

Rasmus Kristensen, a former noma chef, opened the doors to his little bakery in Nørrebro last year. With his bakery, he intends to stand out from other bakeries as his focus will solely be on creating sourdough bread and pastries of the highest quality as this is where his passion lies, more so than providing guests with a complete café experience.

Bageriet B
Bageriet B

Bageriet B 

Website / Press photos

The British baker Sam Little, a friend of noma and former baker at Mirabelle, as well as former pastry chef at Kafeteria, is the man behind Bageriet B in Nørrebro. Bageriet B is a sustainable bakery with a strong focus on what is good for the environment, the community, and its staff. Here the focus is on local and organic ingredients, zero waste and the staff as co-owners with shares in the company as well as selling the best sourdough bread, coffee from Coffee Collective, and layered pastries and cakes made by Sam and his colleagues, which visitors can experience being made in action with the open-kitchen concept at the bakery. 

Bageriet Brød

Website / Press photos

Bageriet Brød opened in 2012 and was one of the first bakeries focused on making exquisite sourdough bread in Copenhagen. Today, the bakery has five chefs baking bread, all of whom used to work at well-known restaurants around the world. The cool little organic bakery is from the same hip folks behind the Vesterbro favourite called Kihoskh.

Coffee Collective Bakery
Michael Gardenia

Collective Bakery

Website / Press photos

Collective Bakery opened last spring in a building formerly housing bakeries since 1935 in the district of Nørrebro. Its mission is to be the best coffee shop bakery where the baked goods are equally as good as their coffee, made from the best possible sourced flour and grains from around Denmark. The head baker is Michael Craig, formerly at Hart Bakery, Lille Bakery, and Amass, who also transforms the company’s legendary coffee into the main ingredient in some of the in-house pastries.

Flere Fugle
Daniel Rasmussen

Flere Fugle

Website / Press photos

Flere Fugle is a popular neighbourhood bakery, café, bar and hang-out spot located in an old garage in the local district of Nordvest. Nordvest is an up-and-coming part of Copenhagen with local and artsy vibes and Flere Fugle is not a completely ordinary bakery either. It is a bar, bistro, and an event venue in one! Here you can enjoy delicious pastries, drinks, bistro food, and well-brewed coffee from the Aarhus-native roastery, La Cabra.

Galst Bageri
Mellanie Gandø

Galst Bageri

Website / Press photos

The little hidden gem Galst Bageri is the result of a true passion for baking and owner Erik Galst’s dream of switching a long accountant career with something more concrete. With ambitions to spend his time doing what he loves, Galst quit his job to pursue his dream and did so with instant success, as the Copenhageners soon discovered the bakery’s tasty quality products, despite the bakery situated in a peculiar location; under the stand of the football ground, Østerbro Stadion. A local amateur football club’s cafeteria might not be the most obvious point of exploration when visiting another city. Nevertheless, Galst Bageri is a perfect reason to venture off the beaten track to Østerbro and try something more than the usual tourist experiences and popular cafés. 

 

Hart Bageri Frederiksberg
Marc Skafte-Vaabengaard

Hart Bageri Frederiksberg

Website / Press photos

Trained in the science of baking, Richard Hart was the baker at noma before he opened his own bakery, Hart Bageri on Frederiksberg. While pushing the norm of what a Danish pastry is, Hart Bakery has also become famous for its mouth-watering sourdough bread, cakes and of course its delicious Danish pastries and baked goods. Immediately after opening the doors to his bakery on one of Frederiksberg’s main streets, Hart, therefore, became synonymous with long lines on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Hart Holmen
Michael Gardenia

Hart Holmen

Website / Press photos

Hart Holmen is Richard Hart’s second place in Copenhagen and is a bakery and café serving sourdough bread by day, offering some of the most popular bread and pastries in town. This time though paired with top-quality cheese and charcuterie and a noma-curated wine list to enjoy while taking in the breathtaking views of the Copenhagen Opera House, the new Paper Island development and the boats sailing in the former naval area of Holmen between Refshaleøen and Christianshavn.

Juno the Bakery
Michael Gardenia

Juno the Bakery

Website / Press photos

In the heart of Østerbro, you'll find one of the most hyped bakeries in town, Juno The Bakery, which opened back in 2017 with simple pastry of high quality. Together with his girlfriend Nina Schmiegelow, the former noma chef, Emil Glaser, decided to open Juno, as they wanted to create a bakery, where locals would meet and talented craftsmen would create the best cardamom rolls in Copenhagen. One can safely say they succeeded in doing so as their cardamom rolls and crispy sourdough bread bring about long queues of people on a daily basis.

 

Lille Bakery
Daniel Rasmussen

Lille Bakery

Website / Press photos

Lille Bakery is an artisanal bakery and café, located in a large industrial space on Refshaleøen. Their sourdough bread is among the very best in Copenhagen. They also serve up hearty salads and open-faced sandwiches on fresh bread, as well as a range of pastries and baked goods. Don’t miss their famous Berliner doughnut or their take on a cardamom bun either – buttery pastry swirled into a roll and covered in cardamom sugar. The loaves of bread are baked from organic flour, as the founders of Lille Bakery work closely with farmers to ensure that their products live up to their high standards and show respect for the environment.

Mirabelle
Alona Vibe Vestergaard Andersen

Mirabelle Bakery

Website / Press photos

The Mirabelle Bakery is part of chef Christian Puglisi’s restaurant ‘empire’ and is famous for both its excellent sourdough bread and tasty croissants and other baked goods. Mirabelle is one of the older bakeries in town. It belongs to the original ‘baking revolutionaries’ that taught the Copenhageners the value of paying a little extra for something much better; Crispy, dark sourdough bread with perfect large holes and airy croissants with fine flakes. Mirabelle also supplies the sourdough bread for Christian Puglisi’s other restaurants and makes the world-famous sourdough pizza for Bæst, right next door in Nørrebro. The flour used for the bread and pizza is a mix of locally grown, stone-ground flour combined with the teams’ own import from a small organic mill in Piemonte. 

Rondo
Daniel Rasmussen

Rondo

Website / Press photos

The people behind the popular restaurant and natural wine bar Gaarden & Gaden, one of Christian Puglisi’s personal favourites in town, are behind the Nørrebro-based sourdough bakery, Rondo. Rondo is the name of the bakery’s signature round-shaped bread inspired by the French miche. Former head baker at Lille Bakery, Robert Ågren, is the head baker at Rondo and has a focus on baking 100 % organic sourdough bread.

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