Traditional tastes are on the rise. In fact, 14.7%* of the bread and baked goods Australians consume is artisanal. But what does the term ‘artisan’ actually mean? In a word: dedication – those who’ve built their name on an unwavering commitment to the process, upholding tradition, and crafting products of unmatched quality.
In bread-making, for example, great attention is given to the type of flour; the method and length of fermentation (i.e. sourdough); the use of a natural starter, and even the oven in which it’s baked.
Sound good? Trust us, it is! Now it’s your turn to unearth the artisans who’ve made Castle Towers their new home, and discover why their specialist breads and sublime desserts are simply a cut above.
PERFECTED OVER TIME
At Shepherd’s Artisan Bakehouse, bread is a way of life. On the shelves you’ll find a stretch of sourdough, wholegrain, brioche, gluten-free, country style, rolls and baguettes – the work of Michael Shepherd, director and head baker, an industry veteran for almost 20 years. “An artisan baker uses a leaven [fermenting agent] – it’s like an art,” explains Michael. “And the art is being able to manipulate a product to make the best volume and crumb texture we can get.”
For instance, the “starter” he uses is constantly refreshed, and has been nurtured for over 20 years. The sourdough, in turn, is very sensitive to time, heat, humidity and hand work, requiring constant attention to produce the perfect loaf.
MASTERS OF THE CRAFT
In addition to the great care artisans give to each and every creation, there’s also a deep pride and enjoyment. At Dolcettini Patisserie, pastry chef Frank Gulisano has a passion for excellence, and regards his craft as a life-long endeavour.
Alongside the store’s fresh pastries and organic sourdoughs, you’ll find hand-crafted desserts and stunning tortes. Of particular note is the centrepiece, croquembouche – a tower of up to 100 profiteroles, filled with silky crème pâtissière, and bound together by threads of caramel.
FROM THE SOURCE
One of the tell-tale signs of an artisan is making specialty breads or cakes particular to a country or region. With its baguettes, croissants and pastries, French café Délisse embodies this approach. “Brittany is the birthplace of crêpes – and also my hometown,” says owner, Mathieu Thomas. “Everyone knows there’s nothing more Bretagne that these delicate savoury pancakes, so we do these with cured meats and cheese, as well as vegetarian.”
Artisanal fare is all in the detail. At Jean Louis Joseph Deli, the decadent tarts are freshly baked each morning by a team of meticulous pastry chefs. The mouth-watering selection includes delights such as crème brûlée, tarts in pear amandine, vanilla fig, passionfruit curd, fresh ricotta and more. So if you’re catering an upcoming birthday party – even choosing a wedding cake, let the team know. They know precisely how to craft a show-stopping number for any occasion.