At Dust Bakery, they’re very passionate about bread. Third generation baker, Cesare Salemi, is a staunch advocate for stone milled flour. He puts forward a compelling case for using it in his Dust Appreciation Class ($75/head). This two-hour bread eating and learning adventure takes you through the differences between roller milled and stone ground flour.
The difference, in a nutshell, is that stone ground flour contains the whole wheat grain – bran, germ and endosperm; while roller milled flour is tempered with moisture to soften out the endosperm, while the bran and germ separated out by sieving or sifting. You can feel and see the textural and colour differences between the resulting flours in the samples Cesare passes around the table. You can also taste the difference between Dust Bakery breads, and Australia's most popular supermarket bread - Wonder White.
Beyond the dietary fibre in bran (which mainstream breads often add back in, after sifting it out) from wheat germ you get things like magnesium, zinc, thiamin, folate, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin E. What all this adds up to is that not only is stone milled flour more flavoursome, it’s also more nutritious. On the downside, the pieces of bran interrupt the formation of a strong gluten matrix, so breads made from it don’t tend to rise as high. Also the fats in wheat germ and bran mean it spoils more quickly – so you will need to use the package you receive of Dust Bakery stone ground flour within three to six months.
Their stone ground flour is produced onsite in a handmade wooden stone mill Cesare has nicknamed Heidi. She sits next to a sifter dubbed Agatha.
In the class - or through the glass windows if you're just visiting Tramsheds - you will see them both hum into life to process a heritage wheat grain called Bok that dates back pre-1960s.
After producing their own flour, the Dust Bakery team gently mix, then slow-ferment using a mother culture that began in 1980 (for the rye breads) and 1999 (for the white breads), before baking their breads. The Bok wheat sourced in Emerald in Central Queensland, is turned into a wood fired bread called Village Loaf ($17/full, $9/half) which is Dust Bakery’s signature bread. Cesare made some claims about this bread being tolerable to gluten intolerant people, and even to some people who suffer from coeliac disease. While I’d like to see these claims supported by evidence-based research, if you're really missing good bread and willing to risk the experiment's potential side-effects, it might be worth a try.
More than just a bakery, Dust is also a restaurant, and the classes include a dinner that showcases their pride and joy: slow-fermented wood fired pizzas.
Using their in-house stone ground flour, the bases here are fermented for over thirty hours, then fired in the wood fire oven.
The nicely puffed, blackened crusts are not overloaded with toppings, starting with a simple Margherita Pizza ($18) adorned with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and scattered fresh basil leaves.
Living down the road from acclaimed pizzaiolo Francesco Spataro, who plies his craft at Aperitivo, I’ve become pretty fussy about pizza. So believe me when I say, I'm pretty impressed with the flavoursome bases here. Made with the teardrop shaped caciocavallo cheese, the Potato Rosemary Pizza ($18) is a particular standout, though it's the Mixed Funghi Pizza ($24) that'll probably drag me back.
Teaming air-dried beef and taleggio, one of my favourite full-flavoured Italian cheeses, the Bresaola and Taleggio Pizza ($22) was another favourite.
It does have an intensity that’s best balanced by salad, and the Raw Zucchini Salad ($14) teaming juicy ribbons of zucchini with their flowers, bread crumbs and shredded stracciatella di bufala cheese, proves a very suitable companion. The exciting surprise of seasonal, fresh blackberries help to keep my fork returning to the Beetroot Salad ($14) with goats’ cheese and pistachios.
Seasonality is also at play in the Fig and Prosciutto Pizza ($25), but with a whiff of autumn already in the air, I suspect you’ll have to dine quickly to catch this one.
Even the Green Salad ($9) is good, thanks to quality greens, fresh hazelnuts and great extra virgin olive oil.
Taking a class gives you a great menu overview, with the opportunity to eat more pizzas than I care to name - so you can rest assured, you won't be going home hungry.
Dust Bakery have upcoming bread appreciation classes on Tuesday 28 February, Tuesday 7 March and Monday 13 March that you can book online by going HERE.
The Tramsheds, 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge
Ph: (02) 9660 4529