In 2014 Bourke Street Bakery celebrates it’s 10th birthday. The bakery, I’ll call it BSB from here in, was started in 2004 by two bakers/chefs – Paul Allam and David McGuinness. Today you’ll find eight stores across Sydney – including Surry Hills, Potts Point, Marrickville, Alexandria, North Sydney and Neutral Bay. All stores make everything by hand using the best ingredients they can source.
Like many of BSB’s loyal customers I venture to my local store in Neutral Bay to choose a loaf of freshly baked sourdough from the impressive bread selection. I’ll typically stay for a coffee and a bite to eat. I can’t speak for all stores but you can’t fault the atmosphere in the Neutral Bay bakery – although it’s compact there’s no shortage of tables outside and in, and almost all tables offer great views of the delights on offer.
Now a bit about the bread – the selection at BSB is dominated by huge selection of different types of sourdough. Sourdough has become known for being bettter for you than other types of bread. Its lower GI means it doesn’t produce the same spike in insulin levels as other bread. It’s also easier to digest making it a better option for anyone with a food intolerance.
Arisan bakeries with good selections of quality sourdough bread are cropping up all over Sydney. But there’s something about the sourdough at BSB that makes it stand out from the crowd. May be it’s the 12 year old starter or the experience of the bakers. Either way if you’re a sourdough fan who hasn’t ventured to BSB you’re missing out.
The daily bread selection is vast and you’ll want one of everything. The saving grace that makes it easier to choose your loaf is that not every type of bread is baked every day – most loaves are on a rotation. Potato and rosemary for example is available three days a week but if you’re after walnut and currant than you’ll have to get in quick on a Friday. A typical loaf will set you back $6 to $6.50.
Onto the menu. It’s a wide selection of pastries (from $3.50), a few sandwiches ($9), as well as quiche ($5) and limited hot food (from $4.50). And, as you’d expect there’s a range of hot and cold drinks to choose from.
If you’re new to BSB then consider trying a few slices of toasted sourdough with your favourite topping (butter, jam, honey, vegemite, ricotta). On my last visit the toast was available in two varieties – plain or fruit sourdough. I opted for the plain sourdough with ricotta. The texture is fresh and soft but at the same time crunchy. And the ricotta is a perfect pairing. A couple of nice thick slices keep me full all day. It really is possibly the smartest way to spend $4.50 on food in Sydney.
If you want to be more adventurous you can’t go wrong with one of their famous sausage rolls – such as pork and fennel or lamb, almond and harrisa. Or if you’re especially hungry consider feasting on a sandwich such as baba ganoush, zucchini, tomato, parsley, & coriander on potato and rosemary sourdough.
What about the coffee? It’s single origin roasters and is good. Not worthy of a visit in itself but certainly nothing to complain about.
By Feast Wisely
- Don’t worry about your loaf going stale before you get chance to finish it. BSB’s sourdough freezes perfectly. Just ask them to slice it for you and pop it in the freezer within a day.
- Got a good recipe that uses breadcrumbs? Try making your own. Cut the end off your sourdough loaf, break it into pieces and allow it to stand for six to eight hours. Then blend it into breadcrumbs in a hand blender.
- Learn how to make your own sourdough. BSB runs regular classes in their kitchen at Marrickville. It costs $130 for a two hour workshop and you’ll be taken you through the whole process, turning flour into your own warm, crusty loaves using their 12 year old starter. Jump on their website for more information.
- Shop 7 / 19-25 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay, NSW 2089
- 02 9953 5555
- Open 7am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm Sunday
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