Flour Water Salt Organic Sourdough Bakery
49 Shoalhaven St, Kiama, NSW
02 4464 1843
There’s no mystery as to the ingredients of each loaf of bread at Flour Water Salt: it’s the same three ingredients from which the organic sourdough bakery takes its name, and just one of the reasons behind its continued success.
Joost and Kirsty Hilkemeijer are the hands, minds and hearts behind all three Flour Water Salt locations, found throughout the Southern Highlands and the South Coast of New South Wales. Joost accidentally fell into the bakery game – despite working in hospitality for a number of years, he studied environmental science and worked in the industry. However, soon his passion for freshly baked bread started to dominate his everyday existence, and he dedicated more time to experimenting and researching the secrets behind sourdough.
Joost started at home, baking 50 loaves a week to sell to local shops. In 2002, he returned to his hometown of Berry and renovated a heritage building, constructing an ‘Alan Scott’ oven with his brother and business partner, Jelle. From this, Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery was born.
Around this time, Kirsty coincidentally moved to nearby Nowra and opened a little cafe, planting the seed for how their lives would combine. In 2008, Jelle and Joost split the business – Jelle took over the Berry Sourdough Cafe side of things, and Joost and Kirsty (now with two kids in tow) looked after the wholesale business, opening a two-oven Berry Organic Sourdough Bakery just down the road.
Not ones to slow down, the first Flour Water Salt opened in Bowral in 2010, followed by Milton in 2012 and Kiama in 2015. All three venues sell more than just Joost’s bread – their menus also include deli products, cakes and pastries, a selection of which are gluten and dairy free.
Despite the sheer array on offer, your first port of call should be the sourdough. Made using traditional artisan techniques, there’s not a drop of baker’s yeast in sight. Instead, Joost and his team use an organic starter, made from a combination of stone-ground rye flour and purified water. It must be ‘fed’ fresh flour every 24 hours, with cultures often taking more than 24 hours to develop. The result is a completely natural leavened bread with just three ingredients: flour, water, salt.
Once you’ve got a loaf under your arm, turn to the other drool-worthy baked treats on offer – all pastries, cakes, pies, sausage rolls, croissants and biscuits are made in-house, and each space also has a deli fridge packed with homemade products such as take-home meals, soups, puddings, dips and pasta sauces. For these, Joost, Kirsty and their team rely on local suppliers, recognising the importance of using the very best ingredients and supporting nearby businesses.
Therefore, beef for the pies comes from the local butcher, milk and yoghurt arrive fresh from South Coast Dairy and the Pines in Kiama, and Kirsty’s seasonal jams and marmalades are made from fruit sourced locally. It’s this dedication to quality ingredients that sets Flour Water Salt apart.
Upon every visit to any of their stores, expect to find beautifully baked artisan sourdough and a vast range of other tasty treats, perfect to enjoy in-store or at home.