Ask any Dubliner to name a bakery and most will find with 'The Bretzel' rolling off their tongue. Synonymous with Dublin's old Jewish quarter, The Bretzel, first established in 1870, is as much a part of Dublin culinary history as a bowl of coddle. It has changed hands a few times since then, now in the hands of William Despard and Cormac Keenan. This bakery has full Kosher status, restablished by the boys when they took over in 2000. In fact, The Bretzel still makes 'Challah' (Jewish festive sesame bread) to the same recipe as back in the old days. when it opened.
William and Cormac are acutely aware of the importance of the task they have taken on and are keen to safeguard its traditions and reputation, while gently pulling the business into the twenty first century. Take the fantastic original oven, which has been baking breads for Dubliners for over one hundred years. Instead of changing the time honoured practises, they decided to just slightly modernise the existing oven and use its variant temperatures to bake breads and pastries of differing temperature requirements at different times of the day. William and Cormac work closely with their customers perfecting the various styles of breads required, from dense sour dough to fluffy white rolls. Here is a business carefully balancing the commercial demands of the customer with the dedication to time honoured artisan methods. Bakers prepare up to seventeen distinct dough mixes each evening.
Breads include fabulous wholegrain (crunchy and wholesome), tomato and fennel baps (sweet and liquorice) olive and walnut loaves (nutty and dense), rye and caraway(crunchy and treacly) and Irish brown soda (buttermilky and comforting). Continental baguettes and foccacias, bagels, dinner buns are also part of the choice. Sweet baking features buns, sponges, tarts and cakes.
The Bretzel Bakery sells breads and deli items from the original shop and cafe in Lennox Street, Portobello, Dublin and a second premises at Upper Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin.