A legend in the baking

Bread basket

ANOTHER TRAVELLARKS DISCOVERY!

There’s more than a bakers dozen of TOP COUNTRY BAKERIES DOWN UNDER! Some are within a drive from Sydney and others…well, they’re just worth the road trip.

And finally, you arrive. It’s a sleepy little town. You trawl slowly on a different time clock and pass the pub (or two) along the “when-did-the-roads-get-so-wide main street”. There doesn’t seem to be any other buzz in this country town…but wait!

At the other end of this country mile, there’s a queue of Akubra hats forming outside a bakery with the promise of freshly baked goodness. The snake line of country cousins (socially-distanced of course) enjoy a laugh while extending a warm welcome to recent arrivals like us. (Australians have absolutely no time for someone who isn’t friendly, and that intolerance of unfriendliness is one of Australia’s friendliest qualities). They have a crack at a mate coming out of the store with a spring in his step. The larrikin returns a grin.

We follow the warm aroma closer. How sourdough has inspired a queue this big, we’ll soon discover. We’re anticipating BIG things. An ol’ guy’s got a loaf under one arm and a tell tale swipe of flour on his coat pocket as he exits the bakery. He shakily balances a flakey vanilla slice with the other. He bumps into Vera with a kindly smile, who’s stooped over her tartan trolley delicately tucking a paper bag of freshly made scones into it.

“Is the local CWA meet on today”? we ask, while the breeze slaps her scarf across one cheek as she pulls the trolley away.

Then local kids follow out, one by one. The first boy jumps off the steep, worn step of the shop grabbing hold of one of the dangling plastic strips made to shoo the country flies. He pounds the pavement on two feet simultaneously letting go of the fly screen. It pings in the wind as he lands. Must be school holidays as his mates follow, dancing to the beat of their own sugary tune…

Step inside and the shelves are piled high with bread. Ancient Grains, loaves dotted with seeds, oats and poppy and sourdoughs, sweet, nutty and spongy to a counter flush with cinnamon scrolls, donuts, brownies, cupcakes, cream buns, Neenish tarts (like Nana used to bake), croissants and more. And, moorish fruit breads you could make a song and dance about. Loaves studded with goodness.

We love lingering while watching the bakers whip up their latest batch of pies and sausage rolls in the open kitchen. There’s hearty local flavours – beef, lamb, mushroom, pumpkin, veg… It’s a chorus line.

The girls from TRAVELLARKS seek the reason for the success of these grand bakeries, and we ask aloud (while tasting morsels from the counter top.

It isn’t local loyalty let me tell you love. Locals are our biggest critics. They’ve eaten from this place all their lives because some of us have been ’round forever and the reason we’re still goin’ strong is that we stick to what works. We don’t deviate from the master plan. Great recipes but the best thing is the fact that our stuff tastes even better when you know all the ingredients come from local organic farmers, made with REAL butter, LOCAL produce and LOCAL meats.” 

At this point everyone in the shop nods in approval.

It’s places like these where BUSH AND CITY UNITE!

A word of advice from TRAVELLARKS – Get there fast because these brilliant country bakeries sell out before lunch time but staying in one of the local TRAVELLARKS Collection of amazing places, well, you’ll get the insider tips on the best bakeries in town to be there on time!

What’s YOUR favourite country bakery? COME ON! The one that made you dust pastry flakes off the car seat and swiped your mouth with icing sugar because you’ve devoured it with relish? Let’s read your best bakeries by commenting below.

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Fishcakes, Seal rocks, mid coast, NSW, Australia

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