A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published January 16th 2017
Berkelo Cafe Brookvale is Baking Bread Beautifully
The new superfood is bread. Yep, you read that right. But not any kind of bread, sourdough bread to be exact. And exactly this kind of sourdough - naturally leavened and made from unprocessed stone-milled grain from country N.S.W. No commercial yeasts or grains are used, just an olde-world fermentation process that delivers crunchy-crusted loaves of malleable, moist sourdough that, when sliced, don't deserve to be toasted. In fact, Berkelo won't toast it; it's too good to be toasted. Just top it with some of their home-made house-churned butter and raw honey from a local supplier and you're in breakfast heaven. Positioned just off Pittwater Road near Warringah Mall at 8 William Street, Brookvale, Berkelo Bakery is leading a bread revolution.
This bolt-hole-in-the-wall sized bakery and café is huge in every way. On the recommendation of a friend who raves about their bread, I arrive early on a mid-week day to see what the fuss is all about. Small wooden stools and round tables positioned just off the pavement, and in the shade of a sprawling Poinciana tree, create an inviting and casual gathering place. A brief menu on the wall has breakfast covered - their home-made granola, a bowl of poached egg, avocado, pickled veggies and a slice of freshly baked bread.
The menu is smallish because Berkelo's philosophy is to eat by the season, and what was baked today. Cultured butter croissant, sprouted lentil, buckwheat and flaxseed loaf, burnt butter cake with rhubarb, strawberry and vanilla, lemon myrtle sourdough with blueberries, grapes and fig, and a teff and almond loaf with sesame, flax and milk are all still warm out of the oven this morning and I'm stumped with how to choose. I go with what I know - the croissant, and being an old farm girl I always add some butter (even though I probably shouldn't) because my mum used to make butter too. The real stuff is delicious - just like what I'm tasting this morning - freshly made REAL butter with no artificial flavours or colours.
Berkelo's co-owners are Tom Eadie, former executive chef at The Boathouse group, and Matt Durrant, head baker, who believe bread isn't bad for you, there's just too much badly made bread. And they don't stop at bread. The pastries being created include English muffins, a sour-doughnut rolled in buckwheat praline, and some impressive looking pies and sausage rolls.
What I love about Berkelo is their passion and commitment to sourcing local ingredients and creating pure wholesome food from simple ingredients. Oh, and by the way, the coffee was pretty darn good too.