The Pine Tree Bakery
64 Home Street
Tel: 07875 5482668
Secrets can be secrets for two reasons. Sometimes, things remain secret because their keeper elects to keep the illicit knowledge to themselves. (Step forward Herr Fritzl.) Then there are secrets that are secret purely because the rest of the world has yet to discover their existence. The Pine Tree Bakery falls firmly into the latter category. Currently buried beneath a towering monument of scaffolding, this gaff is as unassuming as they come. Indeed, if The Pine Tree was any more covert, it would be a US military listening post. Thankfully if Google maps can’t help you get here, your nose probably can; when you hit Tollcross, just follow the smell of freshly baked bread. This Polish-run bakery is so authentic they even import their own Polish flour to bake with. Of course, had they elected to cut corners and source their flour from Bathgate, we daresay we would have struggled to notice the difference, but props to our adopted countrymen for making the effort nonetheless.
If heaven caters for the olfactory senses, those pearly gates must surely smell of piping hot poppy-seed loaves, for after coffee and bacon rolls, there can surely be no finer scent imaginable. Indeed, were Chanel to market an eau d’ough fragrance, it would sell like hot cakes. (Bad puns are something we generally try to shun, but that one just refused to leave.) In an era of mass-produced supermarket stodge – ‘defrosted and warmed in our in-store bakery!’ – establishments such as The Pine Tree are to be lauded. If you know which side your bread’s buttered on, you’ll already be familiar with the lovable Poles’ range of squidgily good loaves and if you’re not, well, view this as an opportunity to indulge your middle-class yuppie aspirations by supporting this artisan eatery. With loaves starting at £1.30, there really is no excuse for buying bland supermarket bread again, unless it’s for nourishing the ducks.
Of course, man cannot live on bread alone, and thankfully The Pine Tree also caters for the part of the stomach that eight year-old boys like to call their ‘pudding side’. The bakery’s main lure – stronger even than the orgasmic aromas emanating from its oven – are its cream cakes. Filled with lurid pink piping and topped with sugary icing, these multistory cream pies (don’t laugh) have been known to invoke scorched tarmac from drivers performing U-turns in their haste to get to the sugary goodness. Although visually spectacular, the consumption of these calorific edifices presents a serious mandible challenge, one that can only be resolved by dislocating one’s jaw prior to ingestion.
While all of this sounds scrumdiddlyumptious, there is no danger of this review degenerating into some sort of unctuous hagiography. Like a new boyfriend who appears just too good to be true, there has to be something wrong with The Pine Tree, and we here at EU are very good at spotting such subtle – but potentially fatal – flaws. While the left side of the shop is rustically laid out with exposed brickwork and wooden shelves stacked with fresh loaves, the other half is as slight as a book entitled Famous Poles. It’s almost as if the staff began baking but then got baked halfway through and forgot to stock the remainder of the shop. Or maybe they stopped to taste test their delectable cakes and then felt too stuffed to carry on.
Try: Asking the staff to slice your loaf. It’s probably not a bad idea to ask if they’ll slice your cream cake too, into bite-sized portions.
Avoid: Asking for a lasagne pie with chips and cheese. It ain’t that kinda bakery.
Loaves from £1.30