Just Wild about bread

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WILD BAKERY, South Fremantle

by JENNY D’ANGER:

A week without bread and White Gum Valley chef Darragh Grier (right) was researching sourdough bread-making.

The result was Hannah’s bread, a superlative, organic sourdough that is crisp on the outside with a chewy, aerated interior and a wonderfully sourdough taste.

Hannah’s loaf is the star at new South Fremantle bakery Wild, but there’s plenty more fantastic sourdough, including a spelt version and one with quinoa seeds.

The business sprouted from need when Darragh and his partner were told their then-two-year-old daughter’s health problems were down to digesting gluten. The family was warned off wheat products generally, and bread in particular.

“[But] we read properly made sourdough is good for people with gluten intolerance,” Mr Grier says.

Five years on young Hannah and her siblings are fit and healthy, as is business for their parents.

The Griers started off selling their bread at the South Fremantle Growers Market, but pretty soon demand grew and people wanted to know where they could get it during the week.

The chance to move into premises at the corner of Commercial Street and South Terrace (across the road from the South Beach Hotel) was too good to miss.

“We know the local people, we live locally and we understand what people want.”

Keen to keep his baking true, as well as free from preservatives and artificial additives, Mr Grier knocked back offers to sell wholesale, including to Jamie Oliver’s new Perth eatery.

“We wanted to stay focused on what our customers want, and compromises would had to have been made that seem small at the beginning.”

The D’Angers purchased a selection of baked goodies for home consumption on the weekend, including Hannah’s bread ($12 for a massive round; $6.50 for half).

For good measure we grabbed a rosemary and rock salt focaccia ($4.50) for lunch.

Dipping chunks of the bread into an olive oil and balsamic reduction (so easy to make yourself), accompanied by avocado and baby tomatoes, we congratulated ourselves on our magnificent feast.

It was a day of indulgence as we’d earlier breakfasted on Wild’s escargots—$3.50. These were in a league of their own, the puff pastry light and flaky with a buttery centre and a sweet, caramel glaze.

My friend and neighbour went for the Danish saying they were the best she’d had in a “very long time”.

But she reckoned the custard and fruit inside was sweet enough so the chunks of sugar dotting the top were a step too far.

Wild also sells a selection of cakes, and brags about its brownies.

A second batch of baking in the afternoon ensures plenty of fresh goodies, including quiches ($12.50), which are perfect for an easy Sunday dinner after a busy weekend.

by JENNY D’ANGER

Wild Bakery
Cnr South Tce and Commercial St, South Fremantle
Open Wed to Sun 7am (until sold out)   

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