Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Two Loaves

I bought a couple of sourdough loaves recently deserving of comment: one made in Bristol and one made in Dinas Powys.

Mark’s Bread is Bristol’s smallest independent bakery. They deliver around south Bristol by bike, but every Wednesday Mark drives a van across the Severn Bridge, and along to Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff (4-6pm). They sell a selection of their wild yeast breads (sourdoughs), bakers’ yeast breads, and spelt and rye loaves. Last week's Special at Chapter was a Fig and Black Pepper loaf.

The first picture is a small South Bristol Sourdough, a sort of signature bread for them. They make their loaves using sourdough cultures, without commercial yeast, and prove them slowly in linen-lined wicker baskets. They mainly use organic flour from Shipton Mill, Gloucestershire, and don’t use improvers or additives (this is definitely Real Bread, as defined by the Real Bread campaign). The ambient yeast and bacteria in sourdough cultures naturally differ from one area to another, bringing subtle differences to the finished bread. So ‘South Bristol Sourdough’ is distinct from sourdoughs made elsewhere.

Geraint Roberts, another Real Bread advocate, bakes all his bread using sourdough cultures, at the Hungry Planet (Hupla) Workers' Co-op in Adamsdown, Cardiff, and at his home in Dinas Powys.

Geraint sees Bread Subscription Schemes as a way forward for micro-bakeries. He is planning to start a subscription scheme for Hungry Planet, with people paying a month in advance for their bread. From his home in Dinas Powys, he teaches bread courses and does a smaller weekly bake to order. Bread subscription schemes give more security of market and reduce waste, because you only bake exactly what is required. More money also goes directly to the baker than if the bread was being sold wholesale through shop outlets.

Last week’s home-made sourdough loaf (second picture) was a Multigrain Wholemeal, made with Bacheldre organic stoneground flour (87% wholemeal, 13% white), polenta, buckwheat groats, wheat flakes, millet flakes, oatmeal, organic natural salt and water. This was moist, tangy and flavoursome.

Mark’s Bread, North Street, south Bristol:

Geraint Robert’s website:

The Real Bread Campaign:

A previous post on sourdough:

1 comment:

  1. I wish Marks Bread would deliver to North Bristol! I love their croissants and their breads, I would stop baking if they were round the corner... and though I have never tried Geraint's bread I have read his posts on the Fresh Loaf and on Mellow Bakers and he sounds like an amazing baker too. Best wishes, Joanna