Tuerong Farm Flours

Like everything in life there are different qualities, from run of the mill to highly valued products with a rare characteristic, design or craft. And so there are flours and flours. Industrial, mass produced, quick rising breads are cited as the reason more and more people are having digestion difficulties with bread but it needn’t be this way as we have been happily eating bread for centuries but of a different kind. Carefully milled grains bred for flavour and nutrition rather than fast growth and yield and their slow fermentation in sourdoughs seem to be the answer for some people with digestion issues. In fact we could all benefit from less of the fluffy, white, sliced variety. Tuerong Farm on the Mornington Peninsula specialises in growing and milling usual, ancient grains in small batches for superior quality flours which have been enthusiastically embraced Melbourne artisan bakers. Tuerong Farm uses sustainable, biodynamic farming methods, the commitment to quality continuing right through to a freshly stone ground flour that is full of nutrients. They advise a shelf life of about 3 months, a long way from the year or more of storage of most commercial flours before they even hit your pantry shelf. Q Le Baker in Prahran, is using the French Red or Zanzibar wheat from Tuerong Farm to produce superb 1.4 kg round loaves and Loafer, in Nth Fitzroy, use it for their very tasty sourdough baguettes. If you have taken to baking bread why not experiment with some of these flavoursome flours. I got the beautifully packaged 4 kg of French Red flour at Loafers and used my cast iron pot baking method to make a great loaf. The 100% French Red loaf comes out with a lovely golden hue (pictured). Some other flours produced at Tuerong Farm are khorasan, spelt, wholegrain, emmer (currently sold out) and winter white. Buy online, through an artisan baker or at the farm gate when open to the public after the COVID 19 restrictions cease. They also sell their grass fed beef, eggs and honey.

Woodfrog Bakery Gets It

Some time ago I wrote about the difficultly of buying good quality fresh bread after business hours. If you are working long hours but want to make your own wholesome sandwiches for lunch the chances of getting fresh bread very early in the morning or on your way home from the CBD are hopeless, that is, until recently. Woodfrog Bakery (St.Kilda, Kew) now have fresh bread kiosks on the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke Street (outside the old GPO) and also on the corner of Elizabeth and Collins Street. Open from 7:30 am until 7 pm in the evening, the kiosks sell nice sourdough loaves and pastries for you to pick up on your way through town. I always thought it would be brilliant if some enterprising baker sold bread in the evening when hungry workers make their way home, after all a baguette is a better prospect than some junk food and how nice to have a baguette to go with cheese and wine when friends come over in the evening. Parisians have the luxury of multiple baking times every day to ensure what appears to be their birthright; a daily crispy baguette, available morning, noon or night (well, until 8 or 8:30 pm). In contrast, we have to contend with plastic wrapped or stale mass produced supermarket bread or be happy only enjoying a great loaf on weekends. At last commuters have a touch of Paris in town. Woodfrog also sell freshly made sandwiches, so you can pick up something really tasty for lunch as well as a croissant or Danish pastry for your morning coffee break. Thank you Woodfrog – I hope the kiosks do well.

Falco – A Small Batch Of Goodness

New to Smith Street, Collingwood is a wonderful bakery, Falco, that describes itself as a small batch bakery. And a small batch of goodness it certainly is. Let’s face it most mass produced foods lose that je ne sais quoi, that something that makes artisan foods worth the extra dollars or extra distance to obtain. Falco takes the time to make lovely breads in the traditional manner and if that means in small batches then so be it. With that dedication comes great baking expertise; head baker and co-owner, Christine Tran, hails from Tartine in San Francisco as well as honing her skills at Tivoli Bakery in Melbourne. That skill and attention to detail really shows in the bread I tasted. Falco’s light rye is probably the best I’ve had in Melbourne and I’ve been on the look out for good rye breads for years. Sandwiches here are wonderfully tasty and fresh. Ingredients are locally sourced and the coffee (also excellent) is roasted nearby, so you can stop for a coffee and a pastry or a lunchtime sandwich when you pick up a loaf.

Falco is open seven days a week (now that’s dedication) 8 am – 4 pm.

288 Smith Street, Collingwood

Wild Life Bakery

Wild Life Bakery has been running for a couple of years now, so I have been a bit slow on the reconnaissance which is unfortunate as I’ve missed out on some wonderful breads. Not that Melbourne is short of good artisan bakers but this baker not only makes a very fine loaf but is open on a Monday, a day of the week when good bread is really hard to buy. So hats off to the Wild Life team for being open on Monday. I often think that bakers would do better to do their dough magic during the daytime and sell fresh loaves to homeward bound workers in the evening; that way we get artisan fresh bread at dinner time and sandwiches to take to work the next day, rather than just buying it on the weekends. The life of bakers would be easier with normal sleep times and maybe sales would go up. There might be a grain of truth in that. Anyway Wild Life Bakery makes wonderful rustic loaves with Australian-grown heirloom wheat varieties, the dough fermented for 24 hours. The crusts are very crisp, the bead moist and fragrant and the flavour exceptional. This is bread to enjoy with a good extra virgin olive oil. The bakery also has a spacious, airy cafe where you can partake of the usual cafe fare and house cakes and pastries. Located on Albert Street, East Brunswick it can be difficult getting a park in this very narrow and congested street but if you are local, tram it along Lygon Street, ride a bike or swing by in the car during the day then there’s no problem.

90 Albert Street, East Brunswick/ Open Monday – Sunday 7:30 am – 3:00 pm

Q le Baker

I’m so pleased to discover yet another great baker in Melbourne. Q le Baker as the name suggests is the brainchild of French baker, Quentin Berthonneau, who started honing his baking skills back home at the tender age of 15. The slick Q le Baker premises is located on a corner of the courtyard of the Prahran Market where you can see work by pastry chefs in progress as well as the fine fare on offer in the shop. His wonderful fruity Danishes, croissants and pain au chocolate are also sold at the Slow Food Farmers’ Market, Abbotsford Convent. In Q le Baker in Prahran expect artisan sourdough breads, brioche and crispy pastries but also some unique and amazingly crafted pastries.

Shop 709 Prahran Market
Tue 7am–5pm
Thu to Sat 7am–5pm
Sun 10am–3pm