Meet The Maker - Dench Bakers
Dench is a Melbourne institution, synonymous with the first wave of artisanal-style bread that inspired this city’s obsession with the loaf. What inspired the makers behind Dench?
There were a number of quality artisan bakers that made great product but couldn’t meet the demand for 365-day supply and so we saw an opening. We think we’ve cracked this one and made a little niche for ourselves in Melb.
We all know bakers rise well before the crack of dawn to create the masterpieces we get to enjoy alongside our morning coffee. What’s a typical pre-dawn morning routine for a Dench baker? (How many cups of coffee are consumed before 6am?!)
Things run 24/7 here at Dench Bakers, and so do the coffee brews!
To make sure we have the freshest bread and pastries on the doorsteps of our wholesale customers first thing in the morning our amazing bakers actually working well into the night. So pre-dawn is time for winding down and re-setting for the next day. All the coffee action is while most people are thinking about a midnight snack.
Our legendary drivers are the ones doing the pre-dawn shifts – they hit the road from about 1.30am and branch out all over Melbourne to reach our café, restaurant and catering partners in time for their morning rush.
As the Dench drivers return to our bakehouse our talented pastry chefs and customer service teams arrive to get the next day of production on the way.
So, it’s never quiet for very long around here and since we’ve got teams operating on 3 different time zones, the caffeine never stops. We can tell you that once you get past 10 espressos you start to get the shakes!
What’s the current fave baked good/s amongst the Dench team in your oven these days?
There is not much that beats the sesame crust off a fresh baked grain loaf. A close second would be the kalamata olive and rosemary sourdough loaf. It’s really fragrant (even more so when you toast it up) and the little crunchy, caramelised olive nuggets sticking out of the loaf are pretty hard to resist - they never seem to make it from my car into the house.
We know the lockdowns have inspired many to have a go at baking at home, are there any tips from the Dench team for at-home bakers looking to have some fun (or knead away the Covid blues?)
Bake in a camp-oven or oven casserole dish with a well-fitting lid, this creates its own little microclimate and makes for good steam production (give a little sprinkle or spritz with water before closing). This will give a great oven spring and colour, plus the metal helps recreate that awesome hearth-crust on the bottom of your loaf.
Dench Bakers available now on umamimarket.com.au