What do you get when you add an array of renowned South Australian wines to puddings and pies? Answer: the best bakery in South Australia. Readers will be pleased to know I have diligently done my research and performed a comprehensive taste test!
This is a blog I have SO been looking forward to writing – Peter the proprietor and baker at Bakehouse on Collins Parade in Hackham, south of Adelaide, visited me at the Pirramimma cellar door in McLaren Vale recently and told me he was trying our fortified wines to decide which one to put in his Christmas puddings – he decided on the 12-year-old Pirramimma Liqueur Port from McLaren Vale in which he soaks the sultanas, currants, raisins and cherries for weeks, even months. For the best product he wanted a decent port and stated proudly:
“If you wouldn’t drink it why would you put it in your food?”
Peter exudes passion for quality cooking and demanding the best ingredients, all sourced from South Australian producers. His philosophy is to “use good quality ingredients in your product because it makes it taste so much better”.
Peter and his wife Agnieszka and pretty little daughter Isabelle welcomed me into their bright shop and my eyes were immediately drawn to the range of fresh cakes, pastries, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, puddings and bread products, all of which were beautifully presented behind a glass screen. All of the products are baked fresh in store. Looking around the back, it was all so clean and tidy and organised, it is hard to believe just how busy this business is. Peter had been working since 10pm the previous evening and it was now 9am and he still had more deliveries to do before he could knock off for the day.
On the wall were a number of ribbons and certificates (pictured) representing a fraction of the 22 awards they have won in the last two years at the Royal Adelaide Show. Having only been operating for two years on 1 December 2010, this is an incredible record. Seven of the awards are top three placings.
I was further astounded by the appearance of a huge gold trophy presented for the 2009 Laucke Flour Prize for the Highest Mark in Savoury Pastries.
From the wide range of pies and pasties, breads and cakes I was concentrating on the wine-infused products! For example, see the pie descriptions:
Peter’s meat pies:
- K1 Silver Shiraz Kangaroo Pie – kangaroo pieces marinated in K1 Silver Shiraz then slowly cooked with onion, celery, carrot and garlic
- K1 Silver Shiraz Lamb & Rosemary Pie – tender lamb pieces, garlic and fresh rosemary marinated in K1 Silver Shiraz then cooked with chunks of potato, mushroom and onion
- K1 Gold Label Savvy Chicken & Leek Pie – packed full of fresh chicken breast pieces, leek and zucchini all cooked in the Gold Label Sauvignon Blanc with just a hint of garlic
- K1 Gold Label Savvy Chicken & Brie Pie – juicy chicken breast pieces, peas, carrots, corn, onion and garlic all cooked in the Gold Label Sauvignon Blanc and topped with a generous piece of Brie cheese
Peter uses shiraz from the K1 winery in the Adelaide Hills in his kangaroo pies and his lamb and rosemary pies, and K1 sauvignon blanc in his chicken and leek, and chicken and Brie pies. I tasted one each of these pies over the next couple of days and oh boy, I never expected to be blown away by meat pies. I could wax lyrical about every single bite. It was like tucking into a gourmet meal in a top restaurant. I had to look again to remind myself I was eating a pie. The kangaroo pie was an intense flavour explosion of lean red meat, savoury spice and rich wine. In the chicken pie with Brie, the cheese melted down through the pie and smelled divine and perfectly accompanied the flavours and textures of the chicken breast and vegetables, onions, garlic and sauvignon blanc. Wow!
They are everything you want in a pie – fresh, lean, tender meat chunks and fresh vegetables in a rich thick sauce, encased in his handmade pastry, not too thick, and baked with a golden crust – and not a single air bubble in sight! He doesn’t just mix the wine in, he marinades the meat in the wine and you can taste the wine, the spices, the vegetables, the top quality meat.
For the mince pies and Christmas puddings he soaks the fruit for a length of time (months!) to really concentrate those flavours. I have sampled a great number of mince pies in my time – Peter’s made me groan with delight. That first smell brought back all my Christmases and I closed my eyes to focus the senses. It was unbelievably good, the rich fruit and sherry are an élite taste sensation, and the golden pastry just sweet enough, was all in perfect balance. This man is a genius!
It all becomes clear why he is so adamant in using fresh, top quality ingredients in everything he makes. Plus his prices are extremely competitive – at just $4.20 to $4.40 for the pies, six mince pies for $5.50, and $20 for the 800g Christmas puddings – once you have tried these you will be a regular. No one else’s come close.
Peter’s suppliers are all South Australian companies:
- wine from Tinlins, K1 and Pirramimma (Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale)
- flour from Laucke (based in Strathalbyn)
- meat from Collins Parade Meats next-door to the bakery
- bakery supplies (fats for the pastry, sultanas, seasonings, etc.) from Foodmont bakery suppliers (Royal Park)
Bakehouse on Collins supplies a range of breads, bread rolls, brioche, carrot cake and more to several well-known cafés and restaurants so do try them if you are in the area:
- Victory Hotel, Main South Road, Sellicks Beach
- Aussie Inn, Main South Road, Hackham
- Old Noarlunga Hotel, Patapinda Road, Old Noarlunga
- Shivers Café and Restaurant, Port Road, Aldinga
I shall certainly be a regular customer and recommend this exceptional baker. This business deserves to continue to be a raging success.
Proprietors Peter and Agnieszka Kendrick
Shop 5, 77 Collins Parade, Hackham, SA 5163
Phone: 08 8384 6554
Open 6am Monday to Saturday