Visiting Woodstock Bakery

Words: Crush

What is artisanal bread?

The term ‘artisanal bread’ can be a little intimidating, conjuring up images of trained professionals expertly baking complicated loaves of sourdough, or traditional French baguettes. In reality, artisanal breadmaking refers not to the type of bread being baked, but to the process by which it is made.

Most of the bread we buy from supermarkets today contains a variety of added preservatives, sugars and dough conditioners. For supply to meet demand, bread must be made fast, cutting down on the time required for the wheat flour to properly ferment. Commercial loaves are often incompatible with our digestive systems, and their inevitable tastelessness is substituted with flavour enhancers and other chemicals.

At the foundation of artisanal baking is the process of natural leavening and slow fermentation, abiding by the traditional manner in which bread was originally made. During the slow fermentation process, important enzymes break down the gluten in the flour, which makes the bread far easier for our bodies to digest. It is also during this period that the subtle flavours of the bread are developed.

A simple white loaf made with the correct fermentation process is considered artisanal bread, and is not only far superior in flavour and texture to standard supermarket loaves, it is considerably healthier, too.


Paul Cremer – Expert Artisanal Breadmaker

Paul Cremer is one of South Africa’s most significant artisanal breadmakers. Originally trained as a chef, Paul went on to specialise in baking at the prestigious Il de Pain in Knysna.  He then moved from his position there as head baker to start The Woodstock Bakery in Cape Town.

Paul’s unwavering commitment to quality and process has quickly earned him the reputation of one of Cape Town’s top bakers, providing breads for some of the city’s most popular restaurants such as Naturalis, The Culture Club, Clarkes, Chef’s Warehouse and more. He uses only the best ingredients, including non-GMO, preservative-free, stoneground flour, and works through the night and beyond sunrise, to personally oversee the mixing, fermenting and baking of all the loaves that leave his oven.

The Woodstock Bakery produces a variety of artisanal loaves, including ciabatta, sourdough, 70% and 100% rye, roasted potato bread, 5-grain bread and a traditional Austrian dessert bread. His bread is served at establishments around Cape Town and can be bought at the Oranjezicht City Market and the Biscuit Mill Market.

View the bread recipe HERE

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  1. Hi there, do you give any sourdough breadmaking classes at all? Alternatively, can you recommend anyone in Cape Town that does. I will be visiting my daughter late August/September and we would love to take a class together.

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