After six years baking at Organic Bread Bar in Paddington, Andreas Rost felt ready to put another feather in his cap. “We’re looking to do more restaurant-style evenings and I thought the location was very suitable.”
It’s been hard to turn his focus away from Paddington. “It’s a difficult situation to find consistent staff for night baking. We start at midnight. The sourdough is all done, but there’s still prep work and things like croissants need to spend time in the proofer before they’re baked.”
Most of the baking is done in Paddington but a few goods like croissants and sausage rolls are baked on site at Darlinghurst “to give the room a nice baking smell,” says Rost. The menu is split into breakfast and lunch. Eggs on toast, the bacon-and-egg roll, and sourdough with organic butter all feature loaves from Organic Bread Bar’s oven.
Pretzels cooked in the style of Rost’s native Strasbourg come with a dip of smashed avocado and a mango, coriander and chilli salad. While Bavarian pretzels are uniformly plump and fluffy, Strasbourg pretzels have a thinly rolled end and a fat or “belly” side to showcase two textures and flavours.
For lunch, there’s a gluten-free bowl, sandwiches and burgers. The Southern fried chicken burger is topped with carrot rapée, a French-style ribboned carrot marinated in orange juice and apple cider vinegar. Unlike the Paddington bakery for which Rost imported a 50-year-old bread oven and the original German mixer from his apprenticeship days, everything in Darlinghurst is new. The kitchen is fitted with a brick pizza oven and Rost is working with a chef on recipes to test out for lunch and eventually dinner.
It’s a modern space with industrial touches like exposed brick and ductwork. The kitchen is open to the 32-seat cafe area; there’s a narrow row of tables on the footpath. The day’s offerings, including pastries and bread, are on display around the room.
Although Rost makes appearances at the Darlinghurst spot, he still spends most of his time in Paddington baking. He even takes two of the midnight shifts every week.
“I love touching dough. It comes very naturally,” he says. “A baker’s job is a hard job, and if you cannot be proud of what you do, then there’s no point. Baking makes me really happy. It’s very rewarding every day.”
Organic Bread Bar Darlinghurst
354 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst
(02) 8041 8606
Mon to Sun 7am–5pm