On the pass: Phillippa Grogan, Phillippa's

Author: John Hannan
Photography: Alicia Taylor

Looking back over the 20 years you've now been in business, Phillippa, what've been the biggest changes?
When we started in 1994 there weren't a lot of specialist bakeries. Now the bread industry is so much bigger, and even supermarkets are beginning to make things like sourdoughs.

What's the essence of Phillippa's?
We're based around traditional recipes and natural ingredients with the aim to get products that have a distinctive flavour and texture. We also don't take a commercial approach; we use good chocolate, butter not margarine, and no artificial ingredients at all.

What do you love baking most at home?
I love to make a Roman artichoke pie or even some cheese sourdough biscuits (there's three different recipes in my new book) that are perfect with a few glasses of wine at the end of the day; they're an ideal savoury snack before dinner.

What's your number-one tip for us home bakers?
When you're making bread, introduce steam into the oven to help develop a lovely crust. The key is throwing some ice cubes into the bottom of the oven to create steam as they melt. You also need to have your oven really well heated; you can turn it down as soon as you put the bread in, but having it very hot first counteracts the hot air that leaves when you open the door.

Phillippa's, 1030 High St, Armadale, Vic, (03) 9576 2020.

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