I seriously love bread.
It was a delight to recently meet Phil Clayton, who for eight years has been running York’s artisan bakery, Haxby Bakehouse, and won many awards along the way.
His bakery and the deli shop itself are delightful, a treasure trove of jars of jam and chutneys, baskets bursting with potatoes and stacked pyramids of butter. They also boast a deli counter with a delicious looking selection of local cheeses, hams and bacon. They really take pride in the food their Yorkshire neighbours are producing and want to share it with everyone.
And then of course there is Phil, a man who is so passionate about providing delicious bread and also shares his technique through bakery classes. Considering he had been up since 2 am in the bakery on the day that I met him, he was full of passion for what he is creating.
I am in love with sourdough bread and Phil enthusiastically shared his method for producing this slow fermented loaf which is baked in rough-looking globes, and has a chewiness with a satisfying depth to it.
Sourdough breads use a fermented batter-like dough starter to make them rise and enhance their flavour. A portion of the sourdough starter is mixed with the bread’s ingredients, while the remainder is kept and ‘fed’ with more flour and water to use in future batches.
All the bread is made with organic flour produced by Yorkshire organic Millers, Stoates of Dorset & FWP-Matthews
What’s more all the breads are free of additives, which is refreshing to hear when the rest of the world wants our food to last ever longer. That doesn’t mean however, Haxby Bakehouse’s breads don’t last – they certainly do.
We don’t have to settle for chemically-altered and produced bread. If just one more of us goes to their local baker instead of the supermarket, we can really show the importance and health benefits that come from real bread.