Good bread has finally arrived in Milan

For a few years now, there have been some excellent new bakeries in Milan. Here’s our top ten (plus two)

15-02-2019 | 12:00
Il pane, by Niko Romito, is the emblem dish of th

Il pane, by Niko Romito, is the emblem dish of the 15th edition of the Identità Golose congress, from the 23rd to the 25th of March in Milan. Now some talented bread makers and high-quality bakeries have also arrived in Milan 

Give us today our Milanese bread. A few years ago we wrote about how the Milanese pizza scene was enjoying a series of excellent restaurants, contradicting the (rooted and motivated) idea that it was very hard to eat the perfect pizza in Milan. 

And how many times have you heard that finding some good bread in Milan was difficult if not impossible? Luckily, we can now claim this is a mystification: there’s an increasing number of noteworthy places, with different features, and therefore able to satisfy different needs and palates. 

This is a topic we hold very dear, and not just because bread, with its ancient and simple goodness, is a food with an extraordinary evocative power, a fundamental element of our gastronomic culture. Indeed this year bread (and in particular Niko Romito’s bread) was chosen as the emblem dish of the 15th edition of the Identità Golose Congress

To help you explore the best bakeries in Milan, we’ve edited a list of ten bakeries (in strict alphabetical order) to which we added a couple of recommendations that are only a few kilometres away from the city. 

100% rye bread from Alain Locatelli

100% rye bread from Alain Locatelli

Alain Locatelli - La Boulangeria Pastisseria | viale dell’innovazione 13, Milan, +39.02.49792531
Born in 1988, Alain Locatelli has Swiss origins, but his family moved to Italy, and to Bonate di Sopra (Bergamo) to be specific, before he was born. Here, with his brother, Alain a few years ago took over the family pastry-shop and bar, and began to experiment bread making, trying to offer a product of increasing quality. Before then, however, he trained, mostly in France, where perhaps one day he’ll open his own boulangerie. Meanwhile, late in 2017 he arrived in Milan with a shop selling both pastries and bread. Among Locatelli’s must-tries, there’s certainly naturally leavened products and those made with stone milled flour. Our favourite is his rye bread, with intense and strong aromas. 

Cannata Sicilian Bakery | corso Indipendenza 5, Milan, +39.02.7380400
After a decade of work and success in Messina, with Cannata La Boutique del PaneTommaso Cannata arrived in Milan in mid-2018, with a format that goes beyond bread making, including a bistro offer, breakfast and apertivos. As for the bread, it’s worth mentioning that Tommaso Cannata was one of the founders, together with Giuseppe Li Rosi, of Simenza - Cumpagnìa Siciliana Sementi Contadine, an association that for a few years now has been researching and valorising Sicilian ancient indigenous varieties of wheat and developing new evolutive mixes. A proof of this experience can be found in the complex and rich flavours of Cannata’s bread. 

Crosta

Crosta

Crosta | via Felice Bellotti 13, Milan, +39.02.38248570
This pizzeria-cum-bakery is one of the most recent news in the Milanese scene. It was opened in the autumn of 2018 by Paduan pizzaiolo Simone Lombardi (the man greatly responsible for the success of Dry) and by Sicilian bread-maker Giovanni Mineo (first pupil of Davide Longoni, later working with Giuseppe Zen at Panificio Italiano). They make excellent pizzas, but the bread is no less so: all naturally leavened, with a great research on indigenous wheat varieties, it is offered both in small rolls and larger loaves, which have a crispy and thin crust. Try Mineo’s baguettes: they’ll last a week without losing their texture.

Davide Longoni

Davide Longoni

Davide Longoni | via Gerolamo Tiraboschi 19, Milan, +39.02.91638069
In this list this is surely the place with the longest history: indeed, Davide Longoni can be considered a pioneer. His research started in 2003. He comes from a family of bread makers from Carate Brianza, and worked with great commitment and precision. That same year he started to look after his mother yeast with fatherly love, and this still represents the soul of the products that are sold in Via Tiraboschi as well as in the smaller branch inside Mercato di S.Maria del Suffragio, also in Milan. One of his must-try products are the larger loaves, which guarantee bread with a stronger aroma and easier to digest: when he opened his bakery in Milan, in 2013, this was an exception. Today this is the rule, almost. He explained his passion for bread making in an interesting and poetic book: "Il senso di Davide per la farina" published in 2014 by Ponte alle Grazie.

Eataly Smeraldo

Eataly Smeraldo

Eataly Smeraldo | piazza Venticinque Aprile 10, Milan, +39.02.49497301
This is perhaps the least celebrated place in this list: even though it is part of a large multifunctional store, the artisanal approach, even with bread, is a constant. The bread making manager is Vincenzo Micunco, while the pillar inspiring the work of this bakery is the use of mother yeast (and in particular a yeast that is over 36 years old) in every dough. The excellent Enkir bread, a selection of the most ancient cereal in the world, “triticum monococcum”, is a particular favourite among the large clientele, 

Égalité par Thierry Loy

Égalité par Thierry Loy

Égalité par Thierry Loy | via Melzo 22, Milan, +39.02.83482318
This establishment is a real French boulangerie in Milan and was born thanks to the idea of Milanese entrepreneur Tiziano Vudafieri (who’s also a founding partner of places like Ristorante BertonPisaccoDry). He was the one to discover Thierry Loy during a trip to the French Alps, and he flattered him until he convinced him to move to Milan. All the bread made by Loy makes use of flour produced in his hometown, in Clelles. The long leavening of the dough, with high hydration relies on fresh brewer’s yeast (in French “levure de boulange”). On top of bread, the shop offers pastries, aperitifs and a few savoury dishes.

Forno Collettivo | via Lecco 15, Milan, +39.02.21067364
Davide Martelli and Alessandro Longhin’s new place opened late in August 2018. It’s their fifth-born, after they have proven they know their business with the two Botanical Clubs, as well as Ideal andChampagne Socialist: from the latter, a few metres away from Forno, come the same bottles of natural wine that can be found in this shop, which also offers cakes and a small savoury menu. Forno Collettivo was born thanks to the crucial support of journalist and researcher Laura Lazzaroni, the author of the thorough manual “Altri grani, altri pani”. She found the right person to whom they handed the dough: Carol Choi, an American of Korean descent with a cv that includes Per Sé in New York, NomaBaestand Mirabelle in Copenhagen and a master from Unisg in Pollenzo. The bread offer is based on mother yeast sourdough, the result of a long research to find the perfect mix of flour, and a second type that changes every week to highlight the features of flour from a single variety.

Le Polveri

Le Polveri

LePolveri | via Ausonio 7, Milan
This is a small bakery in the heart of Milan founded by 30-year-old Aurora Zancanaro, from Treviso, a graduate in chemistry. Her training includes courses at Molino Quaglia, bakery management at the late Mercato Metropolitano and a work experience with Davide Longoni, until she found the determination and opportunity to make her dream come true and open a place of her own, where she works mostly by herself. Her bread only uses mother yeast and a selection of stone-milled flour of different origins. Her seed bread is delicious. But she also makes various cakes as well as pizze alla palawith different toppings. 

Panificio Italiano | piazza XXIV Maggio, Milan, +39.02.35982848
It is certainly no discovery that Giuseppe Zen is a magnificent interpreter of the best popular tradition of Italian gastronomy: after conquering the Milanese people with Mangiari di Strada (now on a break), Zen arrived at Mercato della Darsenawith three stands offering unquestionable delicacies. There’s the best raw milk cheese in town, at Resistenza Casearia, the best grass fed meat in Milan, at Macelleria Popolare, but there’s also the smallest (13 square metres) bread making lab in Italy (Zen says in Europe). The flour is mostly from Sicily, where Zen has some fields where her grows his own wheat. Natural leavening and kneading take place in front of the clients. On top of bread and rolls, you can also buy some excellent focaccia, pizza and scacce.

Pavè

Pavè

Pavè | via Felice Casati 27, Milan, +39.02.94392259
Pavè is another establishment that, despite being still young, has a longer history of high quality bread making in Milan. And while bread is not the product that made Giovanni Giberti’s place famous, it is still one of his fortes. This is thanks to the way he makes his rolls irresistible, thanks to the way in which he enhances it by serving it with bread and butter, thanks the way in which, when you buy it and take it home, it lasts for many days, without losing its characteristics. It is made from organic Italian wheat, mother yeast, salt and water. The dough leavens naturally for eight hours and is then baked on stones. They make a limited amount of bread for the shop, so it’s best to reserve it in advance. 

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Forno del Mastro | via Cavour 3, Monza, +39.039.6774724
Adriano Del Mastro, little over 30, is already a bread maker with a remarkable cv, given he first spent eight years in Castel di Sangro at Reale Casadonna with Niko Romito, where he became the bread and pastry manager, and then in Rome with Gabriele Bonci, and later in Milan with Davide Longoni. He’s had a lot of training and he’s made use of it since June 2017, when he took over the most ancient bakery in Monza and turned it into a safe port for high quality bread lovers. There are different shapes of bread, including the excellent sliced bread from whole wheat Monococco, but you can also have an excellent pizza in teglia, a reminder of Del Mastro’s experience with Bonci.

Nicolò Grazioli

Nicolò Grazioli

Panificio Grazioli | via Rossini 15, Legnano (Milan), +39.0331.544544
Massimo Grazioli has been a real pioneer of high-quality bread and mother yeast in the area surrounding Milan. He passed away prematurely in 2016, after a lifelong dedication to research so as to make excellent bread, collaborating with Slow Food and using only stone-milled organic whole wheat, mother yeast, sea salt from Pirano, malt from barley germination. So he left his son Nicolò the task to take over the workshop in Legnano, which serves various shops in Milan (from a chic store like Peck, to Slow Food’s Mercati della Terra, to Radio Popolare’s Popogusto). Here’s a list of the places where you can find Grazioli’s bread: in the shops and at the market

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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Reviews, recommendations and trends from Italy, signed by all the authors of Identità Golose