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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pigeon Whole Bakers and Pigeon Hole Cafe, Hobart

Croissant cross-section at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania

Hobart. Just do it. I spent five days in Tasmania's capital city last week on an impromptu mini-break organised with three fellow food-lovin' friends. Pigeon Whole Bakers was high on our list - okay we had a spreadsheet - of spots to visit. Sourdough bread? Croissants? Eclairs? I'm there.

Pastry counter at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Pastry counter at Pigeon Whole Bakers

The bakery is beautiful to look at, all sleek lines, gleaming marble and plenty of natural light streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling glass panelling. It's OCD neat without feeling sterile, with its parade of pastries, savouries and desserts all neatly lined up in rows.

Ficelle bread at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Ficelle, like a baguette but thinner

Chef Jay Patey opened Pigeon Whole Bakers with partner Emma Choraziak after selling Pigeon Hole Cafe. It was there that Jay first dabbled in sourdough in order to supply the cafe with freshly baked bread each day. The rest, as they say, is history. Six years after opening Pigeon Hole Cafe, Jay moved into a new business and a new address with Pigeon Whole Bakers. The Pigeon Hole Cafe is still open but operated by new owners.

Sourdoughs and bagels at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Sourdoughs and bagels in front of the baking kitchen

The entire back wall groans with sourdoughs, ciabattas, rye breads, ficelles and bagels. There's a strong focus on organic ingredients. Watching the bakers in action at the back is an added bonus.

Ham slider at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Ham slider $4

Our first breakfast in Hobart was a self-styled journey of deliciousness. We started with the ham slider, such a simple little affair but done so well with its soft milk bun, good quality ham, crisp lettuce and smattering of pickles.

Bagel with bacon and cream cheese at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Bagel with bacon and cream cheese $6

A good bagel outside of New York City is hard to find. Pigeon Whole Bakers' stands up nicely - soft but not doughy, chewy but not dense. On the first day we visited we had it with a thick layer of cream cheese and diced bacon.

Bagel with cream cheese and pickles at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Bagel with cream cheese and pickles $6

On the second day (yes we returned), we tried the cream cheese and pickle version. It's equally good. That slightly blistered crust on the bagel is always a heartwarming sight.

Quiche with sun dried tomato and goats cheese at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Quiche with sun dried tomato and goats cheese 

The quiche is a plump and fluffy cloud packed with sun dried tomato, goats cheese and more but the highlight is the pastry. It's so buttery and flaky you may shed a joyful tear.

Croissant cross-section at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Croissant cross-section $6

The croissants have an impressive honeycomb structure too. The light and butter layers are more on the softer side in texture.

Sweet pastries at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Sweets 

Sourdough doughnuts at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Sourdough doughnuts $4

We took home a sourdough doughnut, relishing the sugar-crusted fluffy doughnut sandwiched with dulce de leche.

Strawberry tarts, eclairs and lemon tarts at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Chocolate choux, lemon meringue tarts, cashew eclairs and strawberry fruit tarts

We also had the cashew eclair which was almost mindblowing in its perfect execution of crisp choux pastry, lightly whipped creme patisserie and silky custard. The crumble of cashew praline embedded within made me swoon. We also tried the Eccles cake (such an under-rated English pleasure) and the Basque tart, an enclosed fruit pie that incorporates a little cheese in the pastry crust. Tick. Tick.

Almond croissant at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Almond croissant $6

We had to take desserts home because we'd already eaten an almond croissant, supremely flaky with a generous amount of sweet almond paste in the middle.

Morning bun at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Morning bun $5

But my favourite of everything would definitely have been the morning bun. Croissant dough with caramelised sugar gets me every time. It's one big scroll of crisp edges and buttery flakiness.

Breakfast at Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania
Breakfast

A post shared by Helen (@grabyourfork) on
Homemade bacon and double brie toastie on Pigeon Whole Bakers white sourdough 

The white sourdough loaf we bought had terrifically large holes throughout. It formed the base for one of the most delicious meals we had in Hobart - a bacon and double brie toastie made by Pigflyin for breakfast one morning.

Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart Tasmania

Pigeon Hole Cafe

Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania

We also stopped by where it all started, Pigeon Hole Cafe, for breakfast. It's about a 20 minute walk between the two.

Counter inside Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania
Breads and a view into the kitchen at Pigeon Hole Cafe

The cafe has a tiny front room but a corridor down the side leads to a larger dining room down the back. You can still buy whole loaves of sourdough here.

Peach galette tarts at Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania
Peach galette tarts

The display cabinet holds a range of rustic treats. The peach galette tarts were very tempting.

Spring onion pancake at Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania
Spring onion pancake with mushroom, pickled cabbage and fried egg $17

I had the spring onion pancake for breakfast, a large disc of Chinese-style pastry covered in mushroom, pickled red cabbage and a fried egg.

Crispy base of the spring onion pancake at Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania
Spring onion pancake upskirt shot

The spring onion pancake is a bit chewier and denser than the Chinese version but it eats well with the toppings.

Green eggs and ham at Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania
Green eggs and free range ham with salsa verde $14.50

Pigflyin has the green eggs and ham. It's simple but expertly cooked. The egg yolks are still gooey and the ham has been crisped without drying out.

Runny egg yolk at Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania
Gooey egg yolk

The salsa verde is just the right shade of health-giving green.

Flat white coffees at Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania
Three-quarter flat white coffees

And they've got you covered for coffee too.

Breakfast at Pigeon Hole Bakery in Hobart Tasmania


Pigeon Whole Bakers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Pigeon Hole Cafe
93 Goulburn Street, West Hobart, Tasmania
Tel: +61 (03) 6236 9306
Open Monday to Saturday 7.30am-4.30pm

Pigeon Hole Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Pigeon Whole Bakers
32 Argyle Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Open Monday to Thursday 7.30am-3pm; Friday 7.30am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday 7.30am-1pm

>> Read the next Tasmania 2017 post - Salamanca Market, Hobart


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/15/2017 12:02:00 am


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