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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sink Your Teeth Into Crusty, Moist Bread

Russia is justifiably famous for its bread, but despite the abundance of bread shops in Moscow there does not seem to be a great deal of variety here. Your choice is often limited to sturdy black loaves or plain white ones. But don't despair: If you look in the right places, you can find not only very good Russian bread but French baguettes, Georgian and Armenian lavash, Middle Eastern bread and bread with an Australian accent.

The great tradition of Russian baking is alive and well at the bulochnaya of the Novoarbatsky Torgovy Dom. The workers have an obvious sense of pride, and the shop is always filled with customers waiting for the next batch of bread from the oven. Their round loaves made from wheat or rye flour have a delicious crust, and the very Eastern European dark brick loaves of sour rye bread are particularly hearty and moist.

Judging by the throng of Russian customers pushing and shoving in Khleb Avstralii (Australian Bread), a large modern bakery set up in 1990 with the assistance of the Australian Wheat Board and now under Russian management and ownership, there is indeed a great demand for bread that is a little bit different. Khleb Avstralii sells a wide variety of bread ranging from freshly-baked pre-sliced sandwich bread and bread rolls to traditional poppy seed rolls. My personal favorites are the round rye loaves, which are dense and sour, and the soft white-bread baton, Canbersky, which is named after my hometown, Canberra.

If you are longing to sink your teeth into a crusty French baguette, the real thing can be found at Cocorico. Its Belgian baker imports the dough from France, but it is kneaded, fermented and baked on the premises daily. As well as the traditional baguette (5,225 rubles for 250 grams and 8,800 rubles for 400 grams), he bakes a "vitamin" baguette with six cereals and onion bread (12,000 rubles) and will also, if you order in advance, make olive or bacon bread. If you cannot eat your baguette on the same day you bought it, freeze it and heat it up later on, as baguettes go stale within 24 hours.

For something a little more exotic, lavash, the flat oval-shaped Georgian bread with a soft crust can be found at the Cheremushkinsky and Butirsky markets. For the Armenian variant, which is paper thin, try the Armenia store. If you want fresh pita, the round Middle Eastern bread, visit the Alsham restaurant -- it comes with take-out portions of their delicious hummous (25,000 rubles).

Khleb Avstralii, 29/8 Pyatnitskaya Ulitsa, metro Novokuznetskaya, tel. 231-2634.

The Novoarbatsky Torgovy Dom, 28 Novy Arbat, metro Arbatskaya, tel. 291-2012.

Butirsky rynok is located at 18 First Kvesisskaya, metro Savyolovskaya.

Cheryomushkinsky rynok is at 1/64 Lomonosovsky Prospekt, metro Universitet.

Cocorico is located at 42 Sadovnicheskaya Ulitsa, building 2, metro Novokuznetskaya, tel. 231-8677.

Armenia, 17 Tverskaya Ulitsa, metro Pushkinskaya, tel. 229-7021.

Alsham, 21 Ulitsa Pravdy, tel. 257-4955.