There’s nothing more comforting than baking on a rainy day. We found ourselves doing just that at Bake Bar in Randwick on Wednesday afternoon. While the rain pelted down outside and the artisan bakery pulsed with the lunchtime crowd at the front, we were nestled at the back of the shop about to get a baking lesson from Gili Gold. Behind a pastry display window and amongst the industrial-sized kitchen ovens lining the walls, the Head Baker and co-owner was hosting an Easter Masterclass in hot cross bun baking, and Sydney Social had been invited to attend.

A few minutes spent listening to the petite baker’s accent-glazed words and it was clear Gili was the real deal in the baking world. Wearing a black baker’s cap and striped apron, Israeli-born Gili explained in great detail all five of the ingredients laid out in front of us. Flour, yeast, honey, soaked fruits and cinnamon in varying white bowls surrounded our large metal mixing bowls. She explained, these were no ordinary hot cross buns we were about to bake – they were egg-less, soy-free, and dairy-free – with each ingredient carefully selected for taste and quality.

BAKE_BAR1Gili, who credits her recipes and techniques from Russian, Israeli, French and Australian influences, guided us through the process of stirring the ingredients firmly together, and then weighing the mixture amounts into baking tray compartments. The class slid our filled trays into the oven excited for our mixtures to come to life. While we waited for the buns to cook, we were treated to coffees (Bake Bar operates in partnership with Gusto Espresso Bar), fresh juices and a lunch meal. We ordered a grilled haloumi and veggies sandwich dripping in a yoghurt basil pesto dressing from the menu, and savoured every bite knowing that the sandwich bread, veggies, and dressing had been hand-picked by Gili for healthiness and flavour.  

BAKE_BAR2                After about an hour of so our buns were ready and we trooped back to the kitchen. Gili had already frosted them with a signature “X” cross, but she had us dunk the tops with honey syrup glaze to seal and preserve their freshness. While we had made plain hot cross buns, Bake Bar also offers an orange and chocolate option with Gili explaining she enjoys the taste of the two ingredients together. We were sent home with a bag filled with a bread loaf, pastries, and our very own hot cross buns – a reminder that Easter is right around the corner.

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About The Author

After visiting most of the major city hubs around the world while growing up, Sangeeta Kocharekar arrived in the furthest one from home (the good old US of A) six years ago - Sydney, Australia - and hasn't looked back since. She relies on her trusty weather vane to detect the next big fashion and beauty trend storms in the distance to hit. She also eats, drinks, and dances her way around town scoping out stories to report on so Sydney Social 101's loyal readers are in the know. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @sangeetatatiana.

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