We built a bakery!

Our big news this month…

     is our new bakery, Ben’s Bakehouse. When we first started, all the way back in the 1980’s, bread was very much part of the mix, so a proper grown up bakery has always been on the bucket list. I know I said it last month, but now it’s actually happening and so far, after a week or so of it being open, it’s going so well that I’m excited enough to say it again. Cockerels crow every morning so twice doesn’t seem excessive. However, bread is bread. However good it can be (and that’s pretty good) it has an intrinsic worth way more than the weight of a loaf. The late and great Johnny Cash only got it half right in ‘Breaking Bread’ when he sang; 

“It’s not the barley or the wheat
It’s not the oven or the heat
That makes this bread so good to eat
It’s the needing and the sharing that makes the meal complete” 

Without denying the relevance and truth of the last two lines, it’s a holistic thing and the wheat and heat matter too. My know it all, East London dwelling daughters were banging on about Wildfarmed (yes – one word) flour when they were down at Christmas. Apparently, it’s gone viral in London and every bakery and eatery worth their Himalayan rock salt is using it. I’m not 100% sure there’s not more than a whiff of marketing green wash about the whole thing but the benefits of freshly milled, regenerative agriculturally grown, organic flour are obvious so that’s the long term goal for us. It might be from Wildfarmed flour but if it does, my dream of a decent loaf of sourdough for less than £4 will remain just that because it’s nearly twice as expensive as Shipton Mill’s certified organic – much of which comes from no/low till farming. I’ll shut up now before my daughters disown me. First we need to sort out the logistics of making it and getting it to the shops. English craft and San Francisco sourdough bakeries work to completely different time frames and bringing the two together, without having bakers on call twenty four seven is challenging. But we’ll get there. Either way, you can let us know what you think of our new bread via the Work In Progress yellow sticker you’ll find on it or our contact page on the website. 

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