We're now baking with Wildfarmed flour

  • General

Melon bread, voter bread, bread snobbery and the joy of focaccia

Freshly baked brown loaf

Spring is about to be sprung and we’re looking forward to warmer weather, the time of year when people all over the UK head outdoors to eat alfresco. There’s nothing quite like our lush artisan breads to keep punters happy, so if you’re in foodservice why not give us a whirl? Click the link at the end of this post for free bread samples so tasty they’ll blow your mind. In the meantime, here’s the news.

Meet Japanese melon bread

Oddly, Japanese melon bread doesn’t taste of melon. And we must say that’s slightly disappointing. It comes with a crunchy top layer and a squishy base, and the name comes from biscuit-like surface that looks a bit like cantaloupe skin. The flavour is actually sweet and slightly sugary with a hint of milk. Then there’s bolo bao, a pineapple bread bun from Hong Kong that doesn’t taste anything like pineapples. Blimey. Luckily, rebellious people are adding extra flavours to melon bread including matcha, chocolate and strawberry, although we’re slightly worried that doing so may hurl the bread over the edge into cake territory.

Thankfully we know for sure that strawberry vanilla bread, hot honey sourdough bread, cottage cheese bread and onion bread do actually taste like the things they’re named after. And that’s a relief. It’s always nice when something does what it says on the tin!

Hovis reverses 30% price hike

Hovis says its keeping bread prices the same this year following a dramatic increase of almost a third in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s war on Ukraine – one of the planet’s biggest wheat growers – and the associated surge in the cost of wheat and energy. Some commodity prices shot up five or six times, along with sharp increases in distribution costs, so it’s good to see things settling back down.

Bread promotes voter registration in South Korea

Bakery staff in South Korea are making bread with an imprint a lot like the voting stamp used by voters to mark their ballots. The bakery, in Incheon around 17 miles from Seoul, jointly organised the spectacle with the local election management commission to promote voter participation in the general elections during April. We’re amusing ourselves imagining bread rolls stamped with the faces of Sir Kier Starmer, Ed Davey and Rishi Sunak… yum.

Alan Titchmarsh’s awesome bread knife lawn tip

Alan Titchmarsh says you can use one of those half-moon-iron tools to keep the edges of your lawn and flowerbeds neat. But because they’re often blunt, the results aren’t always that good. As an alternative he recommends an old bread knife, because running one along the edge of a board is ‘so much quicker and it gives you a much crisper edge’. We like his style.

 Bread snobbery is a big deal  

Some people say expensive sourdough is both elitist and pretentious. Others claim cheap sliced white bread is unhealthy as well as unsustainable. The result is endless conflict and division.

We live in a strange world where the cheapest loaf in the supermarket can cost as little as 45p but the cheapest loaf in an artisan bakery comes in at over a fiver. And it’s winding a lot of people up something rotten. According to The Guardian, some folk detest the ‘bougie’ bakeries that charge a king’s ransom for ‘fancy bread’ and others despise the ultra-processing that lets supermarkets sell everyday loaves so cheap.

How did our best-loved basic food become such a big deal? Probably because every single one of us eats bread. It’s always on our radar, and that’s why experts say it has always been a class thing. If you’ve read ‘Scoff’ by Pen Vogler you’ll know how today’s seemingly-modern arguments about the colour of bread and social status go way back to Roman times, maybe even further. Back then white bread was for posh people and the brown stuff was only fit for the plebs. Knowing the colour of your bread meant you knew your place in society.

Next time you find yourself in a violent pitched battle over the merits of brown and white bread, bear in mind it’s an argument that’s already thousands of years old. So reel it in… and go make toast.

Why focaccia is special

Focaccia is a yeasty flatbread in a class of its own. So why do our bakery elves think it’s so special?

Focaccia is the predecessor of the pizza base, called ‘pizza genovese’ in Genoa, but it’s fluffier and airier than pizza dough, left to rise after being rolled flat. Like other wheat-based breads focaccia is made from flour, water, yeast, and salt. But coating it with olive oil as it rises, along with the unique stretching and folding that creates the big, fragrant air bubbles and the shallow pan it’s baked, gives it the spongy, bubbly crumb we all love so much, with its crispy crust top and bottom.

If your mouth’s watering at the very thought of artisan focaccia, grab some free samples of our beautiful frozen artisan breads by clicking here… and prepare for ‘heavenly’.