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Istanbul Sourdough Bakery with Aussie links:

Bröd SignBelieve it or not the new Istanbul Sourdough Bakery in Nişantaşı has a link with Australia’s most recognised artisan bread maker Baker D. Chirico based in Melbourne.Baker D Chirico 200x243jpg
When I left Australia in 2009, Daniel Chirico was becoming very popular for his French style baking and sourdough in particular. Today that success has transpired into two bakeries, the second a finalist at the Melbourne Design Awards in 2012 and a new Pop Up store in South Yarra trading until Christmas this year.

How weird it seemed to find a connection to this Australianbaker here in Istanbul. Although it’s true that baking legends are admired and followed by newcomers it should come as no surprise that Erman Girgin the owner of Bröd in Nişantaşı, is one such follower and is the ‘new kid on the block’ in the Istanbul sourdough world here.

 

Erman GirginI met Erman for Friday lunch and found out his vision for bread and his dream bakery at Bröd Istanbul.

Background:

An Economics graduate, Girgin became a Tourism and Hospitality Manager after completing his Masters. It was his stint as the Cost Controller at Kantin Nişantaşı (one of the first sourdough artisan bakeries in Istanbul) where he became more interested in sourdough bread making. Girgin’s desire to learn more saw him learn his baking craft at MSA-Culinary Arts Academy of Istanbul and at The Bertinet Kitchen in Bath, UK run by French Chef and Baker Richard Bertinet.

 

The Interview: (with Erman Girgin.)

FF: Do you have a foodie hero?

EG: I follow Harold McGee, an American food science, chemistry, cooking and molecular gastronomy writer. I started a blog (Mutfakoloji) and also started to translate some of McGee’s writings into Turkish. Blogging wasn’t very successful so I started to create recipes including sourdough recipes with how-to’ videos and photos.

Bröd Design

FF: Can you explain your design concept and inspiration?

EG: The design concept is based on the Swedish “less is more” concept with natural marble and wood used throughout. The plain white sign with simple black letters was inspired by Baker D. Chirico’s sign. Bröd is Swedish for bread. I like it phonetically with the accent over the ‘o’ linking it with Turkish.

FF: You seem to have thought about your design in a lot of detail.

EG: Yes, there are power outlets everywhere for charging phones and computers and the wood used to make the counter comes from a 90 year old wooden bench.

Bröd tables

 

FF: There is only one share table, a table for two and a street view bench in the shop. What is your focus?

EG: I’m interested in baking bread so Bröd is a meant to be a take away bakery and sandwich shop. I want to connect with my customers so I serve them and make sure they are comfortable (there is only two other staff). If I had more tables then the experience would be less personal.

FF: It’s been a month now, how is your shop going and what are your feelings about it so far?

EG: It’s tiring because I’m in control of everything. I’m working six days a week and bake approximately 250 loaves a week. The dough is prepared two days before it’s baked. I wasn’t happy with Tuesday’s bread so I started coming in on Sunday and making dough for two hours.

FF: When did you create your sourdough starter?Menu

EG: 4th March, 2014. It’s over 1.5 years old now.

FF: How are people responding to your sourdough bread? Any challenges?

EG: People who know about sourdough are finding me. But Turk’s think the blackened crust means the bread is burnt. They ask for the less blackened one’s and suggest that the bread should be cooked for less time. I like the extra crunch and am happy with the 50-52 minute baking time.

Bröd Bread

FF: Besides sourdough, what other bread are you baking?

EG: I am baking Bröd sourdough, Çavdar (rye), Zeytin Biberiye (olive rosemary), Ciabatta for sandwiches and Bagels for the salmon gravlax.Sourdough

FF: And the sweet baked goods?

EG: Sezin bakes those. She bakes the tarts, brownies and carrot cake everyday and some other things change depending on the day.

FF: So, how would you describe your bakery?

EG: “I want it to be known but quality has to be maintained. Everything should be related to bread.” I plan to add one kind of soup and salad but there will be no breakfast menu. This is not a restaurant/café it’s a bakery!


Roast BeefThe Verdict:

If it’s a simplistic quiet café you desire or the crunchie on the outside slightly chewy on the inside sourdough you crave, give this new artisan bakery a go. The lightly toasted roast beef, mustard & caramelized onion sandwich on sourdough (you need to request it as it comes on ciabatta) was tasty and I liked the addition of a chutney-like jam. SalmonThe salmon gravlax with goat’s cheese and pickled radishes was
fresh and well balanced. The freshly baked (still warm from the oven) carrot and walnut cake was as light as a feather and fabulous with a ‘bardak of çay’ and their coffee was considered ‘not bad’ (which means pretty good coming from my Australian coffee aficionado friend!) Be patient if you drop by with a few friends, the service is being fine-tuned. Choose a bread book or magazine from the shelf and while away the time until your sandwich arrives.
PackagingFrom the simple packaging (brown paper bread bags and recyclable paper carry bags with a simple Bröd sticker for advertising) to the streamlined shop concept, Bröd is a trendy style abode worth a visit. I’m waiting in anticipation for Erman to add walnut and raisin sourdough bread to the menu then I wouldn’t need to go all the way to Naan Bakery in Moda for my supply!

It a 4 for me on the FF Resto Rating scale.

Mouth Watering Rating 4

 

 

Vive la Istanbul sourdough!

For more sourdough news, check out FF’s new article 3 Rising Stars of Sourdough in Istanbul at Yabangee.com.

Sally

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