Currently, my favorite sourdough in the city. Sourdough from Yellow Bakery is sour, elastic and riddled with small holes. Its fugue is so strong, I can smell it before I can see it.
Yellow Bakery is the dream project of Paul and Layla. They met when Paul was a chef at Potts Point’s Yellow Bistro in Australia and Layla was working at a dating agency. Wanting to travel, he became a private chef and the two saw the world.
“But bread?” I question her. Bread is such hard work, especially sourdough. Punishing hours with 4 am starts in the best case. Physically hard.
“Paul said that when he began working with bread he instantly regretted not having spent his whole life making it. So he retrained as a baker.”
I’m sitting on a small bench facing the counter, tucking into my onion chutney quiche and asking questions.
As she chats to me, Layla wraps loaves in brown paper and writes the destination straight on to the paper. I’m staring distractedly at the 7 crates. It occurs to me that they have a lot of orders. “Are those all orders?”
“Yes.” she smiles.
“And how did you manage that? You haven’t been around that long.”
“Paul had the night shifts at Cooccio (a professional kitchen that can be rented by the hour). In the morning, with his sourdough fresh out of the oven, he would ride his bike to restaurants and hotels. He didn’t speak much Spanish- Just ‘Hello, I’m Paul. I’m a baker. I’m Australian. Would you like to try my bread?’ Now we have La Esquina, Picnic, Marmalade, Milk, Firebug, Alsur, Caravelle, Hush Hush, Levant, Enkel, Informal at La Serras”
Paul is working in the back, feeding bread into a MIWE oven, large enough for me to lie down in. He is tall, bright-eyed and friendly. In his navy clothes, he looks more like a builder, covered in white dust than a baker showered in flour. In that thick film of flour, his blue eyes twinkle out. A woman and her little girl come in to pick up a loaf. “Maybe a free cookie would have been in order for them.” he muses looking out after them.
He is on his way out, he gives me a firm handshake and strides out of the shop. “He’s pretty perky for a man who doesn’t sleep.”
Layla smiles. “I never get tired of spending time with him.”
Most of the many customers that come in during my 45 minutes there are repeats. They all have a favourite bake that Layla instinctively knows to reach for. I’m similar, I don’t live remotely close to the pedestrian streets of the gothic quarter but when I do come, I buy a loaf for me and usually one for someone to try.
4 Biz LOC 1 Calle Regomir
08002 Gothic Quarter