BREAD junkies will be very familiar with Little Loaf Bakery.
It has built up a cult following thanks to the excellent bread, pastries and savouries in its South Fremantle store (its cinnamon scrolls are the stuff of middle-class legend – “More loose-leaf tea, Nigel?”)
Recently owners Lachlan Bisset and Craig Stewart opened a Big Loaf Factory Bakery in O’Connor, with a store outlet open to the public.
Situated in an old ice cream factory in a light industrial zone, the parking is decidedly off-piste with grass mounds and earth doubling as bays.
As my wife and I walked around the perimeter of the factory, a tired worker on a deckchair was checking his phone in the loading zone, then as as we turned the corner, a dusty yard with a smouldering oil drum fell into view.
I half expected a mob of Teamsters to rush out the factory and bludgeon me with lead piping, but jokes aside, it was a bit of an adventure and infinitely better than some generic, soul-destroying shopping mall.
The outlet was a cute little grotto, crammed with all manner of pies, cakes, dips, cured meats, flour, drinks, savouries and of course bread.
My continental baguette ($10) whisked me back to the streets of Paris with Joe le taxi and bottles of absinthe.
It was the best baguette I’ve had since leaving Europe a decade ago, and was filled with a tasty assortment of continental meats, tomato, pickles, mild cheese and lettuce.
There was just enough mayo and the flavours were nicely balanced with a peppery refrain.
The baguette was huge and I struggled to finish it (it could easily feed two people with smaller guts than me). Great value for money.
My wife was getting tore into her potato, kale and leek pastry ($6) and an old-school glass bottle of iced coffee ($6).
“You can tell it’s really good quality coffee they’ve used and it tatses very thick and fresh,” she noted. “The pastry is delicious with lots of creamy potato and a nice balance of kale and leek.”
We also bought a fougasse (the French equivalent of focaccia $12) which was bigger than my big head (see photo) – perfect for a tear-and-share with pumpkin soup in winter.
Rounding the feast off was a delicious looking vanilla slice ($7) which was both light and decadent.
The tiny store was heaving on a Thursday lunchtime and I wouldn’t be surprised if they expanded it soon.
I imagine the baguettes are particularly popular with lunchtime workers, while the staff were all very friendly and personable.
Oh, and yes, the cinnamon scrolls ($5) are as good as the Nigels and Wendys in suburbia would have you believe – a heavenly mix of sugar and spice.
Big Loaf Factory Bakery
7 Zeta Crescent, O’Connor
by STEPHEN POLLOCK