Fifty-seven kilometres of enticing coastline is just one of the many attributes the Gold Coast has to offer. From Yatala to Cudgen and everywhere in between, the Gold Coast is a booming populace of lifestyle, business and, most importantly, food. Such landscapes and scope offer the cream-ofthe- crop choice in food options, namely the bakeries. These areafamous bakeries are recreating what it means to bake and break bread again.
Home to more than half-amillion people, the Gold Coast is known for its beaches, theme parks and rainforest hinterlands. Its picturesque skyline and hot climate add to its golden name, a destination well-marked for holidays and getaways.
Quality food is a given on the GC, as it’s affectionately known, ranging from delightful pickme- up snacks to breathtaking restaurants designed for indulgence. There are gems of traditional crafts, artisan methods and vegan takeovers providing the heartbeat that is keeping the art of baking come alive.
Watching talented bakers work tirelessly over their craft is a gift, and Paddock Bakery ensures its food is golden-brown good. Located in an old-fashioned Queenslander relocated to the Gold Coast in the 1970s, Paddock Bakery houses a woodfired oven made of antiqued red bricks sourced from around Australia. Owners Ben and Ursula Watts have poured their hearts, minds and skill into their bakery since 2013, giving it a name that exudes quality and confidence.
Additionally, a 1950s cottage converted to a loft lifted into the trees brings forth a wet weather and functions room, swathed in worldly antiques, most notably a 19th century clock from France. The intent and mission of Paddock Bakery is to bring together a love of baking, from the bakers themselves to the customers that seek out their fruits of labour. They claim some rather good wood-fired sourdough and an outfit of soul food in every loaf, a dream from an overgrown landscape that has bloomed into a vibrant meeting place.
OUR PICK: Woodfired Plum & Creme Caramel Cruffins (Semi Sourdough)
At two-and-a-half years old, Burleigh Baker is a handcrafted diamond in the rough of sourdough baking. Owner Geoff Dance grew up in Victoria, worked in Sydney and New York in marketing and grain trade before he came across his bakery’s natural leaven starters that are more than 25 years old from a pilgrimage around France and Italy.
He crossed the seas and brought them forth into the flavour of his breads at the Burleigh Heads Village. These handmade breads combine natural ingredients and stone hearths to create healthy, balanced and tasty sourdough. Geoff and his devout bakers are hardcore from crust to core about integral ingredients, digestibility and ensuring all loaves are handmade. No two loaves are handled and kneaded the same, so you can ensure a unique loaf in every tray from Burleigh Baker.
OUR PICK: Willi’s Light Rye
The name Bam Bam Bakehouse certainly brings appeal, and that is what Paddock Bakery’s owners Ben and Ursula Watts intended with their second venture in the baking business. However, be assured this is no Paddock Bakery duplicate. Bubbling over with French influence, the French-style of baking and traditional-yet-modern aspects of patisserie brings Bam Bam into the industry spotlight. Ben and Ursula spent time learning and perfecting their art in France with a master chef, bringing delicious and unstoppable treats back to the Gold Coast. Located in an unsuspecting venue not far from the Gold Coast Highway, Bam Bam bring class and flair, as well as new ideas to the bakery scene that leave customers dreaming of their next treat.
OUR PICK: Almond Croissant
When people think of bakery goods, they rarely think about the word vegan. However, with veganism on the rise across the country, this intriguing niche is starting to gain momentum. Steve O’Brian is the brains behind Flour of Life Bakery, a plant-based bakery that features delicious bread and gorgeous pastries that are all cruelty-free, fluoridefree and high on flavour. After becoming a vegan himself, Steve reached out to the growing community in Miami to bring options to the lines of baked savoury nibbles, sweet treats and breads. All food in Flour of Life is handcrafted in-house from scratch, using natural ingredients and quality plant-based products to create food that Steve, his staff and his regular customers all love. Alongside their successful bakery, Steve also wholesales many of his pies, sausage rolls, doughnutsand danishes. Flour of Life is great for a new experience, for those friends who are picky about what they want to eat or if the craving of a healthier sweet treat is calling.
OUR PICK: Caramel Tart
When all you want is a good old-fashioned loaf of bread or pastry that is full of the texture and flavour of yester-year, go no further than Gumnut Bakery. An establishment steeped in history, the bakery went through many ownership changes before landing in the hands of its current owners. A passionate four-man team made up of Leonie Newey, Wayne Rowe, Shaun Spiller and Luke Chilcott, they spend long hours creating a variety of scrumptious baked goods. Previously bakers under Gumnut’s last management, the foursome decided to keep the Gumnut name going, and with a good variety to show for it. The four bakers carry pride in the process, ensuring their products are all handmade, just the way they were a decade or two ago. Anything from pies and savoury treats, to cream buns are delectable to eat, including their large variety of gluten-free cakes.
OUR PICK: Hot Cross Buns
Ricky Fukada spent 10 years in the US and a further 20 years on the Gold Coast perfecting the art of creating sourdough. Building on the back of his hard work, the first Panya Artisan Bakery opened in Mermaid Waters seven years ago, before it was moved to its current location in Currumbin.
Panya is home to a simple selection of fine breads, including a gluten-free option. Now a booming, wholesale sourdough business, Ricky’s bakery delivers from Southport to Coolangatta, pumping out around 2000 loaves of sourdough a week. Alongside this, Panya produces pastries with a team of bakers seven days a week in its Currumbin Waters location.
OUR PICK: Spicy Fruit Loaves