Firebox Bakery, Eldorado: Ultimate opportunity for lockdown bakers turned pro with rare scotch oven
Miele, Gaggenau, Smeg — AGA. Pfft.
Lockdown bakers who’ve nailed their sourdough can raise themselves to the pro level with serious historic cred at this Eldorado opportunity.
El Dorado might be the mythical South American lost city of gold, but in northeast Victoria between Wangaratta and Albury-Wodonga, it’s the town of the — almost — lost baking medium.
The 130-year-old property at 99 Main St, most recently Firebox Bakery, is up for grabs with a $1.2m price tag, including the business, property, house and rare 130-year-old scotch oven.
This kind of oven was so powerful — they were destroyed in droves by big industry players.
“Only a few scotch ovens remain because by the 1950s most had been bought and destroyed by the large flour millers to eliminate competition for their new supermarket breads,” the Firebox Bakery website reads.
Not this one though, which was restored by the sellers in 2018.
“They’ve come in and sort of rejigged it all and got that oven in order,” North East Real Estate Wangaratta agent Mark Dillow said.
“I’ve spoken to someone else who’s got experience in that and he said ‘yeah, nah, it’s a bloody good oven’ and he said ‘you can make a brand new one but you can’t make a 100-year-old one’ — so it’s got history.”
“I think this is going to suit somebody that’s got history in mind and wants that sort of unique way of doing things — that’s what drew the current owners, because of what it could do.”
Mr Dillow said the sellers had got the bakery up and running and a buyer could potentially rework the rest of the property and house as a restaurant or similar venture, embracing the way things “used to be done many, many years ago” alongside modern conveniences.
The bakery previously operated from 1905-1952.
Alongside the bakery building, there’s a cafe and four-bedroom house on the 1100sq m site.
And for the baking aficionados, courtesy of the Firebox website:
Scotch ovens are traditionally wood-fired commercial bakers’ ovens.
They have an arched ceiling, a fire box on one side of the main chamber and a flue on the opposite side.
The oven’s shell comprises massive layers of brick and sand — these layers are tied together with steel rods so they can contract and expand without pulling apart.
A scotch oven stores heat well with its massive masonry structure.
The fire is extinguished before baking commences and the bread is bathed in deep even heat that is gradually released by the bricks and sand.
The wood for the oven is locally sourced using a mixture of dry kilned and also red gum. Burning timber releases carbon dioxide but an equal part is absorbed by the trees, making our baking carbon neutral.
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