Bakers Delight behind the scenes | Top Ryde City
From loaves, to sweet breads, to rolls to scrolls, they do it all from scratch each and every day at Bakers Delight. When I was asked to go behind the scenes to see how the new lemon sweet range was made, I jumped at the chance. Bakers Delight has been a steady go to place for a quick on-the-run lunch, or a last minute ‘I didn’t get time to bake here’s something better anyway’ pick up en route to a picnic or lunch date. I remember walking home from primary school, stuffing my face with a cheesy mite scroll (still happens…). It’s just one of those places, embedded into Aussie culture.
I arrived bright & early, to learn that the crack of dawn takes on meaning for this team. The baker arrives at 2am, shortly followed by a second at 3am. (!) If I had to get up that early I would be very cranky, however these guys were friendly and totally in the swing of things by the time I arrived.
Let’s talk about the smell for a sec. As soon as I walked in, I was hit by the tummy grumble inducing mix of freshly baked, crusty bread, ham & cheese, chocolate type smell. They should bottle this stuff up and sell it as candles.
David, the franchisee knows a thing or two about bread, having been at the helm of this store for 11 years! After traveling the world in the hotel business, the family relocated to Sydney and decided on Bakers Delight as their business venture….and haven’t looked back ever since. He was going to be my instructor for the morning, and although I didn’t get to bake anything myself, his commentary, knowledge & passion for the process made me feel as if I was right there kneading along with him. I’ll admit that dough is a bit of a mystery to me, but David helped demystified the idea .(..while pushing me a little closer to the idea of wanting a KitchenAid mixer?!)
We started off by adding sugar, salt & bakers yeast to the flour to the mixer in order to make the sweet bread base.
The giant mixer then went to work. The dough needs to be in there for a couple of minutes to achieve the right consistency. David would stop it and check every few minutes to see if it was there yet. A couple of minutes in, and it was still too crumbly and not stretchy enough. Once we added the vegetable oil, it came together nicely.
The mixer doing it’s thing to get the dough to the right consistency
From here, David takes the dough and uses the scales and divider to portion out the sizes for the lemon scrolls. Each size must be consistent, and he shaves off a little here and there to ensure they are exactly the same size.
After this, the dough must rest in order for it to fully absorb the moisture of the oils, and also to ensure the gluten develops properly, so the bread rises. Now I really hope that’s correct, as by this stage I was too fascinated to be taking too many notes. On the note of gluten, Bakers Delight bread, at this stage, is not gluten free. It would be impossible with the current set up – you would basically need double the space, and even then the flours would probably still cross to the other side. I guess they could work towards a centralised model, where gluten free bread was developed off site, and then delivered fresh to each store, but I don’t think there’s any plans for this at this stage.
After the bread has rested, it’s time to ‘pin it out’ and spread out tangy the lemon curd. The lemon curd is not made on site, but rather purchased from Bakers Delight authorised suppliers. This ensures you get the same high quality and consistent flavours regardless of whether you’re in Top Ryde city, or Glebe.
The dough is rolled out perfectly to an even consistency. The resting process helps ensure this. Once the curd is down, it’s time to scroll it all up. David moistens the edges of the dough to aid in scrolling. Once every bit of it is scrolled up, he sections them off and places them into the patty pans. What’s really great about these scrolls is that since they’re sectioned off, it’s really easy to pull apart, especially if you’re out & about and don’t have the time to mess around with a knife.
From here, into the prover they go for about 2 hours, where the dough almost doubles in size.
They are then popped in the oven and piped with cream cheese while they’re still warm, so the cheese melts through – -yum! And here they are folks…the finished product! The cream cheese really helps balance the tang of the lemon curd. These got me all nostalgic, thinking back to the sticky lemony treats we used to buy from our primary school canteen, or as a treat on the way home.
These treats are also available as individual scrolls which are a perfect size for a small indulgence over coffee, and in a pack of 6 sweet bunlets which are great for kids lunches or afternoon treats.
Here’s some more insider info I managed to get while there
- Best selling products, besides the loaves, are the plain white rolls followed by the bacon & cheese rolls (nom!)
- The lemon range has also been flying off the shelf – probably since it coincides well with summer and long hot days spent picnicking or at the beach
- The store goes through….are you ready for this…3,400 KILOS of flour per week! Roughly 190 bags of the stuff!!
- Since all the bread is baked fresh each day, I had to ask what happens to anything that doesn’t sell. You’ll be pleased to know that a farmer comes in and picks up any unused product to use on his cattle farm on the central coast! It’s ultimately up to the owner of the store to work out what happens with excess product, however most follow this practice, or have agreements in place with local charities. I love this, as I can’t stand seeing food go to waste.
Thanks so much for David and the team for allowing me to come in and see what an
hour or so is like behind the scenes in a bakery!
Now this was the perfect time to admit I’d never tried a Bakers Delight loaf. We’re not big bread eaters in our household, and we normally just have a loaf of Helga’s sitting in the freezer in case anyone wants it. I chose the chia loaf since I love trying chia in new things. I thought I’d go home and make a sandwich with it. Well, I got it as far as the kitchen counter, and then I downed 4 slices, plain, with nothing in them. It was ah-mazing. Still warm, it was flaky and crumbly on the outside, with the chia providing a bit of crunch, and oh so soft and warm and doughy on the inside. The entire loaf was gone in a matter of …oh a day or so. I think we’re off the Helga’s for now.
Bakers Delight were also kind enough to offer our readers 1 of 3 $10 vouchers to spend in store. The winners are….Meline, Tash & Goosmurf! Thanks for participating! Drop us a line via http://suburbaneatz.com/contact/ with address details, and we’ll get the vouchers out to you asap!