Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Heart Bread Byron Bay

Heart Breads ( is one of those special bakeries that we all run across a few times in our lives and just breath out and say:, "Wow, this is what the magic of baking is all about!" Rachel and Simon at Heart Breads have just about created the perfect bakery.
Situated a few miles from Byron Bay in NSW Australia, the duo with a little bit of help produce a few hundred loaves 3 times a week from their 2 wood-fired brick ovens.
All production except the mixing is done on a covered exposed deck under the watchful eyes of 3 chooks and a itinerant wallaby
On my afternoon visit, during which I was allowed to help shape a few loaves, family, farm and bakery business co-existed in perfect telephones, no loud machinery, no ranting bosses; just a few people engaged in coaxing naturally leavened dough to it's ultimate spot from the hearth of the brick oven to the cooling racks under the palm trees!
I was particularly impressed with the yellowness of the sweet doughs from the yolk colour of the eggs from their free range chickens.
Thank you, humbly, for doing this on behalf of all of us hard working inner city bakers!
Driving down towards Broken Head, South of Byron Bay
I knew I was in the right place when I espied an Allan Scott oven through the jungle!

Simon loading up the oven. 55 loaves at a time

All tucked in, one batch every 30 minutes on production day

Mixing the sweet dough by hand,

Chooks and bananna asd passion fruit

the yellow dough is from the egg yolks

Paradise is.......2 ovens!

Life is bliss...600 loaves off to market

Simon and Rachel

Friday, December 23, 2011

Newrybar revisited 2011

I posted pictures of an old brick oven in Newrybar NSW back in 2009 (see below, way below....). I had heard that the oven had been rebuilt, and was delighted to meet Dimitri, a young enthusiastic French baker, in the 'old shed' behind Harvest restaurant. The oven has been rebuilt, and the old shed is now a wonderful bright space.
The old oven was renovated and restructured, and is now a smaller unit within the old in, as opposed to the original which had a fire box. The old front has been retained, but the back has been turned into a private dining room, which shows how massive this original oven was. In the picture of the back room, one can still the the 'soldier course' of bricks that denoted the extent of the original beast!
Oh...and Dimitri, that bread was wonderful, thank you!
Now some recent pics:

Back private dining room.

See the old 'soldier course' from the original oven.

Let me...let me...!!!!!!


Last batch of the shift...

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Nuwarra Eliya

Nuwarra Eliya is situated in the hinterland behind Byron Bay NSW. The name of the property, owned by Peter and Cheryl comes from a similar misty vally in Sri Lanka.

View back towards the Bay on Cooribel Sceic Drive

Jungle out the back door

Posted by PicasaCheryl, Peter, myself and Shane...typical Aussie barbie!

Why this blog.....

My photo
January to March 2009. I was on Professional Development leave from my teaching Job at the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island Universtity. I chose to take a 3 month leave to visit bakeries and teachng institutions in Australia. Thank you to VIU and my union (BCGEU) for supporting this venture. The aim of this blog was to keep an ongoing diary of my experiences and share them with my students and colleagues. This sure beats coming up with a report and slide show months later. I mean "FRESH" is what baking is all about! Learned to bake back in 1978....making granola...but that is another story. .