Christmas breaks bakers ;-)

Hi there. This is my first time writing for the blog, it’s nice to see you guys keeping up with us here.

As you know by now, we made the decision to move the bakery out of the shop, this was more work then was ever imagined and harder than me and Jenn both anticipated but with the help of a great team we’ve got there and we are really happy with the results. We are now able to produce more bread to a better quality and a better standard with more consistency than ever before.

It’s been really interesting as a baker to move an operation that was once a small thing into more of a manufacturing site and keep your quality and consistency. For instance - the new bakery is much, much colder than the old one and we have had real problems trying to manage the fermentation of the sourdough properly, this has led to making ferment earlier to allow it the time to develop and become the proper starter for our sourdough. We're also having to leave the sourdoughs out to prove up slightly before they go into the refrigerator.

We now have a large three-phase power supply which has made the ovens run better than ever before which resulted in quite a few burnt sourdough along with other accidents!

Another adjustment has been from moving to a large scale pastry roller as my handcrank one before would be no use for the amount of pastries we now make and learning to laminate on one of those has been challenging

to say the least some days with great success other days with epic failures destined for the bin!!

Someone asked me the other day how was it moving and then having Christmas, the only way I can think to describe it was to say it’s like I just moved house got everything out of it and put it in my new house then moved house the day after :-)

Christmas is always hard too because we work really long hours, miss our family a lot but of course we love what we do or we wouldn't do it.

We did make a huge amount of mince pies this year, more sourdough than I ever thought we could sell and loads of new products that you all seem to have enjoyed, from a simple white tin loaf to the more complex pastries that have begun to appear on the counter.

However getting to Christmas Eve following a 28 hour shift from me, Simon doing 18 hour shift and Rachel doing a 15 hour shift just to get everything laminated, shaped, refrigerated, baked, packed and delivered to the shop for 9 AM Christmas Eve morning physically nearly broke us all!

But of course we are always happy to see a queue out the door with people there to buy real bread and support our little company and I thank every one of you for that.

Some people have said that the soul of our little shop has gone now that the bakery is not in there however the soul was never the oven or the baker or the flour it was the bread and now when I drop it off in the morning after a long night shift, put it all in its individual little crates and see it shine at the centre of the shop I know we have done the right thing, some people will miss us but I’m only up the road in Hadfield and anyone is more than welcome to come and visit us and see where the bread is made.

Now we have a new facility we are able to perfect our craft and improve everything and add new products, all of us as bakers are excited by this prospect.

I’m currently playing around making a new all butter puff pastry for our much awaited savoury and lunch line of products, as much care and attention will be paid to these as everything else is Grains! I look forward to the future and seeing what it holds for us.

I wish you the best for 2019  and I hope you enjoy this first little insight into the new bakery from me.

See you soon,

James