Berkelo Bakery approaches the production of bread slowly, rejuvenating our relationship with delicious baked goods.
The concept’s founder, Tom Eadie, wanted to change people’s perception of bread as an unhealthy food product, pushing back against the supposed healthiness of gluten free products. He’d also noted the gap in the bakery market on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and so set out to create a space where everyone could enjoy the benefits of the baked good.
His aim was to show that when using stone-milled grain, natural yeast, adding a fermentation process, and making the bread properly, it can be a health food. He does this from his bakery and outlet on William Street, and has just opened a second venture on the lauded Danks Street in Waterloo.
There’s no surprise Berkelo has been such a success: Tom comes with plenty of hospitality experience, with positions such as Executive Chef of Boathouse Group and a private yacht chef appearing on his resume. To create his new venture, he pulled together a team with varied culinary backgrounds so as to cover all bases, setting their passionate focus on the making of a great loaf of bread.
There’s no cutting corners here: Berkelo respects the traditional process and how long that might take. In using a long fermentation process, Tom believes the team is creating a loaf which is properly digestible for human consumption.
In keeping with this approach, the offerings change daily, and are determined by the seasons, ensuring every ingredient is as fresh as can be. There’s not a refined sugar or sweetner in sight, and even the butter is house-made; churned and cultured from Jersey cream. For sweetness, Tom and his team turn to raw honey, which is converted into rapadura cane sugar.
Regardless of which one you try, there are some consistencies across every Berkelo loaf. Every product is made with unbleached 100% Australian stoneground flours and the best certified sustainable and organic ingredients. As the loaves are naturally leavened, there’s also no commercial yeast or additives.
You can see what exactly this means for your body by trying the diverse range on offer. The signature sourdough is a good place to start, as its made with a rye starter. From there, you’ll find anything from the sprouted grain loaf, with sprouted lentils, buckwheat, flaxseeds and rye, to the lemon myrtle sourdough, made with blueberries, grapes and fig.
Coeliacs need not worry; there’s plenty in store for you as well. The Teff and almond loaf features sesame, flax and milk, ensuring you can enjoy every bite.
In keeping with its sustainable and healthy approach, Berkelo works with other independent businesses that operate with a similar ethos. Therefore, savoury products feature beautiful organic meats from Shiralee, while organic fruit and veggies, always seasonal, come from Back to Eden or Eugalo Farm in Picton.
Bread isn’t the only treat on offer at Berkelo – there are a couple of breakfast offerings to guide you through the morning. The McBerkelo, a take on the McMuffin, sees the stacking of a house-made pork and veal sausage patty on top of wilted greens, mozzarella, and fermented chilli sauce on a sourdough English muffin. Pastry lovers will be salivating at the sweet options: eclairs with whipped labne; macadamia and cacao croissants, and wholewheat fruit tarts are all on hand.
Not ones to forget about the all-important caffeine hit, Berkelo works with Sovereign Specialty Coffee Roasters to deliver delicious coffees, served in beautiful ceramic mugs made by Melbourne-based artist Kaz Morton.
It’s fair to say Berkelo has done just what Tom and his team set out to do. They’re dishing up the healthiest version of bread possible, in a setting that’s welcoming for both a pit stop and longer stay. Stop by to catch up with friends over a coffee and cake, before throwing a few loaves in the bag to take home – you’ll be enjoying Berkelo’s goods long after you’ve left.