Melbourne 2014 was the start of an event that has been an annual feature of a small group of craft bakers, millers and increasingly growers. It’s affectionately dubbed “grAiNZ”. This week “grAiNZ 2017” or “Bread Ed 2017” was hosted at Dust Bakery in Sydney.
The first time I visited Dust Cesare Salemi mentioned that a gathering of like minded bakers and millers will be getting together this year in Sydney. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as I’ve not been to this “Bread Ed” before, at least not a baking one of this ilk.
I was fortunate enough to attend some of the workshops and presentations and meet lots of enthusiastic bakers from all over Australia as well as NZ. The program was reasonably full with presenters showing many interesting things such as –
- bread dough making techniques
- hand moulding/shaping
- novel recipes and creative products
- laminating dough for pastries
- grain varieties
- milling techniques
- baking techniques
- gluten free bread baking
- stoneground fruit cake
- minimising waste
It was refreshing to hear of the journeys and interesting sourdough stories from the likes of John Reid of Redbeard historic Bakery in Victoria. John demonstrated what appears to be his signature bread ~ 100% rye with that wonderful dark colour and complex flavoured crumb full of whole rye grain. The wood fired brick oven in Redbeard Bakery is a true piece of working history. See below from John’s website:
Emily Salkeld of Small World Bakery in Langhorne Creek in South Australia had interesting things to say and demonstrate. Growing old world grains, almost forgotten and almost gone, and flour milling are on Emily’s agenda. A screen shot from Emily’s site. These are the themes and echoes of those who made this an interesting and worthwhile event.
There were many others present with demonstrations of innovative ideas and lots of great information and inspiration…
- Michael James of Tivoli Rd Bakery
- Cesare Salemi of Dust Bakery
- James Fischer of Rolling Stone Mills
- Ian Lowe, Nick Boskell & Ian Pope of Apiece Bakery
- Dan Watts of Bread Circle
- Tom Eadie of Berkelo
- Jessica Pedemont Chocolatier
- Daniel Cruden of Amano Bakery NZ
- Nonie Dwyer of Nonie’s Foods
- Steve Anderson & John Ralley of Textbook Bakery
- Jonny Pisanelli of Abbots & Kinney
- Craig Neale from Wholegrain Milling Company
- Pepe Saya from Pepe Saya Butter Company
- Kim Marieh of The Bakehouse in Portland
Of course I couldn’t attend all workshops but those I did see, hear and taste were food for thought.
With many, many more bakers there too numerous to mention.
Musing about the grAiNZ gathering after the fact I noted some interesting things. All the presenters shared their philosophy of viewing all food, bread in particular, as nutrition with beauty, flavour and variety. This of course means quality ingredients – better variety of grains grown sustainably – stone milled flours, skilled techniques to enhance complex flavours. All this as the result of creative thinking, dedication to quality workmanship and pride in the labour of their hands and minds. A “manu et mente” approach. It’s always refreshing to see enthusiasm for those things that we value most.
At the completion of the second day Two Providores put on a great wrap-up with a discussion panel at their premises in Marrickville chaired by Rebecca Bernstone. Good food for thought, good company and great eating.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to attend the fruitcake with stoneground, pastry laminating, butter & dairy workshops but there’s always next year!
Thanks again to all who made the event memorable, enjoyable and inspirational.