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northern rye cake

Northern Rye: The Bakery That Has Us Begging For More

 

Yes, that’s right. It’s about time we talked about Northern Rye. Seeing as though this week marks one year since their Ouseburn bakery opened, it feels pretty fitting.

Northern Rye is quite simply the place to get bread, pastries and coffee in Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Owner Robbie first began baking from his kitchen back in 2017, and after working up the courage to quit his day job and take his baking full time, he acquired a spot in Byker in the summer of 2018. From here Northern Rye gathered momentum and found its footing as a small batch, artisanal bakery. Finally, with a strong customer base already in tow, Northern Rye came to Ouseburn in June of 2020, opening their doors to the public at a perfect little spot just by the canal.

At this time, finding solace in the simple act of sharing good pastries and good coffee with beloved friends became an absolutely essential part of my own – and seemingly many others – attempts to stay sane and grounded.

With the help of word of mouth, Northern Rye quickly skyrocketed and became the word on everyones lips. For a short while, it really seemed as though simply everyone – from your best mate to your elderly nana – was talking about this incredible new spot. Instagram was full of people eagerly posting stories of their sweet, flaky plunder and urging others to make a visit. A bit late to the table myself, I finally made a visit during the winter lockdown, enjoying an incredibly delicious pistachio croissant and a steaming hot americano (equally as delicious) huddled by the canal, stealing much needed outdoor time with friends as we set aside our covid related anxieties and focused in on the beautiful pastries we held in our hands. My visits to Northern Rye quickly became an essential part of my self care routine (so to speak…) during what was, for all of us, an incredibly bleak and testing winter. During this time, finding solace in the simple act of sharing good pastries and good coffee with beloved friends became an absolutely essential part of my own – and seemingly many others – attempts to stay sane and grounded.

 
An essential aspect of their pastry game, Northern Rye offer something a little different in the guise of their cruffins. Cruffins are an incredibly indulgent and somewhat mind-blowing croissant/muffin hybrid, and at Northern Rye they are unapologetically stuffed to the brim with, well, anything and everything. The bakery runs a different cruffin every weekend, with flavours ranging from the likes of tiramisu to salted caramel.
 

If cruffins aren’t quite your thing, however, you’re certainly not short of other choices. Northern Rye have a handful of staple bakes, such as flaky pain au chocolates, sugary cinnamon buns and sweet, jammy almond croissants. As well as their fundamentals, they also cycle through a variety of special offerings that change on a day to day basis. Some of my favourites that have cropped up have included their strawberry and pistachio danish, peach melba croissant cups, balsamic onion quiche and even – wait for it – a rhubarb and custard danish, to name just a few (seriously, the list in actuality is pretty exhaustive).

 
There’s something sensational about the pastries on offer at Northern Rye, and I know for certain that I’m not the only one who thinks so. From the texture of the pastry itself, to the flavour and quality of the ingredients that compliment each creation, you can really taste the conscientious care that goes into each bake. Holding a pastry from Northern Rye in your hands is akin to holding a physical testament to someones passion and commitment to their craft. In this case, the craft of producing exceptional pastries.
 

Of course, it’s not just about the pastries. Northern Rye also specialise in baking phenomenal breads. As with their pastries, the bakery offers a selection of staples in the form of their delicious and hearty poppy and flax sourdoughs, country sourdoughs, decadent focaccia and impeccable baguettes. As well as their fundamentals, you can expect to find the odd special cropping up week by week. Recent favourites have included the polenta sourdough and the potato sourdough, among many others.

 

Northern Rye achieve an exquisite texture and earthiness to their breads which is unlike anything I’ve tasted anywhere else in the local area, and even beyond. According to Robbie, all of the breads and pastries he makes are produced using slow fermentation techniques and only the finest organic – and stoneground where possible – flours from British millers. Presumably, it’s this care in process and quality that is what makes their produce so very special.

 

On top of their considered and conscientious methods of baking, Northern Rye also pried themselves on the delicious coffee that they have on offer. The bakery are supplied by Notes Coffee, a roasters based in East London whose beans are always sourced directly from the farmers themselves, with a focus on high grade, single origin production. It’s pretty difficult to pass up on the temptation of a coffee whenever I find myself in Northern Rye. Their baristas are ace at pulling a great americano or flat white out of the bag, and the flavours of the coffee are complex and delicate.

 

Oh, and last but not least, let’s not forget the sandwiches. There really is no better lunchtime combination than a heavenly sarnie and a sublime coffee from Northern Rye when you find yourself passing by on an empty stomach. All of their sandwiches are built using the finest ingredients crammed between their gorgeous signature breads. I like to opt for their veggie focaccias, which are stuffed full of hearty goodness, or one of their extremely indulgent grilled cheeses if I’m feeling decadent.

 

So, all in all, it goes without saying at this point that I reckon Northern Rye deserves your attention. If you’re looking for delicious coffee and baked goods brought into being with the utmost care and attention to detail, then it’s the place for you. Whilst you’re there, you can also browse some of the delicious produce they have on offer in their shop, plenty of which feature as staple ingredients in their own freshly prepared offerings.

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