25 February 2022

Clementine Bakery in Yass rises above the rest

| Sally Hopman
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Cupcake from Clementine Bakery

Clementine Bakery in Yass has been named one of the best bakeries worth driving out of town for. Photo: Clementine Bakery.

The outside world is discovering what Yass locals and visitors have known since 2020 when it comes to baked goods – Clementine Bakery rises well above the rest.

Broadsheet, a national online cultural magazine, recently named Clementine’s as one of the nine Best Regional Bakeries Worth Travelling For.

“Visit for beautiful sourdough loaves, an outstanding sea salt and rosemary focaccia, perfectly flaky croissants and that Aussie classic, the caramel slice,” the magazine wrote.

A small artisan bakery, Clementine’s was established in the main street of Yass in 2020 by Adam Bantock and Brooke Sainsbery. They had been running Clementine’s restaurant, also in Yass, but COVID-19 restrictions forced them to close.

The situation led to a rekindling in baking for Adam, who has worked as a chef around the world for almost 30 years.

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The bakery has since proved a great success in the town, with queues regularly snaking outside from early morning.

Adam runs the business with three apprentices, all of whom come from the local area, usually starting work at 2 am and finishing around midday when the last loaves come out of the oven.

Three of his days will involve baking, with two used for prep work. Everything is made by hand in small batches, so no detail is missed. The business is open Thursday to Saturday.

Adam said he appreciated the mention in Broadsheet, saying the publication contacted him a few weeks ago asking for images of some of his creations.

“I’m always grateful for any plaudits we receive,” he said. “We’re fairly humble about this sort of thing – we don’t chase advertising or anything like that.

Adam Bantock and Brooke Sainsbery

Adam Bantock and Brooke Sainsbery from Clementine Bakery. Photo: Clementine Bakery.

“But it’s certainly good for a place like Yass to get a mention.”

Adam says his aim has always been to offer the best possible product, using, when he can, locally sourced produce.

With the berry season now coming to a close, he’s been using apples from Batlow, local figs and cherries in his baked goods and said he was looking forward to the new season’s quinces and pears coming on.

Brooke’s creative hand has been at work inside the tiny shop which is like a haven in itself, with the walls painted in warm colours, a rustic feel with its shelves of freshly-baked bread as well as tables of home-made pasta, sauces and jams – and, of course, a coffee machine.

Part of the attraction for locals, apart from the delicious smells which hit you on entry to the shop, is that there’s always something new in the bakery.

Artisan bread at Clementine Bakery

Some of the artisan bread at Clementine Bakery. Photo: Clementine Bakery.

The favourites are always there – sourdough bread, croissants, pastries and slices – but there’s always something new on the shelves or an old favourite with a modern twist.

Some of the latest include lamingtons with coconut and raspberry, lemon curd cruffins (muffin croissant combination), apple crumble or pear and vanilla danish pastries, opera cake (made with thin layers of almond sponge, coffee creme and chocolate ganache) or profiteroles with a creamy caramelised white chocolate filling decorated with more chocolate.

For Adam, everything he makes daily in the shop gets sold that day. The shop closes when the goods sell out, or, if there’s anything left, he gives it to the local St Vincent de Paul shop which shares it on the day with its clients and volunteers.

“I’m pretty happy with what we’re doing,” Adam said. “We only have limited kitchen space so it can be difficult sometimes, but it’s always worth it.”

Adam has also started holding sourdough bakery classes with the first one selling out. Check the Clementine website for more details.

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