By Elisha Donkin
October 2, 2020 | 5 minute read
Mansfield Regional Produce Store
If you're lucky enough to be on a road trip to the High Country in Victoria, you'll know how important it is to find great bakeries along the way. There are many in this area - including traditional pie shops and artisan sourdough bakeries. They’re perfect for a much deserved and, probably long overdue, stop on your way through the foothills of the Australian Alps.
Whether you’re heading for the snowy slopes in winter or hiking trails in the warmer months, here's my list of the best bakeries in the High Country region that are worth a stop.
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
When driving through the country town of Yea, you’ll want to stop at this award-winning bakery in the main street. The Provender Country Bakehouse offers everything that you would expect from a good country bakery including pies, cakes, pastries and speciality breads. They’re especially well known for their award-winning pies which bring medals home from the Great Aussie Pie Competition every year.
If you have dietary restrictions, there’s no need to worry. The Provender offers a variety of options with gluten free and vegan cakes and breads available. They have indoor and outdoor seating onsite so you can relax and enjoy the quality baked goods with a coffee.
Milawa is an ideal stop on the way to Mount Buffalo, to the east of Wangaratta. The story of Milawa Bread began 20 years ago when Adam Rivett started baking bread at the back kitchen of the Milawa Cheese Company. Today, he still makes the artisan sourdough inside the cheese factory complex, and it has become one of Milawa’s most sought-after local products.
They specialise in small batch, slow fermented bread and pastry from local and inhouse milled flour. They’ve also opened a small café onsite, The Milawa Kitchen, which features all their delicious baked goods on the menu. Otherwise, you can just grab some good local cheese and sourdough loaf for a picnic on the go.
Gum Tree Pies
Gum Tree Pies is a classic country pie shop in Yackandandah. The famous pies were originally sold at the Gum Tree Café until 2016 when the owners decided that they’d drop the café and just stick to serving their wildly popular pies. Since then, the pies have gone on to win numerous awards with some claiming they might even be some of the best in the country.
There’s just about every pie flavour and combination available, as well as sausage rolls, cakes and coffee. The original shop can be found in Yackandandah but if you miss them there you can also find them in new their storefronts in Bright and Beechworth.
The Oven @ Cheshunt
Cheshunt is a small rural town on the edge of the Alpine National Park and The Oven is one of its highlights. In an old converted SEC shed, this mill, bakery and café churns out handcrafted breads, pastries, pies and other produce from Boonderoo Farm.
The family have been baking bread on the farm since 1996 while mostly selling at regional markets. In 2019, they decided to open an official store front in this historic shed and it’s now a hot stop on any High Country adventure.
They mill the flour onsite and use organic and locally sourced wheat, rye and spelt to create their delicious sourdough loaves. You’ll also find eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables and preserves for sale from their farm.
The Oven @ Cheshunt
Harrietville is located on the Great Alpine Road not too far from Bright. The town’s bakery might at first seem unassuming, but it’s a great little traditional café and bakehouse with all the old favourites. Pies, sausage rolls, quiches and an assortment of cakes and slices line the display cabinet, and they’re also known to make a good coffee. Perhaps the best part is the cosy atmosphere and rustic décor with old furniture and vintage signage on the walls. It’s a real classic bakery in regional Victoria.
The Mansfield Regional Produce Store, or locally known as simply The Produce Store, is a one stop shop for all local food products on the way to Mount Buller. It’s a café, wine shop and food store all rolled into one and is open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch.
Although it’s not strictly a bakery, they do bake some delicious sweet treats and savoury snacks from muffins to pastries every day. Everything on the menu and on display is made from locally sourced produce, including locally grown and milled flour.
Plus, if you’re vegetarian, vegan, dairy free or gluten free, they have you covered, with a variety of options for people with all sorts of dietary requirements.
After you tuck into a meal, you should take the time to browse their shelves with jams and preserves to honey available to buy and take home.
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