Co-owned by two former engineers, Nurhasanah Johari and Chalith Kariyawasam, The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough at Serene Centre started as a home bakery with occasional pop-ups. They close at 6pm to prepare, proof, and autolyse the dough to be baked the next day at 7am. Bread are freshly baked daily, using organic stoneground flour, water, sea salt and their own sourdough culture. These ingredients are halal but the bakery is not halal certified.
Besides sourdough bread, they also serve sandwiches, toasts, cakes, cookies, and bialys which are similar to bagels except bialys aren’t boiled before baking and don’t have holes in the centres. On Sundays, they have pizza nights. Their menu is meatless.
The shop space is very small; a narrow strip with enough space to display the breads and a single file of customers. There are 3-4 tables outside the shop, along the corridor, and another 2-3 more in the al-fresco grass patch in front of the shopping centre.
When we first saw the shop, we fell in love with it. It reminded us of Margaret Bakery at Perth, rustic, quaint, and unpretentious; just a focus on good food.
Instead of ordering sandwiches which were packed into brown paper, we were recommended by the helpful and handsome boy to get the caprese tartine ($6): “These are fresh from the oven!” (Side note: why can’t all servers be as cheerful and pleasant as this boy?) The sliced bread is topped with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Simple and clean and light. Excellent.
The nut butter toast ($4) is their most instagrammed item. And it is delicious. The house-made nut butter is thick and creamy, accentuated by the honey. The very wet sourdough comes on strongly, which I love. However, the sea salt was sprinkled unevenly. That can be worked on.
What I like about the toast is you can smell the aroma of the grain. They use a lot of water while making their bread, about 80% or more to the flour weight. They also bake breads at high temperatures. High temperature and high water content mean that the crust is hard and dark while the bread is moist. I love it!
The prune chocolate cake ($5) is an unusual combination, but it works excellently; you can taste individual elements but they don’t clash with each other. The dense dark chocolate is very sexy and bold and moist. What a delight.
The coffee from Cata Coffee (which roasts their beans fresh every week) here is also very good. I wanted an iced long black, my prefered choice of coffee, but the handsome boy recommended, “If you like black coffee, try the drip coffee. We make a good one.” Well, ok, whatever the handsome boy recommends, I would take it. The drip coffee uses Colombian beans and is smooth and not at all bitter. Fantastic.
Including two coffees, we paid $25. I regret that we were cafe-hopping that day and we couldn’t eat much at Woodlands Sourdough. But next time, I definitely want to buy one of every cake, cookie, and bread on display!
The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough
Serene Centre, 10 Jalan Serene #01-05 Singapore 258748
8am-6pm, closed M & T
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.