It’s no secret that I love cake, good bread with real butter and anything combining flour, sugar and butter. I love it even better if it tastes amazing and has a bunch of better ingredients in it. Thankfully somehow word got out to the good folks at The Crafty Baker, who offered to gift me an entire box of goodness for my family and I to try. Yes please, said we. And we said yes with happy hearts when we discovered these great facts about this little business:
– Always Free Range eggs
– No processed white sugar (except confectioners sugar)
– Natural vegetable/fruit food colourings, and sprinkles
– Only using our own organic butter and buttermilk which we make at the shop
– Only organic milk and cream
The Crafty Baker is a brand new artisan bakery in Glen Eden. It’s a little out of my way, but I have plenty of family and friends who live out West which means that I go that way often and will be sure to make it somewhere I’d stop off at to take good food to good people when visiting!
They’ve only been open since June (yes, literally only a few weeks!) but the success they are enjoying is testament to the amazing quality and fantastic freshness of their product. This blackboard sign I photographed upon visiting tells the story –
Their approach is one I respect. “Baking like it should be with top quality ingredients, no additives or GMO’s.” They produce a wide range of artisan breads, and baked throughout the day so even if you’re picking up bread on your way home from work, it will have been cooked in the afternoon, rather than first thing that morning.
They churn their own butter on site, always aiming for higher quality, without the silly price tag. The Crafty Baker is a stylish family bakery where you can see the entire process unfold before your eyes.
We tried the Walnut Sourdough loaf, which Lee the Baker explained undergoes a 14 hour proving process. FOURTEEN HOURS! Containing no yeast, it is treated to a series of folding every 4 hours; this folding creates the pockets of air and gives the texture of a crusty exterior and soft interior. It was just perfect with a slather of Lewis Road Creamery butter. None of the Crafty Baker bread contains yeast which I found extremely interesting as I always thought bread required yeast to rise.
We tried a selection of their most popular slices, including Salted Caramel which understandably sells out daily, and early in the day; Oaty Ginger slice which is perfect proportions of oaty goodness and ginger icing; Sticky Date Cake which is just as you imagine it to be: sticky, caramel-ly, date-y and yummy; and a Chocolate Cookie which was equal parts rich and chocolatey.
The croissants and Pain au Chocolat were incredible. I’ve long loved Pain au Chocolat so I’ve eaten a few in my time. It would be wrong of me to deny that this particular one was as good as the real McCoy in Paris. Seriously… you know how often you lose half the pastry onto your lap as it flakes apart with every bite? Not this one, it remains intact, which is perfect really because it means that you get every.single.crumb in your mouth, none on your lap or on the floor. That is value for money right there!
Whilst you may pay slightly more than your average corner bakery prices at The Crafty Baker, I can assure you it is money well spent. The quality you are ingesting is evident in the flavour of every article purchased and the passion put into the goods by these passionate and crafty bakers makes a visit to this humble little establishment well worth your while.
Writing this review makes me realise that perhaps we need to venture out west this weekend.
* Although I was given these goodies free of charge to sample, my opinions are honest and truthful. These goods are the business, and I will gladly return and spend my own money to partake again of these wonderful products. Thank you Crafty Baker!