The group got to see and taste the treats as we learned about them. They found Khleb’s saika lived up to the hype. A soft bun with a crunchy nut topping, the reinterpretation is an improvement on a childhood favorite (and also likely an improvement on the original).
Other favorites include Borodinsky, made in the traditional way with honey (which modern recipes tend to forget); nalivashki, similar to pie-like pirozhki in appearance, but with warm fillings of egg, cheese and green onion; and gubniki, lip-shaped and mushroom-stuffed.
Kalatch is probably more interesting to view than to eat, asit is practically indistinguishable from basic white bread — although it is elevated by the cafe’s homemade jams. Everything was washed down with ginger tea and Ivan Chai (willow herb tea), both of which are also homemade.
I’ve long appreciated Le Pain Quotidien and Khleb Nasushny for consistently bringing an inviting atmosphere, tasteful music and international menu to cities all around the world. Philippov Bakery retains all of that, contributing to it the story of a Russian artisan — a former serf, earning his place in what was then a German-dominated craft. Russian bread hasn’t been the same since.