Cover Photo: Nadya Spetnitskaya / Unsplash

It's time to break bread with your loved ones — literally!

We'll take any excuse to break some bread. Today, our reason is, well, just because we want to. In honour of this, we've compiled a list of some local home bakers and online bakeries who have gotten really good at making, baking, and breaking some of our favourites with us.

See also: Basque Burnt Cheesecakes: Find Out Where To Buy Them In Metro Manila

Babka: The Awkward Baker and Naked Bakery

Fans of Seinfeld will remember that scene from "The Dinner Party" where Jerry and Elaine fought acquaintances over the last loaf of chocolate babka. If you're just as much of a fan of this delicious loaf — or simply looking for something to bring to dinner  — then look no further than at The Awkward Baker. Their classic chocolate babka features impeccable swirls that cross brioche bread and dark chocolate. Fruitier flavours are also available with an intriguing combination of apple and cinnamon — perfect for a sweet treat after a long day. 

Not big on sweets, but still curious about the braided brioche bread? In addition to their dark chocolate and candied orange Rapunzel babka, Naked Bakery also makes two savoury babka flavours: the Shi Lin with caramelised shallots and cheese, and the Demi with black truffle sauce and slivered garlic.

Bagel: Next Door Neighbor Bakery and Mad Bagels

It's hard to find really good bagels; fortunately, the Next Door Neighbor Bakery knows their stuff. Their menu consists of interesting flavours that are sure to delight every kind of palate (not to mention complement a variety of breakfast ideas)! Try their plain bagel or kick it up a notch with their cheese or rosemary variant. The intriguing "everything" bagel is one that must not be missed, and sweet tooths can look forward to breakfast with the cinnamon raisin. 

Looking for even more exciting bagel flavours? Check out Mad Bagels' selection of classic and unique bagel variants, from classic New York style to jalapeno and cheese. Add on some of their cream cheese dips for good measure, and order a side of their filled bagel bites for a handy afternoon snack.

See also: 5 Ideas To Avoid Throwing Away Leftover Bread

Bao: Bake Fresh Philippines

Heavily influenced by Oriental cuisine, Filipino foodies have developed a loving relationship with delicious baos. These ones from Bake Fresh are inspired by those from Hong Kong, and baked fresh by the loving matriarch of a local family. Their po lo baos — which feature distinctly crinkly tops reminiscent of pineapples — come in four interesting flavours: original, cream cheese, salted egg, and char siu. If you're missing the delicious street food from the vibrant city of Hong Kong, look no further than at Bake Fresh for something that will have your taste buds travelling (even while you can't yet!). 

See also: Where To Buy Mooncakes For Mid-Autumn Festival 2021: Red Bean, Matcha, Ube, And More

Bombolini: Hello Stranger

Hello Stranger serves a wide array of delicious baked goodies, all brought to us from the kitchen — or, er, bedroom — of Chef Ellie Estrada. This internationally trained foodie now bakes, creates, and remakes the traditional in her makeshift kitchen-slash-bedroom. We're particularly love her Bombolini, an Italian-style filled doughnut that's as indulgent as it sounds. She has fantastic brioche, sour dough and makes stunning pasta too. 

Hello Stranger is currently on a break and will return soon.

See also: Bedroom Bakeshop: Find Out How Chef Ellie Estrada Of Hello Stranger Adapted

Pull-Apart Bread: The Daily Knead

The Daily Knead has attracted much-deserved attention for their deliciously creative bakes, from matcha and black sesame cookies to jamón and manchego ensaymadas. For a truly mouthwatering experience, try out their pull-apart bread, generously stuffed with creamy gruyere. Available as a full loaf or a set of six miniature dumplings, these cheesy delights are even great on their own as a mid-day snack.

See also: Where To Get Home-Cooked Fresh Bread: The Daily Knead

Ciabatta: Bianca's Breads

The versatility of ciabatta is what puts it at a top spot for deliciousness. Bianca's Breads, which has been specialising in a wide range of delicious loaves, knows this. Their fluffy ciabatta offers diners a "slightly sweet and nutty flavour" that's great to pair with balsamic vinegar and cheese — perfect for a light snack or appetiser. And if you're carbo-loading (or simply celebrating Homemade Bread Day), then feel free to try their other variants as well such as focaccia, potato loaf, and their baguette. 

See also: Where To Order Empanadas And Meat Pies In Metro Manila

Cheese Rolls: Cheese Rolls By Miss J

As a nation, we've become obsessed with cheese. It's in most of our desserts and is also a staple ingredient in some of our meals. If you're looking for a new way to incorporate cheese on bread (there are so many after all!), try Miss J's delicious cheese rolls. They come in a gamut of intriguing flavours such as Belgian chocolate, cookie butter, and tropical guava. Yum!

See also: Ensaymadas: Where To Get Them In And Around The Metro

Cinnamon Rolls: M&Co Sweets/Marikina Vegan

Made with all the heartiness of homemade goods, M&Co's delicious cinnamon rolls are a must on our radar. It comes in the traditional style (with the brand's signature cream cheese frosting) and in other fun varieties too. These include Oreo crumble and pecan caramel, both of which have become instant bestsellers among their loyal fanbase. Try their ingenious takes on the classic sweet today!

See also: Where To Order The Best Cakes In Metro Manila

Focaccia: Didi Bakes Focaccia and Focaccia Manila

Focaccia has really taken off in recent years, and for good reason. Adorning the dough with an array of fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs, talented bakers have transformed the classic bread into beautiful works of art that are as enticing to the eyes as they are to the stomach. Piqued your interest? Check out the Didi Bakes Focaccia for a selection of delectable focaccia flavours like caramelised onion and cacio e pepe, or order personalised garden-inspired focaccia from Focaccia Manila for a stunning, show-stopping loaf.

See also: Quarantine Tips: Five Things To Remember When Baking Bread At Home

Korean Cheese Buns: Don Bakes Manila

The Korean craze is far from over! Don Bakes Manila, which takes inspiration from trips taken around the world, is among the many purveyors of this delicious Korean cheese treat. Garlicky, cheesy, and just oh-so hearty, these buns are sure to delight on Homemade Bread Day, and every day!

See also: 10 Snacks and Drinks You Often See In Korean Dramas: Banana Milk, Tteokbokki, Iced Americano And More

Melonpan: Mantikilya

The distinctive flavours of melonpan have crossed our seas and landed in Manila. Mantikilya Boulangerie, a Filipino inspired home bakery, is here to offer us the distinct textures and tastes of Japanese sweet treats — but with a proudly local twist. These ube cheese melonpans are just the tip of the iceberg too as they also offer other types of bread such as brioche loaf and sourdough doughnuts. 

See also: A Fan Of Ube? Then, You'll Absolutely Love Destilleria Barako's Ube Cream Liqueur

Pandesal: All You Knead By Kathy and Masa Bakery

We know you've been seeing ube cheese pandesal everywhere, but hear us out: All You Knead By Kathy's version is easily among the best out there. Their chewy dough and generous fillings give their goods exceptional flavour, not to mention great texture. Everything is homemade from scratch so you're sure to get all the lovely taste sensations that you deserve. 

Ube not your cup of tea? Order some of Masa Bakery's classic pandesal variants, like the cheese-filled or corned beef-stuffed buns. Otherwise, pick up their plain pandesals - an infallible choice that allows you to get creative with your own favourite spreads and fillings.

See also: Where To Buy Egg Tarts: 7 Bakeries That Have Perfected This Pastry

Sourdough: Bernadette Olivares And The Hillsborough Baker

I don't know about you, but a cursory glance at Bernadette Olivares' sourdough creations have already made my mouth water. For sourdough loaves that are as tempting as it is delicious, look no further than at this lady's kitchen. There are delicious variations, such as one with walnut cranberry, one with raisins, and one that's a timeless take on the original sourdough. Soft and fluffy on the inside, but satisfyingly crunchy on the out! Who would want anything else?

Of course, as an essential and timeless bread, there are endless options to try from a wealth of home bakers. The Hillsborough Baker is among the metro's best-kept secrets when it comes to the classic sourdough - the baker produces highly limited quantities of their artisanal loaves, each boasting beautiful decor that make the loaves centrepiece-worthy.

See also: Where To Order Bread: Sourdough Bread’s Best Kept Secret, Bernadette Olivares

Croissants: Butterboy Bakehouse

This architect-and-doctor duo has set its sights on perfecting the croissant, and their efforts have certainly paid off. Between its classic butter croissant, the decadent kouign amann, and many other delicious creations, Butterboy Bakehouse is definitely one for the bucket list. Keep an eye on their Instagram page to stay updated on their latest creations - in the past, they've even rolled out a caldereta croissant and chilli scallion croissant, don't miss out!

See also: Where To Buy Chocolate Croissants: 12 Must Know Bakeries

  • WordsAdditional Reporting by Lauren Golangco
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