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The Ainslie Bakehouse – first bite of new bespoke bread

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If the cheese aisle at the Ainslie IGA isn’t enough to bring you into the Inner North suburban shopping strip, then Ainslie’s new Bakehouse could seal the deal.

Opening in the old Brumby’s site on Edgar Street on Monday, Bakehouse is an independent farm-gate-style bakery run by husband and wife team Baden and Kaylee Burke.

Baden is a Griffith (New South Wales)-born baker with more than 30 years’ experience. Kaylee hails from Derbyshire in England where local shops sell local product to sustain local villages. She has been working in the food industry in Australia for 10 years and was excited to be given artistic license to coordinate the fit-out before finally opening the doors to the new venture this week.

Indeed, the space is gorgeous—dark wood shelving with blonde wood counters and a bit of exposed brick making it a place to stay for coffee and a chat rather than somewhere simply to grab a loaf.

The couple believe Ainslie is a perfect spot for them.

“We are big fans of what Manual Xyrakis has done with the IGA,” says Baden.

“And we feel Ainslie has a community that appreciates handmade and independent product,” says Kaylee.

This includes preservative and additive-free loaves with all sourdoughs fermented between 24-36 hours.

“We use only flour, water and salt,” says Baden, who starts his shift at an ungodly hour of the day (well, night actually) in order to get the freshest bread read at 6 am when the doors open.

Bakehouse has a long bar at the front for perching to enjoy a barista-made coffee, while there are a few tables on the busy outside strip.

Coffee is by Seven Miles, locally roasted in Fyshwick, and the dark wood shelves will be filled with Black Mountain coffee, Amber Drop honey and a house-made chutney selection to take home (once the couple gets a moment to take a breath and simmer the chutney after the crazy business of their first day).

If you’re keen for a sandwich but don’t want to make it yourself, the bakery has a range of gourmet meat and vegetarian sangers—ready to eat then and there, or take home for later.

Meanwhile, the pâtisserie selection is strong—with lemon meringue tarts, frangipanes, choc brownies, melting moments, Danishes and croissants wafting their heavenly scents across the counter—alongside the unmistakable aroma of crusty ciabatta and Pane di Casa.

Baden, who is proud to tell us his 14-year-old son Billy is nearly a qualified baker and often joins dad on long shifts, never gets tired of baking—despite the punishing hours. The Bakehouse will be open seven days a week.

Baden personally relishes making pies and sausage rolls across a range of flavours—from Mexican, curry, pepper and mushroom pies to pork and fennel and cheese and spinach sausage rolls. He also invented something he believes is the perfect hangover pie—“The Mongrel”—which combines a secret-recipe spicy mince with layers of bacon, tomato and egg.

“I love making everything really, but I do love making pies. Baking is just in my blood.”

the essentials

What: Bakehouse Ainslie
Where: Shop 1, 5 Edgar Street Ainslie
When: Open 6 am–4 pm Monday to Friday, 7 am–2 pm Saturday and Sunday
Phone: 6247 7115
Social: Instagram @bakehousecanberra | Facebook: @bakehousecanberra

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