Daylesford, Victoria, is known for its food, wine, and relaxing mineral springs. We visit once or twice a year and always enjoy the atmosphere and the opportunity to visit places like The Lakehouse and the Hepburn Spa. The last couple of times, we have also travelled about 20km from Daylesford to the town of Trentham, to visit the historic RedBeard bakery.
There has been a bakery on the site since the late 1800s, and the most recent incarnation, the RedBeard bakery, makes excellent use of the renovated Scotch oven to produce delicious, organic sourdough. According to RedBeard’s website, the Scotch oven was once the most common form of commercial oven in Australia, but most were destroyed in the 1950s by large flour millers to undermine competition. The bakery offers tours and sourdough baking workshops, showcasing both the oven and the skills of the bakers.
A Scotch oven stores heat wonderfully well in its massive masonry structure. The fire is extinguished before baking commences and the bread is bathed in deep and even heat that is gradually released by the bricks and sand. – RedBeardBakery.com.au
When we visited, we were also happily there in time for lunch. Whilst sourdough is the mainstay of the bakery, it certainly isn’t all they offer. We had a reuben sandwich, and a baked potato with chickpeas, both of which were delicious. The bakery also produces biscuits, cakes, preserves, and even baking supplies (I picked up a new dough scraper, which I’ll be making use of this weekend when we get back home).
We also couldn’t leave without buying a loaf of the famous sourdough. We chose a wholemeal and seeded loaf – called the ‘brunette’ – from the selection of rye, white, and wholemeal sourdough on offer. The loaf was just as delicious as the lunch – a soft and chewy crumb with a mild wholegrain flavour, and a nutty crust covered with toasted sesame seeds. It was fantastic toasted, and equally great fresh as a sandwich.
Whilst Daylesford has its own bakeries, it’s worth the extra short drive to get out to Trentham and enjoy what the RedBeard bakery has to offer: a unique historical experience, friendly staff, great award winning food, and an opportunity to eat bread from one of the oldest ovens in the country.