Stephane Mott wants everyone to experience bread like the French do. An ex-commercial baker (he was in charge of production for supermarket chains), Mott has shifted gears dramatically and opened Label Baguette, a tiny specialty bakery in Maroubra. We say “specialty” because unlike most Sydney bakeries, there are fewer than 10 things on the menu. Aiming to make and serve bread just as you’d find in rural France, Label Baguette does baguettes, croissants, waffles and little more.
Having spent his working life in large-scale bakeries, Mott is now in charge of his own bread destiny, and baking to the exact traditions of the French boulangerie. He’s using only French wheat, which has a different consistency to Australian wheat (which is generally higher in gluten) and French yeast, gives the dough a long ferment and bakes baguettes throughout the day.
This last point is of crucial importance to Mott because it means no matter the time of the day, his customers will receive a baguette that’s soft-centred and aromatic, crunchy but not hard. He’s already had a lot of support from the French community for being that rare thing: a bakery that does more than a single bread bake, but surprisingly, it’s another audience that excites him. “We have a few Australian people coming in every day to get their daily baguette. That I love,” he says. “I must be making good things.”
His other best seller is the waffles. “I'm from northern France, near the Belgium border, so I make Liege waffles,” Mott says, describing the style as a brioche dough, slightly aged to give flavour, then injected with little chunks of raw sugar for texture.
Although Label’s small range is part of the appeal, Mott does admit to having plans to extend the offering. The most exciting is a sourdough he’s producing from a starter he found in a rural French oven. “In France, each small village has an oven for all the village. I found a piece of dough there. It's an old, old oven so I hope there will be ferment there. I will try to get something out of that and start something with it.”
928 Anzac Parade, Maroubra
Tue to Fri 7am–6pm
Sat to Sun 7am –2pm