It was big news back in 2019 when Mat Lindsay (Ester, Poly) and Russell Beard (Reuben Hills, Paramount Coffee Project) banded together to open Surry Hills kebab joint Shwarmama. Now they’re joining forces again, this time to open a bakery, AP Bakery, in Darlinghurst. The duo will be joined by Dougal Muffet (who worked with Lindsay at Berta and Ester, and launched the bakery at Moonacres Kitchen in the Southern Highlands town of Robertson) and Paramount House Hotel owner Ping Jin Ng.
AP Bakery will launch in March in a 19th-century sandstone cottage on Burton Street, operating seven days a week for breakfast and lunch. And despite the “AP” in the bakery’s name – which stands for “all purpose” – don’t expect too much processed white flour here. Head baker Muffet grew up on a wheat farm in the central-west town of Forbes and has been hard at work germinating heirloom seeds and grains to run through the bakery’s stone mill. He’s also been working with the Australian Genebank to source lesser-known varietals of corn and old-world wheats.
“We will be using some amazing organic and sustainable farmers from across the state to supply a selection of new and old-world grains for us to crush through our mill on-site,” Muffet tells Broadsheet. “[Expect] more common varieties, like spelt, rye and Khorasan, to [the] lesser known, like triticale.”
Muffet says the aim is to avoid diluting those grains with white flour – though there will be classics such as baguettes and tartine country loaves alongside darker, 100 per cent rye loaves. Many of the grains they’ll use come from “legends of the regenerative agriculture world … [who use] farming methods that don’t involve any tillage”, says Muffet. “This leaves the land undisturbed, covered and teeming with life. The idea is to grow grain within the natural system, not dominate it. What we can assume is more complex flavour, nutrition and all the benefits for the environment that go with not tilling the country.”
As well as those nourishing loaves, the bakery will be pumping out sourdough baguettes; fermented potato buns; large pizza bianca; Vegemite and asiago (Italian cheese) scrolls; rosella-wheat canelé; and viennoiserie such as buttery croissants and buckwheat pain au chocolat.
Coffee will come from Reuben Hills, with the espresso machine located near the entry for on-the-go ease. A wine menu will include all-Aussie drops from small, organic and natural wineries.
The space itself – a heritage-listed sandstone cottage, formerly The Commons Local Eating House – is being made over by Anthony Gill Architects (Poly, Ester, Shwarmama). The original roof structure and existing fireplaces will remain, with a glass entrance leading to the main dining area.
“We all instantly gravitated towards this one. The 1800s sandstone cottage lent itself really well to our bakery concept,” says Muffet.
AP Bakery is slated to open in March at 32 Burton Street, Darlinghurst.