‘I make real bread without the crap… just good old-fashioned bread’, is the bread-making philosophy of Ox the Baker’s pioneer and captain, Ox Noonan. Committed to debunking the bad bread myth, Ox is going back to basics to produce no-nonsense bread, free of preservatives, fillers or ascorbic acids. To put it plainly, there will be no sign of ‘hybrid wannabe breads’ at Ox the Baker.
Ox is no stranger to Melbourne’s bakery buffs, having spent years selling baked goods at the South Melbourne Market where he perfected family recipes using hand baking techniques. All breads produced at Ox the Baker reap old-school sensibility, being fermenting and naturally leavened to produce high-quality dough using tried and tested methods dating back to the 1800s. Now, in his solo venture, Ox’s traditional approach continues to flourish thanks to the fresh ingredients of local, sustainable suppliers like Sultana Girl and producers from King Valley and the Grampians.
If Ox’s extensive experience isn’t satisfaction enough, just look to his research as part of a university project delving into the digestibility of grain and wheat proteins. In an attempt to find the optimal ways to work with nature, rather than against it, Ox’s baked goods submit to nature’s bounty to produce health-conscious loaves that taste like real bread simply because it is real bread.
All this is to be enjoyed at his heritage listed digs in South Melbourne, the site itself dating back 130 years. At the point where rustic meets modern, this bakery is the ideal spot to enjoy a cup of St Ali coffee, a bite or two of hand crafted bread, old-fashioned pies, sausage rolls and pastries. But be sure to get in there early – as this 10 seater venue seats only a handful of lucky diners. Leaving with a satisfied belly full of nourishing nosh, don’t forget to pick a few goodies to take home on your way out, like the Otways walnut, blood plum and brandy jam, or a bottle or two of Healthy Humans living ginger beer.
With family and tradition at its core, every loaf, pie and pastry produced at Ox the Baker is testament to the lifetime of passion that lies at the heart of the bakery. As such, you can munch away with the assurance that every bite was made with taste, wellbeing and quality in mind.