La Madre Bakery is located in Geelong but well-known in Melbourne. Their bread is sold at discerning grocery stores and delis across the city, including my nearest stockist in North Fitzroy, The Green Grocer, as well as being used in cafes such as Pope Joan.

Their excellent reputation means that if you’re in Geelong or on your way to the coast and you like your bread it’s worthwhile dropping into their store. It’s not too far off the highway (an hour away from Melbourne) and it’s very easy to find amongst the small cluster of suburban shops. Just look out for the ‘Goodness Here’ sign and follow your nose for the aromas of a proper bakery.

Unlike many bakeries I’ve visited, the whole kitchen is there for customers for see. Dozens of be-hatted bakers stand at the stainless steel benches kneading dough, there’s a flurry of activity near the ovens and fresh bread is piled onto trolleys that are then rolled just metres away to the front counter. By opening up their operations for the world to see it’s obvious that they take pride in their process of baking delicious artisan sourdough and sweet treats.

My mission was to feed nine people for four days. So I went for the Seeded Sourdough Cob, Olive Sourdough, Sourdough Vine Fruit, Rye Currant and Walnut and a dozen Ciabatta loaves. Plus one of everything in the cakes and pastries!

With a jury of bread and pastry eaters our verdict on the Top 3 were the Sourdough Vine Fruit, the old school, not too sickly sweet caramel slice, with the winner being the light and moist double- chocolate lamington.

For other excellent bakeries closer to home, try Noisette, Fatto o Mano and Babka.

My travel to La Madre was made possible thanks to the Holden Barina.

La Madre Bakery, 18 Milton Street, Bell Park +61 3 5272 1727
Monday – Friday 7am – late
Saturday 7am – 1.00pm
Sunday 12noon – late
La Madre on Urbanspoon