Barossa

Barossa's Table: Apex Bakery and the Long Lunch

7/07/2011 11:06:00 PM


Apex Bakery
1A Elizabeth Street
Tanunda SA 5352
Ph: (03) 8563-2483

The Apex Bakery was established in 1924, and the wood-fired ovens have been burning ever since!  Early on the Friday morning of our Barossa trip, we were invited to check out the famous ovens and their baked goods.

The bakery has an old-school, country charm to it...

... and a wide range of cakes, breads and pastries.  They have a mixture of old-fashioned Australian-bakery staples (think: pies, pasties, cream-filled donuts, cream eclairs, Swiss rolls, vanilla slice), and German cakes, like Bienenstich and Streuselkuchen, or "German Fruit Cake", as they call it there.  The German fruit cake is sold by weight. Love it!
Clockwise from top left: Bienenstich; Scrolls and donuts; bread rolls; cheesy scrolls and twists 
Our favourite discovery, however, was a simple one - the 1918 bread.
It's a plain white loaf, created especially for 1918 restaurant.  It has a crusty exterior, and super-fluffy white innards.  It got the tick of approval from German Sandra: finally, a loaf of bread in Australia that tastes like the bread back in Germany!  High praise indeed!  Is it bad that I'd consider flying back to the Barossa just for a loaf of this bread? Hehehe.

We then went out the back to meet baker Nipper Fechner and to see where the magic happens.

Nipper Fechner with a loaf of 1918 bread
I loved seeing all the massive mixers, the huge quantities of dough, and tray after tray of pasties and pies!
Clockwise from top left: Pasties, sausage rolls, pasties, pies & quiches
The famous oven!



Dough-rolling machine for making laminated doughs

Massive mixer

Brice the Mixer

Back: rough dough. Front: smooth dough.


The Long Lunch

We returned to Apex at midday for the famed Long Lunch.  It's a tradition that's not quite as old as the ovens, but just as loved by many locals.  Every Friday, a group of Barossans rock up around the back of Apex for lunch with Nipper and the boys: a little something cooked in the wood-fired ovens, a few drinkies, and definitely lots of Apex bread.  It's a casual affair, and all are welcome, just bring something to share!  Perhaps some sausages, or a bottle of wine from your own vineyard? (It seemed like almost everyone we met in the Barossa is connected to the wine industry in some way!)

With all the wine sloshing around, I'm told the lunches can occasionally get a little rowdy!  But with myself, Sandra, Paige from Tourism Barossa and a lovely lady from the local paper in attendance, I can assure you all the boys were on their best behaviour!


Bread rolls, mini frankfurts

The Fechner Brothers

Burgers cooked in the wood-fired oven - yum!


My lunch! (Or part thereof).

And... chomp! Yum!
One of the owners of a local pizzeria brought a scrumptious sweet pizza to share: apples, crunchy brown sugar and little quenelles of sour cream. So delicious!

Sarah and Sandra visited Apex Bakery as a guest of Tourism Barossa, as part of the prize for winning the Barossa's Table Competition.

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