It was my bad luck that Three Mills Bakery happened to be the closest refuelling spot to my office last year. While the job is no more, the impact on my waistline endures. Three Mills may be the best-hidden bakery in Canberra, tucked in the corner of a series of office buildings just near the airport in Majura Park, but once you’ve found it, there’s no going back.
Sourdough is the big ticket item here, and you’ll find it in many forms: quinoa and walnut, black olive, ancient grain, dark rye, spelt. I’m currently a little obsessed by their orange and raisin loaf which, when slathered with butter, is the best thing since, well, you know …
The range of pastries is not to be sniffed at either. Beef, shiraz and native pepper pie or pork, apple and fennel sausages will keep most of the family happy (vegetarians might swap in a Murrumbateman mushroom pie) and since COVID-19, Three Mills has been doing home deliveries, including a Family Box for those who can’t bear the agony of choosing.
When I pop in this week after a long hiatus I see that the culinary repertoire has expanded. A bank of freezers has been stationed in the dining area (currently it’s outdoor seating only), containing all those sweet treats (and savoury ones) I’ve managed to avoid since that Majura Park job ended.
Bake-at-home sour cherry danishes, chocolate croissants, spiced apple turnovers, even pecan pies seem to be winking at me from their icy confines. I decide it would be rude not to buy a couple of packs since the Three Mills team has gone to all the effort of helping out the home cook.
Three Mills Bakery can be found at 5 Lancaster Place at Majura Park, and their bread at selected IGAs.
The concrete floors and expansive warehouse feel of Wildflour are a nod to its location in semi-industrial Fyshwick, but the range of pastries, pies and crumbles neatly laid out in the display cabinet are enough to warm the cockles of the heart.
Wildflour is once again a hive of activity after the COVID-19 shutdown, with workers from nearby buildings popping in for takeaway ONA coffee and the small indoor tables now recommissioned for dining (in a COVID-safe way, of course).
For me, it’s all about those freshly baked goods: spinach, ricotta and feta pasties, chili beef pies, spinach or bacon quiches, each made from local produce. Sandwiches on house-baked breads including French or multigrain sourdough, dark rye or olive and thyme are also on offer.
The choice of sweet pastries is daunting even for the most dedicated scoffer. Apple crumble muffins, cinnamon scrolls, almond and chocolate croissants, chocolate eclairs and custard and fruit pastries vie for attention and in the interests of accurate research I make a note to try every one of them before the month is out.
Wildflour is a cool little spot for a casual catch up with friends, and for families too. If you’ve got kids, direct them to the outdoor play area so you have a clear run at the croissants. Wildflour will open a smaller takeaway branch in Kingston’s Eyre Street in October.
Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Cafe is located at 8 Townsville St, Fyshwick.
In a previous life, my sourdough-loving husband and I frequented a Sonoma bakery just down the road from our place in Sydney’s Glebe. You could barely swing a cat, such was its compact nature, and the range of products was limited. But it was enough to begin an ongoing addiction to Sonoma breads.
When Sonoma opened a Canberra outpost in late 2018, a year after we moved to the city, the husband got a new spring in his step. Now, the familiar black and white Sonoma packaging is once again a regular sight on our kitchen benchtop and, given that the Braddon shop (and its product range) is much bigger than our old local, there’s much experimentation going on.
While it’s against the law in our house to leave Sonoma without a sourdough seeded baguette and a backup sliced country white loaf for the freezer, I wait with anticipation on those Saturday mornings when my other half swings by the Braddon bakery and picks up breakfast.
We’ve tried the salmon crostini, the sausage roll, the blueberry lemon myrtle scone, the morning bun with cinnamon and citrus and the chocolate croissant. This week it was the pastel de nata, Sonoma’s version of the famous Portuguese custard tart. We’ve not had a dud yet, although I’m slightly dubious about the newest item we’ve spotted on the menu, the spanakopita croissant. That said, we’ll still be putting its through its paces next.
You can’t dine in at the moment but takeaways are still going strong. Order ahead online so you’re not disappointed when you get to the front of the queue only to find they’ve run out of your favourite loaf.
Sonoma is located at Shop 1/21 Lonsdale St in Braddon.