The true local bakers, as the name suggests, Elwood Sourdough is made locally using a natural leaven which is an age-old method giving the traditional flavour of a hearty village bread.
Delivered in store daily, Elwood Sourdough is so fresh that it arrives on our shelves still warm.
The dynamic duo behind Elwood Sourdough, Greg and Tracy, put down their baking mits to chat with us and let us in on the secret behind their delicious bread.
Who are the team behind Elwood Sourdough and what made you launch?
Greg Dee and Tracy Harvey are the key members with a great lot of bakers now involved - Peter Seymour, Andrea Cammarota and Paula Beltra Parraga. Greg trialled various forms of sourdough bread baking in the hope to make something super delicious to eat and give to friends. He worked at it for 12 months till he hit on ’the one’. Friends suggested Greg start selling it, so he did.
Can you tell us more about Elwood Sourdough and the ingredients used?
Our bread is an everyday bread, with a small combination of Rye to add depth of flavour but enough Unbleached White to make it easy to eat every day. Each loaf takes 36 hours in preparation, fermentation, proving, shaping and baking. We use a natural leaven to ‘rise’ the bread and we feed our leaven twice a day so it’s a young robust leaven. We only use Rye flour to feed our leaven.
What sets Elwood Sourdough apart from other Sourdoughs in the market?
We really like the fact our bread is delivered to our stockists while still warm from the oven. Customers are always chuffed when they pick up a hot freshly baked loaf. And we pride ourselves on being the ‘local’ bakers.
What does a day in the life of the Elwood Sourdough team look like?
We start at 5am every day. We weigh each lot of dough, then do the critical work of hand shaping each loaf, prove for 90 mins in banettons (wicker baskets), then bake for 30 mins at 270 degrees. Bread likes a hot oven. We then prepare the leaven for the next day’s bake. That evening we mix/knead the dough for the next day’s bake and then finally prepare the leaven for the day after’s bake. We like to have fun while we are baking with good music and lots of tea and toast!!
What was involved in developing the current range of Elwood Sourdough?
Research, research and more research was the key to making a very satisfying loaf. Greg did a breakthrough all day course with John and Al Reid of Red Beard Bakery in Trentham, alongside many, many attempts at making the perfect loaf.
As a small local business, do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs that are looking to launch a new product or brand?
We didn’t try and second guess the market but started off by making something we really liked and the customers responded. Bread is such a basic necessity and it’s a product you have to get right. So find the thing you love and care for and get it right. The rest follows…..
As a local Elwood resident, what do you like to do when you are not busy with Elwood Sourdough?
Tracy and I love cycling and walking the Elwood foreshore. We often marvel at our brilliant luck that we live in Victoria and our waters face south, however in Elwood we are able to experience a westerly sun setting over the water on our horizon. Bloody magic!
- Photo Credit: Mick Shaw (Mick Shaw Photography)
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three things what would they be?
My beautiful partner Tracy, a loaf of Elwood Sourdough and some Madura tea.
To find out more about Elwood Sourdough and to follow all the action, check them out on social media below:
All photos supplied by Hayley Bunting and Mick Shaw.