Archive for the ‘Bakery’ Category

Earlier this week I posted on the unique and exciting Iggy’s Bread, producing quality sourdough bread and bagels in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.  Further south, just a few minutes from the airport in Banksmeadow, is the award winning artisan bread-bakers Brasserie Bread.  For lovers of fine food and coffee, be sure to put this on your list of must-sees  For some time now, Brasserie Bread have been offering free children’s baking classes  (booked out months in advance)   Now, this award-winning bakery is opening its doors to the public, offering adult training classes in the ancient art of bread-making.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one recently.  It was a fantstic class.

Brasserie Bread run an exceptional operation – everything they do, they do with passion, using quality ingredients and service with a smile.  I believe this is due to the vision, experience and passion that permeates through the organisation from the founders of the company,  Michael Klausen and Tony Pappas.  I have met Michael on several occasions, and anyone who has enjoyed fine dining in Sydney for many years will remember Bayswater Brasserie and Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay (still trading today, vist their site here)  – their successful partnership began at these fine establishments.

Now, about that baking class.  Having employed a charming and knowledgeable food educator and trainer named Don, you’re in good hands from the moment the 3 hour class begins.  Firstly, coffee orders are taken (using the excellent Allpress coffee) and Mark or one of the other teriffic cafe staffers heads out to prepare the coffee.  A brief history of artisan bread-making is discussed, followed by an overview of the ingredients you will use.  it’s fascinating learning about the sourdough starter, it’s origins and importance in the whole process (the starter is nurtured and “grown” daily and improves with age)  The class is very interactive, with approximately 10 people per course everyone gets a chance to ask questions.  It’s extremely hands on, and you will awken muscles in your arms through some enthusiastic kneading of the dough into various shapes including dinner rolls, baguettes and brioche-shaped.  Everything is prepared by you then baked, then you get to take it home at the end to enjoy – and its delicious.

As if this wasn’t enough, you are then taken on a tour through the entire commercial bakery – and boy is it impressive.   Don explains all aspects of the process of getting that fresh loaf into your hands, and you get to see all the bakers in action.  It’s incredible.  There’s some imperssive technology too, with large, new ovens and sophisticated handling machinery helping out with handling the large volumes – but essentially this is hand-made bread – true artisan bread-making, with the bakers handling every aspect of the preparation process.

Finally, what everyone has been waiting for after a few hours of vigorous bread-makng and learning – the tasting.  Once again, Brasserie Bread excels here – Don explains all the varieties of bread they make, and a generous tasting platter including cheeses and antipasto is brought out for us all to enjoy.   There’s some new bread recently put on the menu too – I particularly enjoyed the Quimoa (pronounced “kin-wah” – a Soy and Linseed-style organic sourdough

Brasserie Bread is running the courses throughout the remainder of 2008 – and I would expect next year and beyond.  For anyone who enjoys cooking, good food and coffee, this is not to be missed.  There is a calendar up on the site here  Anyone who has attended the course or has any questions please leave a comment and I will get back to you shortly.

Brasserie Bread
1737 Botany Road
Banksmeasow, Sydney, NSW, Australia
For training specifically: training@brasseriebread.com.au
P: +61 2 9666 6845
Link to Google Map


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Last week Good Living reported on Iggy’s bakery – it was a wonderful, inspirational story about a family of bakers who have had great success in Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA) and have now moved to Sydney and opened a new bakery.  I’d recommend visting their USA website, clicking on “US” then “History” to see the background of the lovely Ludmilla and Igor and their successful business.  The website, incidentally, is a nice looking site, and it’s interesting to compare with Brasserie Bread’s very informative and well presented site, here.

Today I paid a quick visit to Iggy’s Bakery in Bronte.  It’s in the old Hanks Jam premises on Belgrave St, across the road from the lovely Favoloso Cafe (worthy of a seaprate blog post – note to self 🙂  I was served by a friendly chap named Ivan, who apparently had only arrived from Boston yesterday.  He’s a family friend and very knowledgeable about Iggy’s bread.  I briefly met Iggy himself, a charming fellow, and his lovely wife Ludmilla, who was extremely warm, welcoming and I am sure Ludmilla, who takes care of the customer service side of the business whilst Iggy does the baking, is a big part of the reason for their success.   These people really care about people and their craft.

First of all, I tried the bagels – they were larger than the bagels I’m used to, from the popular Wellington Cake Shop.  The good news is they are excellent.  There were several varieties, including poppyseed and sesame seed – and they will definitely give the Wellington Cake Shop some healthy competition.  In fact, I think I prefer these bagels.  Ivan informed me they are steamed, not boiled, as Iggy does not believe in boiling bagels.  I will need to research further into that particular debate – suffice to say Iggy’s bagels wont disappoint.  Full of flavour with a rich, heavy consistency – they will be a welcome addition to breakfast tomorrow, toasted with some Plum jam.

Secondly, the sourdough bread – solid and heavy too with a lovely flavour, just delicious.  There were several sizes available in round loaves and a “ficelle” – from the French, meaning a half-baguette, very thin.

Iggy’s Bakery is a welcome addition to Sydney’s artisan bread-making community.

Iggy’s Down Under Pty Ltd

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 8am-4pm
49 Belgrave St
Bronte, Sydney, NSW  2024
Phone: 02 9369 1650
USA Website
Link to Google Map

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