If you’re an early riser or consider bread the staff of life, or both, then The Glenwood Bakery at 398 Esther Roberts road in Durban will warm your heart and stomach. Between 6 and 8 am the bakery is at its busiest and straight-out-the-oven loaves of bread, made right there on the premises, are hot property.
After the bread rush, things quiet down a little and the café part of the space gets going. Throughout the day a constant stream of people come into the space, to sit for a while and work, have a lunch, or just say hello. The corner location lets natural light stream in, and offers a great view over the harbour for those days when you just feel like watching the ships come and go. There are different daily sandwiches, and the Wi-Fi’s free. Everything on the menu is made on site, including freshly squeezed OJ and mouth-watering handmade ice-cream.
Adam Robinson is the man behind the bakery and the hands that literally kneaded the place into being. Restaurateur and chef, Adam has worked in kitchens around the world, and recently returned to Durban to focus on his true passion: bread. Adam has been making bread since the early 90s, and is now a proud advocator of the “bread revolution”, a phenomenon that’s been creeping across the States, Britain and the Western Cape, and which has always existed in Europe: handmade, slow fermented hearth oven-baked breads that actually taste like something.
The Glenwood Bakery, like much in Durban, likes to keep things local and therefore more lekker. The flour used comes from three different sources in South Africa and is all stone ground and unbleached. Each of these are available in the shop, as are jars of sourdough mother culture that is used in nearly all the breads. The salt used is from the Karoo, the coffee is from a roastery three blocks away and the water is from Durban municipality.
In this day and age where bread is either villainized as the carb of death, or brutalised in the form of mass-produced ready-sliced rectangles, The Glenwood Bakery is fighting the good fight to restore bread to its former manna glory.
You can visit The Glenwood Bakery at 398 Esther Roberts Road, Glenwood. Opening hours 6am – 3:30pm, Saturdays 6am – 1pm, and closed on Sundays and Mondays. Visit their website here for specific bread times.
All photos by Luca Barausse.