Aarhusian gourmet bakeries I like to visit on my morning walk
When I have a free morning, and especially on sunny days like the ones we’ve been having lately, I enjoy going out and getting a fresh loaf of bread for breakfast. It really is one of the best feelings to start the day, step out, and breathe in the brisk morning air, while nipping down to the local bakery! The airy holey-ness of a well-raised dough, the clean honest taste of simple ingredients, and the ‘tap-tap-crunch’ of a good crust – that’s what I think of when I picture the perfect loaf of bread. After my travels in Asia and eating the sugar laden white processed breads that were available in many of the supermarkets, I am ecstatic that Denmark has such a vibrant bread baking culture. Now I live on the university side of the train tracks and most of my daily life occurs in that area, so I don’t often venture over the bridge. I won’t be mentioning them more in my post, but I know there are three bakeries there that are also very popular: Schweizerbageriet, Lagkagehuset and Langenæs Bageriet.
I have mentioned in a previous post, about the best chocolate croissants in Aarhus, that one of these bakeries I like to visit is Briançon, on Åboulevarden. As I said in that post, Briançon is, in my opinion, the best bakery in the area – but I am also biased. It just so happens to be an excellent bakery for both breads and cakes, as well as being located very close to where I live. Over the years, my boyfriend and I have been a loyal customers and the baked goods that we buy from them have never disappointed. All-in-all, the favour is well-founded in the unwavering consistency of their baking.
Briançon can be characterised as a French-inspired bakery that is dedicated to quality baking with the best ingredients. The siblings that run the place are committed to each and every loaf and pastry. The breads are all sourdough cold-raised, or “koldhævet”, for 24 hours before going into a stone oven, while the pastries are high in butter content to ensure a rich flaky texture.
I love trying the different breads they have, and one of my favourites is the potato bread. This one especially is so moist, and I think its in large part due to the potato that is mixed into the dough – they even leave some big pieces of potato with skin on in the dough, so that you have a good chance of finding a piece in a slice.
Recently, I have become very partial to their portion sized chocolate cakes with chocolate ganache – so chocolatey! The ganache is delicious and thick, but it does get a bit too much with the amount that is piped on each. The cake itself is moist and has a brownie-like texture; a bit squidgy in the middle, with a nice crust.
Briançon also sells a large sortiment of champagnes, and pride themselves as experts in champagne.
Mor Anna Bakery & Deli
Mor Anna is on Mejlgade, and also sells some awesome bakes! Their breads are good and honest, and I always buy a loaf when I visit, which is often when I need to stock up on French Salami le Bride and organic Thyborøn Rav Ost 48+. These two deli purchases are almost staples in my fridge – the cheese is perfectly rounded with good strength without becoming too overpowering, and the salami has so much flavour in one slice that it lasts me a while. I have tried their parsley pesto as well, which was surprisingly good (I say surprisingly because it is hit-and-miss for me whether or not I like pesto in general). Coupled with one of their breads, it made a delicious snack!
Above I bought a durum bread, which as you can see was airy and light with a nice crust. It was moist and had a satisfying texture and flavour – overall consistent with the other times we have bought bread from Mor Anna.
Mor Anna also sells a selection of specialty and organic products, including wines and chocolates.
Emmerys Bakery & Café
Emmerys is known for its organic bakes with focus on the best ingredients. And there was a time where I was one of the popular bakery’s many groupies, popping down to pick up a weekend treat of rhubarb and apple cake. Quite an expensive treat at 70 DKK for a relatively small cake, but I was willing to pay it, it was that good! Their breads were also amazing, and we loved picking up the weekend morning loaf there. But something has changed in its transition to what I can only call is a café. It seems they have lost their dedication to serious baking in the frenzy of activity that a café has now brought to the business model. I say this because at some point during all this change, the bakes I was bringing home from them were beginning to disappoint. The breads were dry and unpleasant to eat, and tasted like the day old stale bread that I use to make toasties.
The bread looks very good, with big airy holes and nice crust to it. When I cut the bread though, there were hardly any crumbs and the inside was dry and hard so that it didn’t give when pressed in. In the similar picture above of potato bread from Briançon, when I pressed my thumb in the sponginess of the bread gave way easily and springed back when I removed it – it was not the case here.
It could be that I was unlucky over several purchases, but in the end I just stopped buying there. I still go there to grab a coffee with a friend, and perhaps a cookie, but I prefer picking up my bread at the other gourmet bakeries or Salling/Føtex.
*Updated July 20, 2016
I finally made it round to visiting this bakery twice before writing this update, and I must say that it has lived up to my expectations! I have heard good things, including that they are 100% organic, and there are always people in there when I go by. It was time to try the place. I bought a lengthy-baked rye bread both times, because it was so delicious. The first time it was still warm from the oven, which was a fantastic way to start the day! They are not very big, but the corn is coarse, the texture is dense and the taste is rustic and excellent!
They also have various sweet treats for sale in the counter, and the assortment varies. The blackberry tart was filled with flavour and contained a good layer of fruit! Can definately recommend!