I’m not a pastry person. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the vast world of dough making, but you won’t find me making a beeline for the almond croissants or chocolate tarts, or loading up on danishes. I do love a pie, and I have been known to enjoy a quiche, but for me they’re more an occasional indulgence and, if truly pushed, I could probably do without them.
That’s why I was a tad surprised at the infatuation that’s developed following my inaugural dalliance with AP Bakery’s Aleppo pepper and Asiago scroll.
The scroll crush came out of left field, too. I was there for AP’s bacon sandwich, enticed, as I imagine many others were, by photos of it on Instagram. (I mean, check it out. As a bacon-sandwich enthusiast I was simply incapable of resisting its charm.)
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So, there I was in February on the Surry Hills rooftop, bacon sandwich in one hand and cup of tea in the other, enjoying life. My dining partner had ordered a scroll for the table, but I didn’t really think much about the flaky disk because I was too busy demolishing the sandwich. After eating half of the sanger and whipping off the curry-leaf butter that had oozed out, I picked up the scroll and took a bite. I went back for another. And another. And then a couple more.
I was transfixed. Firstly by the sesame seeds. They’re toasted, and when eaten they kinda pop in your mouth. And because there is a decent smattering of these mighty seeds across the scroll surface, they add a delightful textural element I never knew I needed in my life. Let’s just say I’m not above using my tongue to hoover up any rogue seeds that fall from the scroll.
Shards of sea salt speckle the surface, too, and deliver the occasional salty hit. There’s also a deeply satisfying chilli hum thanks to a balanced sprinkling of Aleppo pepper. What a genius move, AP Bakery – the burgundy-coloured pepper invigorates the tastebuds, as all good chilli should, but it’s a mellow jab rather than a powerful right hook. Finally, there’s the Asiago – a cow’s milk cheese from Italy – which is bitey and adds another element of robust flavouring. The scroll isn’t too thick, and because it’s cooked to crunch level, each bite is a pleasing mix of chomp and chew.
The real star, of course, is AP’s outstanding pastry. Take a bow Dougal Muffet. He’s AP’s head baker, and the ex-Ester whiz is doing fabulous things (I also love his outstanding bread). He works with lesser-known old-world wheat varietals and freshly milled small-batch wheat from NSW and Victoria (read more about that here.)
He’s also changing my world view. Maybe I am a pastry person?