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Three for the dough

In the mood for bagels? What about foccacia? From New York to eastern Europe to Italy, sink your teeth into fresh-baked bready treats at these three shops.

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Photo by Rosalind O’Connor
Wheat is back! These new bagel and foccacia shops are packed with enough fresh-baked goodness to tempt even the most staunchly glutenfrei among us. The New Yorker Two Planets reads like your typical yuki success story: NYC expat Kyra LaMariana nabs a café-sized space in Neukölln before figuring out what to do with it, thinks long and hard, and finally decides to bring yet another American delicacy to Berlin… in this case, the bagel. But homegirl has done her homework. Her delicious if diminutive discs (€1.30) use traditional malt rather than sugar and take 12 hours to make, including an overnight ferment and a final boil. The “everything” version is as good as it gets in Berlin – dense and bready, with a proper outer skin and liberal sprinklings of sesame seeds, poppy seeds and dried onion. Have it toasted with their simple yet addictive jalapeño cream cheese, the best of five options (€2.50) or the obligatory smoked salmon, elevated up a notch with hand-cured Lachs from Markthalle IX fishmasters Glut & Späne (€5). JS Hermannstr. 230, Neukölln, U-Bhf Boddinstr., Wed-Fri 8:30-18:30, Sat-Sun 10:30-18:30 Hole-y books Born in Boston and fed up with Berliners “misrepresenting” her dear childhood food, Shakespeare & Sons’ co-owner Laurel Kratochvila (whose mother’s maiden name is Fine) started in-house bagel bakery Fine Bagels two years ago for their original bookstore in Prenzlauer Berg, waterboiling chewy, lightly sweet rings using an old family recipe. Their new flagship on Warschauer Straße opened at the beginning of May, brighter, more spacious and minimalistic than the nostalgically furnished original location. Here, no less than 16 varieties – including standbys like plain and ‘everything’ alongside za’atar and a particularly piquant rye – await gourmands. Try one with lox, avocado, cream cheese and capers (€5) or, for an Eastern European touch, chernushka seed with horseradish-beet cream cheese (€2.70). ”Jewscottis” or vegan cheesecake will feed any sweet tooth afterwards. A bagel to go is €1.20. The assortment varies, depending on the day, but they promise to never make a “tropische Müsli-Bagel”. HW  Warschauer Str 74, Friedrichshain, U-Bhf Frankfurter Tor, Mon-Sat 9-20, Sun 10-20   Oven-fresh Italy Musician Flavio Fanelli, the 36-year-old owner of La Focaccia, doesn’t need an old family recipe to make his food: “All Italians know how to cook!” Deciding to swap odd jobs for a chance at being his own boss, Flavio opened his café on the leafy, quiet Colbestraße in Friedrichshain in March. His focaccia, made with potato dough, is thick yet fluffy and soft, with irresistibly crispy edges – in the style of his home town Manduria, in the Apulia region. It comes in 12 different varieties – we recommend the Cime de Rapa (broccoli rabe) with Auricchio cheese (€1.90) – alongside square al taglio pizza (€1.90/slice), baked mini-calzones (€2), similar to deep-fried panzerotti pizza pockets, and excellent coffee (the relatively unknown Italian brand Saicaf – “I almost cried when I found I could buy it here,” Flavio laughs). Omnivores can try a focaccia ‘stuffed’ with mortadella (€3.50), and vegheads will leave satisfied as well: the dough is naturally vegan, as are toppings like the classic tomato-olive and a few calzone options. EL Colbestr. 3, Friedrichshain. U-Bhf Samariterstr., Mon- Fri 9-18, Sat 10-17 Originally Published in issue #129 July/August 2014