Bienvenue: Autolyse French Bakery
by The Editor
Autolyse is an optional dough process. It refers to a period of rest after the initial mixing of flour and water, a rest period that occurs sequentially before the addition of yeast and other ingredients.
Unlike the French, it appears activities along Lonsdale Street show no signs of retreat. Now we’ve been treated to new Gallic experience in the form of Autolyse French Bakery.
Bread and pastries are matters of national significance to the French in a similar vein to egalitaire, Le Tour de France and Carla Bruni. A good pastry chef can make his or her fortune, while the Government continues to subsidise the cost of a loaf of bread (currently around 1 euro – $1.30 here) to ensure universal access. You can imagine what the Germans think of that.
The bakery itself is wedged in the corner of the northern Lonsdale strip where a defiant motor repair outlet creates an industrial divide between Autolyse and Elk and Pea, and is the newest project for Darren Perryman (Alto, First Floor, Bel Mondo) and husband-and-wife team Miriana Cavic and Mickey Gubas (Alto, Milk and Honey). You can expect a mix of quality and experience.
On approach, there is a thankfully restrained approach to commercialised street art with a subtle mural decorating the long brick walls that lines the outdoor area. Umbrellas stand sentinel over tres Parisian cafe chairs that line famous boulevardes and avenues. Entry to the bakery reveals a startlingly white tiled interior. A simple small counter selling bread, sandwiches, coffee and pastries occupies the front portion of the shop, while the expansive that seemingly recedes to the vanishing point is completely open above waist height.
The beauty of Autolyse is it sticks to first principles and avoids a fiddly line-up of products. Do you want some bread? There it is in front of you – baked in classic styles (sourdough, rye, wholemeal etc. for around $6.00 – 7.00). Feel like a wine to go with your sandwich? Well, you can have a glass, carafe or bottle ($4/$10/$15) and it comes in a range of either house red or house white. No need to torture yourself over which varietal best matches the relish on your roll, just pick a colour and get on with it. Macaroons? There’s one flavour. We think you get the picture.
So, place an order at the counter, receive your table number (a gorgeous mini potplant!) and find yourself a spot either streetside or along the kitchen wall. The coffee is from Ritual in Tasmania – with a Burundi bean being brewed – and a sandwich will cost you $7.00 ($8.00 for toasted). We tried the turkey version with cranberry and triple cream cheese: it was melt-in-your-mouth stuff and utterly delicious.
Autolyse plans to bake all day, so you can be sure to pick up a fresh loaf either at 7.00 in the morning or late in the afternoon. While the bakery may get a little noisy on occasions due to ongoing mixing and baking, that’s all part of Braddon’s semi-industrial charm. C’est la vie and all that – exactly the way it should be.
Lonsdale Street Braddon
Opening Hours: TBC