Tank loaves. Married high-top loaves. Horseshoe rolls. Fourth-generation baker Shane Pallot remembers a time when breads like these were mainstays in small, family-run bakeries across Western Australia. Nowadays, these items – and independent bakeries – are thin on the ground. Grain Bakery, a new bakery in Lathlain, wants to address both of these issues.
“People have gone back to the days where they’re paying for bread now,” says Pallot, whose family has owned bakeries in regional centres such as Cunderdin, Meckering, Katanning and Bridgetown, as well as in the metropolitan area. “They just don’t want to go to a supermarket and buy sourdough that’s frozen and come from New Zealand.”
Grain Bakery digs deep into the Pallot family’s story: the sausage roll and pies recipes have remained unchanged for 40 years, a vintage dough sheeter in the bakery goes back even further, and Shane’s wife Mandy and daughter Annalyce are both intimately involved with the business. And it will offer sourdoughs and reimagined pastries alongside classic breads from yesteryear. Leading the way is Brendan Stone, a baker with more than 20 years’ experience and stints at both Mary Street Bakery and Miller & Baker on his resume.
“Grain is a mixture of new school and old school,” says Stone. “Rather than being 100 per cent boutique bakery or the old sort of ’70s to ’90s-style bakery, we’re going to do the lot and offer a bit of everything for everyone. Some people are into organics. Some people are into the white sandwich loaf for the kids. It’s about bringing all of that together in the one place.”
Joining Stone is Ruby Farrow, another baker who’s clocked plenty of time in restaurants. (Her CV includes Propeller, Ootong & Lincoln and Little Loaf Bakery). Considering Fallow and Stone’s pedigree, it should come as little surprise that everything is being made in-house – from the dough to the chilli oil to the pale, vanilla-seed-flecked custard that’s piped into fluffy filled doughnuts – with breads and pastries baked in a rotating four-deck Rotel oven. Creative pastries such as custard tarts spiked with lemon myrtle will share cabinet space with cinnamon buns, fudge slices and other bakery favourites. While Grain is experimenting with house-milled flours, the majority of its flour is supplied by Wholegrain Milling, a family-owned business from Gunnedah in New South Wales that stone-grinds all of its organically certified flour.
“We’re using the best flour you can get,” says Stone. “And we’re not putting any additives into these sandwich loaves. So they’ll look like something from a chain bakery, but won’t taste anything like it.”
The bakery takes over the old Easy Bite Fish Burger & Chips at the same Lathlain shopping centre that houses cheery neighbourhood cafe Laika Coffee and small bar Cosy Del’s. Speaking of cosy: Grain Bakery is more storefront than dine-in space, although nearby Rayment Park makes a fine picnic area. Filled rolls and sandwiches – think prosciutto and stracciatella baguettes and a classic salad roll – and house-made condiments are also available, while coffee is supplied by Subiaco’s Community Coffee Co.
Grain Bakery (19 Lathlain Place, Lathlain) opens at 6am on Wednesday March 10 and will trade Tuesday to Sunday.