“It’s all about a balancing act between time, temperature and ingredients: That’s the art of baking.” – Peter Reinhart

Who doesn’t enjoy the sweet smell of freshly baked bread wafting from an oven? It can really get the taste buds tingling. How many loaves made it home from the bakery with a small test sample pulled from the middle?

Researchers say that the aroma triggers a feeling of well being and comfort and evokes pleasant memories of childhood days. It has been referred to as “the staff of life” since Biblical times, another way of saying it has been the main staple in our daily diet.

In the early days of Rosewood and the neighbouring districts, the main ingredient for bread was readily available. Wheat of the very best quality was grown and, with the aid of steel hand mills, it was ground into flour to make delicious and nutritious bread. Rye was also grown by some German settlers. They mixed it with wheat flour to make a darker and wholesome bread. A variety known as Egyptian wheat, which had rust resisting properties, was grown in the Laidley area and some was successfully grown in the Rosewood district. Some of the stalks reached a height of 6 feet (1.8288m) and it was calculated to give a yield equal to forty bushels to the acre. The dark colour of the flour made a sweeter but no less wholesome bread and it was slightly cheaper to buy, so was favoured more by the general population.

Pioneer women traditionally made their bread at home using camp ovens. Eventually skilled bakers working in their shops complimented their efforts and became integral to rural and urban communities. Wood fired ovens for bakeries were installed in a separate room at the rear of the family residence because of the risk of fire. The scent of the baking bread would spill out and fill the street.

The job of a baker was labour intensive and time consuming for little profit. All of the preparation and cleaning up was done by the baker himself. Wheat had to be ground, ingredients like yeast, milk, salt, sugar and baking powder (Royal, Borwick’s or Aunt Mary’s) was measured and added and the ovens kept continually stoked to meet community needs. In the 1880’s roller-mill technology began to be imported from Europe which made the task less arduous.

Rosewood’s first baker, John Herman came to the town in 1881.

Bakers in Rosewood
John Herman 1881-1882
Charles Rumpf  1883
Philip Angel 1883-July 1890   “Rosewood Store & Bakery”
Mr. J. Oliver 1891-1896
E. H. Mann 1897-1903
W. Smallbone  1899
C. T. Bragg  1900
W. H. Collett  1901
Ben Meissner 1902-1903 (Dow took over)
Nehemiah New 1903
R. Sellars 1910-1933
H. Rose  1924
Henry Duncan Dow  1903-1927     “Dow’s Bakery”
(In late 1927 Grant bought the business; Spreadborough bought the property)
C. J. Spreadborough  1927
R. Grant  1928 – 1946
J. Evers  1918-1926; Mrs E. Evers 1927-36; J. J. Evers 1941-47   “Ever’s Bakery”
(Hector Thomas Ross was in charge of Ever’s Bakery 1925-1928)
Hector Thomas Ross bought the bakery from R. Grant  October, 46-June, 1954
G. A. Hartley & Sons  1930  (From Grant in March to Davey in November)
J. L. Davey operated from the 1st December, 1930
W. Feltham  1933-1939    “Rosewood Bakery”
G. Demaine 1937

Researched and compiled by Jane Schy