Brown Bread Bakery | Pahar Ganj’s Organic Retreat

Penne Al Funghi Pasta - Brown Bread Bakery
Interiors - Brown Bread Bakery
Interiors – Brown Bread Bakery

Organic German Bakeshop in New Delhi, a paradise for backpackers.

Stumbling around in Paharganj, one day Gurjas and I found this amazing place, tucked in a narrow lane, of this ever-bustling market of Delhi. We would have missed it completely, had we not taken a short cut to save ourselves from the torrent of pedal rickshaws and autos.

As I entered the Brown Bread Bakery, located at the ground floor of Ajay Guest house, I was bedazzled by what I saw. Probably, I wasn’t expecting the café to be so big! And of course, shelves full of organic cheese, breads, jams, cookies, cakes and many such exotic goodies, that I never imagined to discover in Paharganj.

It was started by a German traveller/chef, Michael Schmid, who worked with the locals in Varanasi, to raise funds for underprivileged children and generate employment for local farmers. A supporter of organic farming, Michael opened Brown Bread Bakery in Varanasi and then, in Delhi.

The emphasis on using organic products is quite visible in the menu as well. Though the options were aplenty, I didn’t take too long to decide what I wanted and the staff was equally enthusiastic while recommending dishes to me.

So, I went for Penne Al Funghi, Custard Roll, Apple Strudel and Carrot-Apple-Orange Juice.

The aroma of mushrooms, garlic and cheese in Penne Al Funghi was too enticing and I dug in as soon as it was served. Mushroom sauce, grated cheese sprinkled on top and optimum amount of oregano, made this simple preparation quite delectable! Big pieces of mushrooms, which had been slightly caramalised in butter, rendered a delightful flavour to the pasta. Thankfully, the pasta wasn’t over cooked or smothered with too much of cheesy-greasy sauce. Despite having one entire plate of it, I didn’t feel over stuffed.

Craving to try their bakery, I had ordered for Custard Roll. The soft pastry won my heart. The custard had the right amount of sugar, perfectly balanced with a slight hint of salt added to the dough. The pastry was similar to that of a cinnamon roll or a cinnabon. Garnished with coconut flakes, it also had just the right amount of crunch. Devoid of any nuts or spices, this was a perfect summer dessert.

The Apple Strudel, however, was a bit disappointing. Although it comprised of their own produce of apples, the seasoning (of spices and sugar) was unimpressive. The pastry was dry and unevenly baked. Perhaps the only positive here was the portion, which was good enough for 3 people.

Luckily, the Apple-Carrot-Orange Juice came and washed off all the disappointment. The juice had no added sugar-water or salt. I am glad that I found this place just before hitting summers. I may skip all my meals and survive on this.

Once, I finished my meal, I was too eager to check out their bread counter, which had Baguette, Ciabatta, Focaccia, Sourdough and Muesli Breads. Besides, there were German specialties like Savoury Pretzel, Laugen bun and Vollkorn bread. They also had organic cereals, chutneys and pickles sourced from local artisans.

Sighting my excitement, one of the staff members informed me that their products are also available at The Altitude Store in Meharchand Market.

Now, next on my list is to check out their Breakfast/Dinner Buffet, which by the time I was leaving the place, they had begun to set up. I saw travellers, especially backpackers from all across the globe, walking in to enjoy their dinner.

Ironically, discoveries like these in my backyard, make me feel like an explorer in my own city.

Address: Ajay Guest House – 508- A, main Bazaar, Pahar Ganj, New Delhi 110055.

Contact: 9999673518

In a nutshell:

Location: Walk straight on the road as Sam’s café, a little further ahead, you’ll find Ajay Guest house on your left. Walk inside the guesthouse, the bakery is located on the ground floor.

Atmosphere: A café with a big, clean and oragnised seating space. You can shop for leather goods and some clothes also from the shops located inside the café. They have WiFi also.

Service: The staff is swift and friendly, well-informed to recommend dishes to you.

Food: Have Organic Cheeses, Pastries and Breads or indulge in World Cuisine, they have a huge variety on offer.

Must Haves: Pastas, Brown Bread, Custard Roll, fresh fruit Juice and Chocolate Cheese cake. Also check out their Breakfast & Dinner Buffet.

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