My week is not the same without a visit to the Yummioh Organic Bakery stall, at the Rocklea twilight markets. I was hooked after trying a loaf of the organic spelt sourdough and the fruit loaf is what got me through this winter. Yummioh sourdough is superb, the taste and texture is reminiscent of the traditional baked bread from my childhood but it is not too sour or dense. The ingredients are nice and simple; organic flour, filtered water and salt. It happens to also be baked by the nicest baker you can meet. I went out to visit Donald at his shop in Thornlands, to see the baking in action.
Believe it or not, I went to the sourdough bakery not even knowing what distinguishes sourdough from other bread, I just liked the taste of it. I had no idea about starter or wild yeast. If you are like me and need a quick lesson, sourdough is not made using commercial yeast. It is naturally leavened using the starter. The initial starter is made by mixing flour and water and letting it sit for about a month. Wild yeasts exist in the air around us and inhabit the starter. The starter is what makes the sourdough rise and gives it the distinct tangy taste. Every time a bit of starter is taken out for a batch of dough, the baker replaces it with a bit more fresh flour. The wild yeast continually reproduces in the starter mix. Starter can be maintained for years and a prized starter can be passed through the generations. Some of the famous European bakeries use starter that is 100 years old.
In true sourdough tradition, Yummioh uses its own starter.
There is many health benefits to eating sourdough over manufactured yeast bread. I won’t go into it, but it has to do with the slow fermentation process, the happy marriage of bacteria and yeast and the acids produced by the bacteria.
Donald started Yummioh two and a half years ago and it has not been the easiest of ventures. Good thing he has passion for what he does, you would need that to sustain the 14 hour days. At the moment Donald runs the show. He is the baker, the shop keeper, delivery driver and market vendor. He dreams of being able to concentrate solely on baking good sourdough. He has no ambition to create a large enterprise and is happy to have a small business that delivers a good product, to bunch of local regular fans. I like that.
My visit was on a Wednesday afternoon and I stood in the baking room watching Donald confidently bustle around pulling bread out, checking the ovens and loading more loaves. Donald modifies his baking process daily, depending on the weather. Baking sourdough is an art and understanding the effect in changes of humidity and temperature can not be taught in a recipe book. It is something you learn with practise.
Good things take time and it is an 8 hour process to make sourdough because of the long natural fermentation process. Yummioh is a small bakery but it still blew me away that on a Saturday, Donald bakes 700 loaves of bread and on average 1200 a week.
If you live in Thornlands, you are lucky because you can buy sourdough fresh out of the oven, at the bakery between 7 am and 5pm everyday, except Monday.
The shop is located at 73 Panorama Drive, Thornlands. Yummioh has only been operating out of these premises for a short time. At the time of my visit, the signage had not yet been changed over from the previous bakery.
Yummioh bread is stocked at:-
- Delta in West End
- Vitality Health Foods in Mt Gravatt, Greenslopes and Riverlink Shopping Centre
- Apples on Ainsworth in Salisbury
You can buy it direct from the following markets:-
- Wednesday – Rocklea Twilight Markets
- Saturday – Rocklea markets and Palm Beach farmers markets
- Sunday – Mt Gravatt Markets, Eagle farm markets and Gold Coast turf club markets.
I don’t have the time or passion to master the art of making my own sourdough. I am glad there are people like Donald, who devote their time to the creation of outstanding artisan bread. Yummioh bread certainly is worth making the trip for.
I had such a good time visiting the bakery. It has given me a new appreciation of the effort that goes into the loaves of beautiful sourdough I buy each week.
In fact, I am off to the Rocklea twilight markets tonight to get my Yummioh stash for the week.