The pandemic has a lot to answer for. Take the story of Matheus and Deborah, who spent lockdown hauled up in a one bedroom flat. It’s here they began baking in a bid to feel more connected to Brazilian heritage during a period of enforced isolation, when travel anywhere, let alone South America, was impossible. Before too long, they realised the opportunity to take this homespun project and turn it into something bigger. The Flat Baker was born, and quickly became a hit around Ancoats, across the surrounding city, and online.
Taking inspiration from France, arguably the home of fresh bread and pastries, and Brazil, where bakers are cut from a very different cloth, this acclaimed establishment brings something very different to the burgeoning Mancunian bake scene. Or, more accurately, several different things, not least the now-renowned Pistachio Croissant. Just one highlight from a seasonal menu, the Plain Croissant here is also incredible, getting shortlisted for an award in 2023, and the couple use a number of other ideas and flavours found on trips to countless global destinations in their proof, resulting in unique breads and other items.
Specialising in buttery delicacies, many options will be familiar — for example, Portuguese legend the pastel de nata (here made using a family recipe) — others less so. Such as the incredible Brazilian sausage roll, or the pão de queijo: cheese balls which are the epitome of comfort snack food. Changing with the months, notable creations that have come and gone since the ovens first fired up include the epic Ice Cream Croissant, where the aforementioned pistachio joy is accompanied by a generous helping of summer’s finest afternoon delight. An Instagram sensation, it’s little wonder the team at The Flat Baker have one piece of advice for first timers: “We are open Wednesday to Sunday, but come early — our bakes fly.”