Welcome to the historic Firebox Bakery in Eldorado
Eldorado or El Dorado is a small town in the north-east of Victoria located 276 km north-east of Melbourne, 21 km east of Wangaratta.
The picturesque hidden gem is a historic gold mining town with the name derived from its beautiful rich pastures.
Firebox Bakery is located on the corner of Main & McCoy Streets, El Dorado.
During its operation from 1905 through to 1952, the bakery has had a number of owners and residents (Schuppe, Cunninghams and then McKoy families). The bakery building houses an historic scotch oven which is woodfired and is roughly 120 square feet.
The oven has been restored in 2018 by the current owners Matthew and Kylie.
Scotch ovens are traditionally woodfired commercial bakers’ ovens. A scotch oven has an arched ceiling, a fire box on one side of the main chamber and a flue on the opposite side.
The oven’s shell comprises massive layers of brick and sand. The layers are tied together with steel rods so they can contract and expand without pulling apart.
A scotch oven stores heat well with its massive masonry structure. The fire is extinguished before baking commences and the bread is bathed in deep even heat that is gradually released by the bricks and sand.
Only a few Scotch ovens remain because by the 1950s most had been bought and destroyed by the large flour millers to eliminate competition for their new supermarket breads.
The wood for the oven is locally sourced using a mixture of dry kilned and also red gum. Burning timber releases carbon dioxide ( a greenhouse gas) but an equal part is absorbed by the trees, making our baking carbon neutral.