Montmartre Bakery sells fresh-baked preservative-free delights like pretzels, strudels, and pies for rock-bottom prices. The aroma here is tantalizing.
Found in an industrial part of Scarborough, this bakery is part wholesale and part retail. Carts of fresh baked bread and buns fly about the high-ceilinged space, staff cautioning eager customers not to touch loaves that have just been placed on the shelves, burning hot right out of the oven.
There’s a smooth, almost unnoticeable flow between production area and retail space. The customer area hasn’t been decorated specially to separate it, aside from a few promotional wall hangings: it’s just as bare bones as the production area, with metal shelves and plain walls.
Their pies are around the high end of the price range here, with lemon meringues with beautiful stiff peaks going for $6.60. They also have apple ($5.20), cherry ($5.90) and blueberry ($6.20).
Not only do they make pretzels here (the best in Toronto according to German Conrad Fuchs of large bakery equipment distributor Harvest Corp), they also make tall, fluffy pretzel buns (both 85 cents each).
They’re also famous for their strudel, which again comes in the standard apple ($5), cherry ($5.75) and blueberry ($6.10) flavours.
These strudels have a whopping 140 layers, achieved through a deft process of lamination where bakers continually roll out the dough, stretch and fold it.
You’ll be able to find nearly any basic variety of bread here, from ryes ($3.10, $3.30 for caraway or sunflower) to simple, airy whole wheat and white ($1.90) to 7-grain on the higher end of the price point at $2.50 for a small loaf and $3.60 for a large one.
Buttery croissants, constantly tumbling onto shelves, are just 90 cents.
Also on the French side of things are baguettes ($1.75, white or whole wheat).
Plain, whole wheat, poppy seed and sesame bagels are just 45 cents.
To make blueberry filling for pies, danishes and strudels, they strain off blueberry juice, boil it, and combine it with a blueberry puree, adding corn starch, blueberries, lemon, and sugar.
Of course, this means they’re famous for their danishes as well, which at just 95 cents each come in apple, cherry, wild blueberry, lemon, apricot custard and cinnamon varieties.
Treats like German honey almond cake or bienenstich ($4.10) are available seasonally, January through May for this one, the entire tray snapped up during my visit.
It’s been around for over fifty years, and is now owned and operated by Bernard and Ralph Lang, the sons of Joseph Lang, who originally bought the building after being a baker there.