Posts Tagged ‘Haberfield Bakery’


My friend Joe Cassaniti makes the best pasta in town.

That’s no hyperbole – Joe won so many prizes for his pasta at the  Sydney Easter Show  that they finally made him a judge, just so someone else could have a shot at winning. His products are so good that Pete and I have resigned ourselves to not making pasta at home.  We’ve tried on numerous occasions, but it never ever turns out as silky or as smooth as Joe’s.  That’s a big thing for us – anyone who reads this blog regularly will know how obsessed we are with making whatever we can from scratch!

The Cassinitis are a bread baking dynasty, having supplied Sydney’s restaurants with traditional Italian loaves for decades.  Before we started baking our own, most of our bread was bought on a weekly basis from their renowned Haberfield Bakery.  The queues to get into this little suburban bread shop go out the door and up the street on a Saturday morning!

Without fail, Mrs Cassiniti gives a free bread roll to every child who walks into her shop.  She’s been doing it for as long as I can remember, and when Big Boy was little, he saw it as a small recompense for being dragged out shopping. Then one day, when he was about fourteen, he came out of the bakery with a funny little smile on his face.  When I queried him, he sighed, “I don’t get a bread roll anymore”.  I pointed out that Mrs Cassaniti doesn’t give you a bread roll once you’ve started shaving

Anyway, onto my story. We walked into Joe’s shop yesterday to buy some lasagne sheets for a Römersagne.

“Yooouu!”, he bellowed, waving an accusational finger at me. “It’s all your fault!  Come and look at what I’m doing! I’ve been reading your blog…”

He led us into the back of his shop where…he was making bagels. He’d gone next door to Mamma Cassiniti’s for some fresh yeast, malt extract and high protein bread flour, and mixed up a double batch of the dough.  It was perfect too – smoother and shinier than anything I’ve ever been able to make at home.  He let me shape a couple of giant bagels (200g each!)….

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…then popped the tray into his “combi” oven – a magnificent, huge  machine which first proved the dough, then steamed it, ready for baking.   (Christina, you need one of these!)

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The steamed rolls were topped with poppy and sesame seeds and returned to the combi to bake.  Bagels are usually boiled, but I was surprised at how well the steaming process worked. The texture was chewy like a good bagel should be, and the flavour malted and delicious  – a perfect match with our freshly made butter.  Joe kindly gave us three ginormous bagels, which the boys devoured with dinner.  Of course, now they’re nagging me to make a batch on the weekend. If you want to try making  your own bagels at home, our tutorial is here.

Peppe’s Pasta – the best place ever to buy fresh pasta – has a retail shop  in Sydney’s inner-west, at 151 Ramsay Road, Haberfield.  Take a freezer bag with you, as a lot of the gourmet filled pastas are snap frozen. Joe is there most afternoons – if you go in, ask him for a bagel..


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