From pumpernickels to fougasses, exotic European breads in Delhi

  • Zofeen Maqsood, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 23, 2015 11:47 IST

Breakfast fit for a king gets a new meaning with an array of artisanal European breads now available at many city bakeries. Rich in nutrition and delicious too, these breads leave the boring old white variety far behind, and as a result, are becoming popular especially among the health conscious.

Multi-grain breads

Unlike the mass-produced breads available at the local grocery store, these artisanal breads are made from dough that has been fermented for 24 hours. The baking too is painstaking. But what really sets these breads apart is the choice of healthy grains such as rye, barley, oatmeal, corn and buckwheat instead of refined flour and additives.

A German Rye Loaf

"Packaged breads use preservatives like calcium propionate, which is linked to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)," says Chef Sahil Mehta of Baker Street, adding that most commercial breads contain genetically modified ingredients like soy lecithin. Chef Cédric Houzé of L'Opera says, "Artisanal breads combine the goodness of ingredients like melon seeds, linseed and olives." While the melon seeds are full of protein, linseed contains omega 3 and olives are rich in anti oxidants.

In case you think only European breads can make for a healthy breakfast, Sachin Kapoor's Home for the Food Traditions has come up with excellent fusion breads. "Inspired by my mom who never served us anything stale, all our breads are sold within four hours of preparation," he says. So go ahead, introduce some healthy variety into the most important meal of the day.


Just in case you thought only European breads could bring that artisanal touch to your breakfast table, here are a few fusion treats that combine the goodness of flavours from the Indian kitchen with a distinctly European influence.


These invitingly colourful little buns that are packed with nutrition are specially recommended for children. Made of vegetable juices, they come in different flavours depending on the cereals and vegetables that are added to the standard dairy products and honey. One variety is prepared by mixing whole wheat flour, wheat bran and moong dal with carrot and beetroot juice. What can we say? Every morsel is full of nutrition. Price: Rs 100 for 200 gm


This special baked bread has been inspired by a cute story. Legend has it that there lived a woman named Bhusri in Multan, who was the best breadmaker in the region and was so well-respected that women went to her to learn how to bake bread. Even today, in the North West Frontier Province, women continue to make small breads as a tribute to Bhusri. The eponymous bread takes its inspiration from the stuffed baked paranthas of Multan. Made from fresh whole wheat, these buns are stuffed with paneer, gobi, peas and, occassionally, even mutton.

Price: Rs 160 for a pack of two

Both available at: You can also call The Home For Food Traditions toll free at 1800110086, Minimum order Rs 500


Full of antioxidants, the pumpernickel is a dark and dense German whole grain bread made of rye flour and coarse rye meal. The rye that is used in this bread is boiled for several hours to soften it. Then, after baking and steaming processes, it is caramelized to give it an inviting dark hue. The pumpernickel has a long shelf life and is perfect for weight watchers as even a small portion is satisfyingly filling.

Available at: Foodhall outlets, DLF Saket, DLF Promenade, Gurgaon,

Price: Rs 300 for 300 gm


These breads traditionally use a fermented batter dough as a starter. Their slightly tangy taste is becoming increasingly popular with Delhiites who are happily sampling the many interesting flavours available including cheddar and mustard sourdough, cranberry and raisin sourdough, and healthier options like cereal sourdough and flaxseed sourdough. This healthy category of bread has a lower glycemic index and contains a plethora of nutrients.

Available at: Red Moon Bakery, M block, GK II, For order call: 40534797. Price: Rs 110 onwards

The Brown Box Shop, S Block local shopping centre, Panchsheel Park, Price: Rs 95 for a loaf


Pain paysanne, which is French for 'peasant bread', originated in Switzerland. A sourdough bread made from wheat and rye, yeast and a leavening agent, it is made in a creative lozenge pattern. "It was the traditional bread eaten in the countryside after World War II," says Chef Cédric Houzé from L'Opera who reveals that it's the best bread to eat with cheese as the sour taste is a great complement for creamy cheeses such as brie or camembert. "It is easier to digest, and because of its ingredients, has a less significant effect on blood sugar than most other breads," he says.

Available at: Baker Street Ambience Mall, Gurgaon, Price: Rs 85-100 for a slice; L'Opera, Khan Market,

Price: Rs 210 for a loaf


A favourite with the French, this bread is close to the Italian foccacia. During preparation, it is beaten into the shape of flat bread and then sculpted for that distinct artisanal look. A light bread, additions such as onion, tomato and olives add a wholesome juicy flavour to this bread. "By adding dried tomato and rosemary we give it a rich texture and further enhance the flavour by coating it with sea salt," says Chef Nishant Choubey who bakes a variety of fougasses.

Available at: Devarana Bakery, Samalkha, NH 8, Price: Rs 300 for a loaf; The Brown Box Shop, S block, Panchsheel Park Price: Rs150


A dark artisanal bread with chewy slices that pack in a lot of soluble fibres, this one will keep you satiated for a much longer time than a refined flour bread would. Often, caramel is used to lend the loaf that extra dark texture. Variations like the German rye loaf and classic rye bread are also becoming popular. Incidentally, rye, which is a close relative of barley and wheat, has been cultivated in Europe for close to 4,000 years. It's healthy as it helps regulate blood sugar levels and cleanses intestines of toxins.

Available at: Patisserie at Café Delhi Heights, DLF Place Saket, Price: Rs 85; Foodhall outlets, Price: Rs 250 for 300 gm; Devarana bakery at Dusit Devarana, Samalkha, NH8: Rs 450 plus taxes

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