The words sourdough bread immediately conjure up a comforting image of warm, crusty loaves with a tangy aroma. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup or as an open face sandwich heaped with treats like smoked salmon and avocado. But besides being delicious, sourdough bread has plenty of health benefits. Research has shown it is more digestible than the average commercial loaf of bread. It also has lower levels of gluten than other forms of bread and is an excellent source of antioxidants, on top of being packed with nutrients.
There is an arduous amount of dedication, discipline, and time needed when it comes to creating the perfect sourdough loaf. While there are plenty of artisanal bakeries in Singapore to get your hands on these lovely bakes, consider the humble home bakery, usually comprising a solo baker elbow deep in flour and dough, kneading these bakes while armed with sincerity and love. Each loaf is done with hard work and commitment, each baked fresh daily. In these challenging times, it is even more necessary to support the underrated bakers who have scores of enthusiasm and passion but little resources to promote their wares.
Here, we have found different home-based online bakeries that sell the best artisanal sourdough in Singapore. Give them a try and you might be pleasantly surprised.
1. Heartland Sourdough
Heartland Sourdough is started by Greg Yap and Tjie Siew Lim, a pair of university friends who share a common passion for baking and experimenting in the kitchen. The duo started out gifting their bread to friends and family, but were encouraged to start their own business after receiving positive feedback. Inspired by their love for Singaporean neighbourhoods, their loaves – made with organic flour and naturally leavened – are all named after a particular area and inspired by Asian foods. The Sembawang Sesame Bread, for example, is mixed with slow-roasted black and white sesame and tastes like sesame tang yuan (glutinous rice balls), while the A.M.K., or Ang Mo Kio, is stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes. Each bake is wrapped in a nostalgic ‘Good Morning’ cloth and placed in a woven basket before it is secured with a handwritten card – a nice gesture guaranteed to bring warmth to your hearts and tummies.
2. Sour My Dough
A home bakery located in the northeastern part of Singapore, it’s helmed by a husband-and-wife pair who hold full-time jobs but are doing this out of their passion for fermented food. The bakes here are done in small batches and are freshly made with premium Nippon Murasaki Botan wheat flour with natural levain. Standouts include the crowd favourite rosemary cheddar that’s salty, airy and fluffy with a herbaceous note; an eye-catching sweet potato loaf that sports purple swirls; and a new sourdough banana bread that’s moist and fragrant. Sour My Dough offers a monthly menu with classics and rotating seasonal specials, with limited collection dates per month. Currently up for grabs is the unique chocolate orange loaf made with dark chocolate callets and laminated with a special homemade orange jam.
3. Harina Bakery
Harina Bakery is the newest entrant to the scene, but photos of its drool-worthy bakes should prove it is no less formidable than the others on this list. Launched by husband-and-wife duo Aaron and Jess who recently lost their jobs, the business is their attempt to make something out of their situation and to move forward. Although the pair are a photo editor and an art director by training, they have been baking and experimenting with various creations for more than a year. The sourdough offerings on their menu come in four flavours that offer a delightful mix of sweet and savoury: plain; sunflower and sesame seed; sundried tomato and mixed herbs; and cranberry and walnut. For something a little unconventional, try the adorable pandesal – a slightly-sweet pillowy yeast roll coated in breadcrumbs that’s best had with butter. Widely considered the unofficial national bread of the Philippines, it is a way for Jess to honour her Filipina roots.
4. Time2Rise Bakery
Time2Rise specialises in naturally leavened bread that are handmade in small batches. On top of the usual sourdough, its bakes come in unique flavours such as a tangy orange zest cranberry, aromatic black garlic and smoky black sesame. You can’t go wrong with the micro bakery’s crowd favourites – the walnut cranberry and the herb garlic sourdough. Whichever flavour you choose, reviews have shown that the loaves are crispy on the outside, and chewy and airy on the inside. If you want to try your hand at baking, the bakery also sells artisan bread flour and homemade almond and cashew butter spreads made with slow roasted nuts.
This Muslim-owned home-based micro bakery has been around since 2020 and sells mainly sourdough bread. Fascinating flavours include black garlic sesame with cheese, kimchi, pumpkin, honey butter oats and peanut butter chocolate. Doughands bakes are loved for their intricate bread scores, with designs ranging from delicate ferns and leaves to stars and wheat stalks. If you want a quick snapshot on what sourdough is about, check out “SD 101” in her Instagram highlights – she shares the fundamentals behind making sourdough bread, as well as techniques on how to store and reheat your loaves.
6. Juls Bakes
After falling in love with the melt-in-your-mouth hot cross buns she tried while living in the United Kingdom, baker Juls is determined to make the same comforting taste available in Singapore, and not just during Easter. Her Sourdough Hot Cross Buns are naturally leavened and filled with spices and dried currants, accompanied by a touch of orange zest, best had with salted butter. Besides buns, she also makes crusty sourdough loaves in unique flavours (think butterfly pea swirl, chocolate swirl and walnuts sourdough, and matcha swirl), sourdough soft bread, as well as cream sponge cakes and chiffon cakes.
7. 12 Bakes
12 Bakes is a small project started by a self-professed self-taught home baker. The menu here is fuss-free – simply choose from a plain small (250g) or plain large (550g) loaf that is baked with a mixture of rye, spelt, wheat and bread flour, and opt for either delivery or self collection. The bakery also offers seasonal specials such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic fruit cakes during Chinese New Year and banana bread during Mother’s Day. P.S: You might want to grab a bag or two of their bestselling freshly baked chocolate chip cookies if you’re getting a loaf.
8. Doughing Ok
Doughing Ok, whose name is a clever play on the phrase “doing okay”, gives its sourdough bakes adorable titles that are inspired by the loaf’s texture or ingredients. Examples include the Dark Chocolate Swirly Boy with orange zest (a monthly special), the Regular Smol Yeasty Boy, the Round Boys (sourdough doughnuts) and the now-defunct Savoury Onion & Scallion Flaky Boy. We especially love the Round Boys dusted with cinnamon sugar, and the Salty Boys which are in fact buttery, fluffy shio buns with a crispy exterior.
This story was originally published on 28 May 2021 and updated on 8 June 2021.