Despite being open only since January, Antonínovo Pekařství already has a loyal following. Located just off Jiřího z Poděbrad on Laubova street, this enticing addition to the city is named after its owner, Antonín Kokeš. Inspired by the local bakeries and cafes in Germany while traveling through the country a couple of years back, Kokeš says the secret behind their goods is fourfold.
“[Along with] the use of ingredients that we’ve tested and are of the best quality, and strictly following traditional and simple recipes and procedures including no shortening and no artificial ingredients, all our products are baked daily on the spot. There are no frozen ‘pre-baked products’, and we love our work and respect the handicraft of baking.”
There are two things you immediately notice when you step inside the shop: the fresh, inviting interior and the smell. Of the former, it’s light and bright with a mainly white color scheme warmed by the bakery’s signature sky blue (included in a colorful tiled floor) and wood (included a big wooden, farmer’s table).
Of the latter, it’s warm, sweet and slightly yeasty – like a bakery should smell.
Then there’s the open kitchen. To the right, you can watch the bakers in action. There’s only a short, glass partition separating you from them. I watched one baker as he pulled dough through a hand machine shaping it and transforming it into rohlíky. Behind the wood counter where he worked, there’s a wall of big ovens and a few racks full of freshly shaped dough waiting their turn to go inside.
But what of the taste of this bakery that boasts honest ingredients and says on their bags that they do bread (and coffee, will get to that) with love? Well, I can give it perhaps the highest praise possible: I’ve become a regular.
On the day that I stopped by with my friend, I actually didn’t purchase anything, but rather took in the smells and the scene overall. It was a week later that I suggested to my husband that we stop by. In addition to their breads and baked goods, Antonín offers a daily soup (49 CZK) – along with other lunch items including a changing selection of sandwiches (29 CZK) and homemade nádivka (a stuffing or dense casserole, 33 CZK) – so I suggested we try that along with some bread.
Both of us aren’t big meat eaters, so we were a little disappointed when the cream of mushroom soup with minced meat was quite heavy on the meat. But otherwise the soup was decent. And it didn’t really matter after I took a bite of my rohlík. It was seriously the kind of food experience that stops you in your tracks. I paused to look at the Josefův rohlík (3 CZK) in my hand. It was dense on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside and with a light dusting of flour. It was really delicious. My husband had the Antonínův rohlík (3 CZK), which he praised highly and has since become my favorite. It’s topped with just the right amount of sea salt and caraway seeds and has a slightly buttery taste with the same, pleasing interior density and exterior crispiness as the Josefův.
On my next visit, I picked up several of the Antonínův and Josefův rohlik and also a couple of Houska (3 CZK). These are the three items on offer that both my husband and I favor the most. For the price and superior quality, you’ll never go back to the supermarket variety. The houska tends to vary in terms of toppings including poppy seeds, caraway seeds and even the caraway and sea salt mix used for the Antonínův rohlík. One day while I was waiting in line, I watched a baker lightly brush the tops of soon-to-go-in-the-oven houska with butter.
On another visit, when they were out of houska, which has happened to me a couple of times, I tried Dalamánek (8 CZK), a slightly denser rounded roll, which is made in part from rye flour and topped with caraway and sea salt (on the blue tags stating each items name, price and the size in grams, they also list the type of flour or in some cases, the ingredients). It was done equally well to all the other breads I’ve tried including the signature rounded Antonínův chleb (39 CZK) and the Žitný (or rye flour) chleb (39 CZK).
As for their dobroty or goodies, which include Závin (27 CZK) or strudel, Bábovičky (29 CZK), a tiny take on the rounded bunt style cake, Čokoladovnik (35 CZK) and various Koláč (25 – 28 CZK) and Koláček (19 CZK), I tried the Maminčin koláč borůvky or mom’s blueberry koláč (25 CZK) and the Cokoládovník. I was more impressed with the latter. It was moist, with the perfect level of sweetness and a satisfying deep, dark chocolate taste. The koláč was good, but a bit gluey in both texture and taste.
It’s the bread that keeps bringing me back. And they also serve coffee from local roaster, Doubleshot, which is just another reason to stop by. Right now, during summer, they have a number of tables set outside and there has so far never been a time when a few, if not all of them, are filled with folks enjoying a cappuccino and cake. Inside, the line is usually long, but no worries, they’ve got their system down, so it goes quick. Even so, it’s definitely worth the wait.
Josefův rohlík (3 CZK)
Antonínův rohlík (3 CZK)
Houska (3 CZK)
Dalamánek (8 CZK)
Antonínův chleb (39 CZK)
Žitný chleb (39 CZK)
Čokoladovnik (35 CZK)
Maminčin koláč borůvky (25 CZK)
Are you a convert to the Antonínův rohlík?
View For Foodies in a larger map