The Superthing team opens Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse, a source of artisanal loaves, toasties and pastries
When the pandemic hit, many of us had a crack at making sourdough. For some of us, the foray into baking yielded delightfully doughy results, but for others the experiment went catastrophically south. The biggest takeaway, especially for the latter group, is that sometimes baking is best left to the experts. Well, those experts – or, more specifically, the ones behind West End’s NYC Bagel Deli and Superthing – have just opened Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse in South Brisbane. This striking bakery and cafe is dedicated to showcasing the wonderful complexity of sourdough, serving an assortment of loaves made from a variety of starters as well as a menu featuring elevated toasties, burgers made using cultured milk buns, hand-rolled bagels and flaky croissants.
Eddy Tice and Ania Kutek’s hospitality career has seen them conquer one iconic baked good at a time. First came NYC Bagel Deli, a concept specialising in New York-style bagels that has grown from market-born entity to a business boasting two bricks-and-mortar locations. Then came Superthing, the couple’s pink-hued croissanterie in West End that saw the duo hone the art of croissant making under the expert instruction of renowned baker Cesare Salemi. Now, with Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse, they’re taking on, well, sourdough. The duo quietly opened the spacious new concept – which is one part wholesale production kitchen and one part eatery – earlier this month at the base of Opera Apartments on Cordelia Street. Eddy and Ania originally considered the location for Superthing before opting for its eventual Montague Road site, though the allure of the South Brisbane locale’s indoor-outdoor vibe, high ceilings and sizeable street-facing windows remained firmly imprinted in the couple’s brains. When informed last year that the space was still available at a good price, the tandem were quick to snatch it up for a new concept.
Initially Eddy and Ania started putting the pieces in place for a doughnut-centric outlet (even going as far as to draw up plans for the venue’s layout) until a discernible uptick in demand for bread down at Superthing caused them to take pause. Eventually the two decided to enact a full 180 on their idea, shifting gears and making sourdough bread a specialty. When it came to retooling the aesthetic for Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse, the couple opted to reflect the grounded and rustic nature of the humble loaf through a material palette of wood and stone, with added greenery helping soften the building’s light-industrial bones. The venue is loosely divided into three areas. A concrete coffee and pastry counter is the main eye-catching focal point of the space, with a timber pegboard displaying sourdough loaves in many shapes and sizes. Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse boasts ample seating for dine-in custom, with tables ringing the open-plan venue. Finally, unseen from the front, is the kitchen – a spacious prep and baking space designed to cater to the venue’s growing wholesale clientele. It’s here that the team’s cherished sourdough starters are propagated and transformed into the doughy loaves available outside.
Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse is going to great lengths to showcase the versatility of sourdough, employing five different starters for its range of carby creations – all baked on site every morning. The team’s Warsaw starter (named in honour of Ania’s Polish heritage) is being used to create European-style rye loaves, while the Sydney starter (a 37-year-old starter sourced from a previous mentor) is the major ingredient for the bakehouse’s plain and caramelised onion sourdough. A kakadu-plum-infused starter gives Cordelia’s seeded loaf a rich flavour, while the San Francisco starter (which, as its name attests, was imported from San Francisco) is a delicate starter that offers a subtle buttery texture. Finally, the group’s bagel starter – the hero of Eddy and Ania’s hand-rolled bagels – is also in the mix. Just about all of the Cordelia’s menu utilises these starters, from the BLT, Reuben sandwich and sourdough waffle with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice-cream, to the hot eggs and cheese, smoked salmon, and chicken, brie and cranberry bagels. A selection of hearty grilled-cheese toasties (made from Cordelia’s own pain de mie), and cultured milk bun burgers (filled with the likes of smoked stick ribs) flesh out the offering, while Superthing’s killer range of pastries (including croissants, which can be loaded with bacon and egg, if desired) are also on deck. Specialty coffee from Padre is available alongside turmeric, chai and matcha lattes, frappes, thickshakes and fresh juices.
Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse is now open seven days a week. Head to the Stumble Guide for operating hours and other tasty details.
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