There’s nothing more disappointing than a bad sausage roll on a good summer’s day. Avoid this calamity by sticking with our list of bakeries from near and far that pass the ‘Is it worth putting clothes on and leaving the comfort of my air-conditioned home for’ test.
Baker’s Dozen: Thirteen bakeries worth driving to
1A Elizabeth Street, Tanunda 5352
After four generations baking in the same wood oven, it’s fair to say the Fechner family know what they’re doing. Current custodian Corey carries on the tradition started by his ancestor, Keith – making breads using slow-ferment recipes and old-world techniques. The Apex scotch oven has burned every working day since the bakery opened in 1924 (approximately 34,675 days) and all these years later it still turns out pasties that can beat the most contemporary of hangovers.
Brighton Jetty Bakery
83 Jetty Road, Brighton, SA 5048
Bakery staples are deceptive. It seems like strawberry sprinkled donuts should be reliably good, but they’re often awful. David and Dahlia Matkovic are the young owner-operators of Brighton Jetty Bakery and they understand that innovation doesn’t necessarily mean reinvention – it can instead be about bringing quality ingredients to a product like the humble finger bun.
“Simple can be sophisticated,” says David. The taste of their sausage roll, made from more than 85 per cent beef (where some competitors are 27 per cent beef), and their sweets range – about 60 per cent of which is vegan – proves he’s correct.
5 Aroha Terrace, Forestville 5035
“We’re not just about making vegan food, we’re about making really good food,” says Tim Salmon, owner of Cherry Darlings Bakehouse. Tim started the animal-free bakery after amassing about 200 of his own recipes over more than 20 years as a practicing vegan.
Despite falling into a category that would have once been considered ‘niche,’ his baked goods seem universally adored – plenty of tradies and business people can be spotted lined up in the lunchtime crowd waiting for a lentil pot pie or vanilla slice.
Lyndoch Bakery & Restaurant
26 Barossa Valley Way, Lyndoch 5351
Lyndoch Bakery is one of those true heroes of regional Australia – a shopfront that goes above and beyond for its community.
Here, you can not only get bakery staples but also an enormous range of restaurant dishes, too – with a focus on foods that celebrate the area’s German heritage. And, at least when CityMag visited, Elvis classics were playing loud and clear out the front. There’s a lot to love (me tender).
32 Main Street, Minlaton 5575
If nine awards at the SA Baking Show don’t convince you that a trip to Yorke Peninsula as an excuse to visit Minlaton Bakery is a good idea this summer, then you’re a lost cause. That’s ok though, we’ll be doing plenty of frolicking in the sea at Berry Bay and then driving here to eat enough quandong, wattle seed, and macadamia pull-apart loaf for us all.
Port Elliot Bakery
31 North Terrace, Port Elliot 5212
Long live the legend that is Port Elliot. Unlike other day-trip bakery favourites that have gone through many owners and consequent ups and downs, Port Elliot has been operated by the same family since 1989. That means whenever you visit, you can rely on the pasty still being tasty enough to qualify as a minor deity and the wholemeal pastry being consistently amazing.
Sesame Lebanese Pizza Bakery
296/306 Nelson Road, Para Hills 5096
It is easy to forget that the word bakery does not automatically translate to “questionable meat pie with sauce” in all parts of the world. Sesame Lebanese Bakery is a timely reminder of the many wonders that can be wrought using heat and dough.
Here, Kamal Elmasri cooks his own versions of his mother’s recipes and brings Adelaide a much-needed dose of traditional Lebanese delights, including the absolutely delicious Shanklish Fatayer – a pasty-shaped pastry that is filled with aged spicy cheese, tomato, onion, and olive oil.
Hearth Breads Wood Oven Bakery
354C Shepherds Hill Road, Blackwood 5051
Hearth Breads reopens on Wednesday, 15 January 2020
The path to operating a bakery was not clearly set out for Dianne Palmer. From an established career in academia, she took a significant side swerve to working in kitchens on stations in the country’s remote north.
“I really love good bread and I love making bread, so it’s pretty well as simple as that,” says Dianne.
“I went up north to cattle stations and honed my craft on all the unsuspecting people out there. I can’t imagine doing this unless I’d spent that amount of time in a kitchen.”
When she was ready, Dianne came to Adelaide. While not originally from the city, it was always her intention to start her bakery here. She found a natural home for her business in a former hairdressing salon in Blackwood.
“I always wanted to do this down in Adelaide because Adelaide has the most beautiful flours,” she says.
“Blackwood is probably the ideal shopping centre in Adelaide. None of the others have that air of vitality – you have the hills all around and you can’t go more than 100m without being in a gorge of some sort. It’s a very strong community up in Blackwood as well… and it feels alive.”
Hearth has now been operating for four years. At its centre is Dianne, her small team, a wood oven, and a couple of unshakeable principles.
“Hearth is very, very simple,” says Dianne. “There’s two things that work for us – one is sustainability, which for us means mostly organic as well. About 75 per cent of our ingredients are organic.
“And the other thing is simplicity – we have a certain few items we make and that’s it.”
Almost all of those few items begin with hand-made sourdough – including the sweets, such as the cinnamon scroll.
Hearth’s output is slowly gaining cult status. Regular items like the organic spelt and wheat loaf, which features 37 per cent stone-ground flour and combines a robust crust with a soft, chewy interior, are hard to pass by. But so are Hearth’s occasional breads – such as the miso and sesame loaf – that only appear on certain days and often take on different shapes depending on what bread tin they find their way into as they’re prepared.
Dianne says she wants Hearth to be “like the village bakery from back in the day” – a place to visit regularly for fresh breads. There are few things more worthy of a daily journey than Hearth’s uncomplicated, good food.
Small World Bakery
112 Coombe Road, Langhorne Creek 5255
Small World Bakery is reopening Wednesday, 15 January 2020.
Small World is an extraordinary bakery. To begin, Emily Salkeld and Chris Duffy have no shopfront, but will bring their sourdough loaves to you in the CBD or inner suburbs as part of a weekly delivery service (or you can organise to pick it up from various locations). Secondly, they are attempting to slowly revolutionise the way we use grain in Australia by working directly with local farmers, growing their own heritage varieties, and milling grain onsite. Finally, their bread tastes really, really, very good.
St Peters Bakehouse
66 Seventh Avenue, St Peters 5069
It would be easy to dismiss St Peters Bakehouse as a favourite only through nostalgia, but it has more to offer than just rose-tinted teenage memories.
The bakery has never stood still and its range of high-quality staples (see: the custard tart and steak & pepper pie) is augmented by extras like Portuguese tarts and chicken schnitzel burgers, as well as dietary-requirement-friendly sweets, and a large array of solar panels on the roof that reduce the business’ environmental footprint.
Tailem Bend Bakery
61 Railway Terrace, Tailem Bend 5260
Eating nachos at the Coolabah Tree Café aka the Tailem Bend roadhouse is a rite of passage for all children travelling with their parents to Melbourne. When you grow out of that stage, we highly advise you instead take a detour off the highway to the main street where the Tailem Bend Bakery sits.
In among the excellent regular country bakery menu items, you will find the Coorong Mullet pie – a real taste of the region you’re about to enter.
1198 Greenhill Road, Uraidla 5142
A scenic, winding drive up into the hills leads to Uraidla Bakery, where you can not only get a pie or excellent chicken sanga to tide you over for the day, but also a loaf of sourdough and a bottle of wine to keep you going well into the night.
Everything at this almost one-stop shop is made using majority local ingredients and the revolving door of local winemakers and food producers seen here is a testament to its quality.
104 Main South Road, Yankalilla 5203
The drive to Second Valley is long and our resolve in the face of very good pastries is low.
Yankalilla Bakery is a must-stop on any journey to the further reaches of the Fleurieu Peninsula, but what makes it particularly special (apart from the fact you can order almost anything on the menu and be happy) is how genuinely nice everyone seems to be there. Many of the staff are long-term employees and appear to be having as good a time behind the counter as we are in front of it.