El­more Bak­ery wins gold at na­tional com­pe­ti­tion


THE El­more Bak­ery has ce­mented its place, yet again, in our hearts.

The fa­mous lo­cal bak­ery has won gold for its Pep­per Steak Pie at the Great Aussie Pie com­pe­ti­tion.

The com­pe­ti­tion is the big­gest event in the na­tional bak­ing in­dus­try.

The team at El­more Bak­ery have been en­ter­ing the Great Aussie Pie com­pe­ti­tion for five years and are thrilled with the re­sult.

‘‘We are very proud,’’ owner and baker Nathan Bowes said.

‘‘It’s al­ways good to get cus­tomers’ feed­back on our pies. But to get this feed­back from our peers and the judg­ing panel, who scour the pies with a fine-tooth comb, is great.’’

With more than 1500 en­tries from around Aus­tralia, com­peti­tors sent four sam­ples of each pie to be judged.

The crew at the event then picks out the best three to be fi­nal­ists.

One of the pie sam­ples is cut in half, while one is placed in a pie warmer for tast­ing and one stays cold. The half pie is judged for pas­try thick­ness — ide­ally the pie should have a 2mm to 3mm base fin­ished thick­ness — and tex­ture, as well as the amount of meat fill­ing it contains.

The judges dig into the half pie with a pop­si­cle stick to check for gris­tle and tub­ing, which in­di­cates of­fal. Points are de­ducted if pieces of gris­tle are found in the pie.

Plain meat pies must achieve a mark of 16 or more out of 30 to progress to the tast­ing stage.

Judges then call for the hot pie to be cut into quar­ters and the pie is tasted by a team of two or three judges.

All judg­ing is con­ducted blind so there is no way to iden­tify the en­trant who baked the pie. If a judge thinks they recog­nise an en­trant’s work, they must stand down from the team for the judg­ing process.

The judges look for a nice, even bake on the pas­try, with no char­coal or burn­ing on the bot­tom, good lam­i­na­tion, lift and sep­a­ra­tion on the pas­try top, and that the pas­try has a good nat­u­ral colour, not one that has been ar­ti­fi­cially coloured by ex­cess egg wash.

Pies that reach the tast­ing stage are then judged for sen­sory ap­peal; smell, taste, tex­ture and af­ter­taste. The pie is also checked for sta­bil­ity — that the fill­ing doesn’t run — and that the pas­try is cooked right through.

The El­more Bak­ery bakes about 300 pies ev­ery day and serves an enor­mous num­ber of trav­ellers and loyal lo­cals their scrump­tious treats, cof­fee and now award-win­ning pies.

Photo: Luke He­mer

Travis Wil­son, Tea­gan Byrne, Steph Bower and Rachel John­son with the award-win­ning pies from El­more Bak­ery.

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