Upcoming closure!

Next Tuesday, 27th November, Loaf will be closed all day. This is so our team can attend a Real Bread Campaign event in London. We’ll be back open again as normal on Wednesday the 28th at 12 noon. Sorry for any inconvenience and thanks for your understanding!

The Baker’s adventures in Wales.

Many of you ask how Tom and Jane, who founded Loaf from their home in Stirchley back in 2009, are getting on these days. Tom will be back at Loaf on Saturday 17th November to teach Simply Sourdough (there are places available, book here) and as you’ll see if you read on we’re not sure how regularly we’ll be hosting Tom’s courses in future as he and Jane’s new ventures in Wales are very exciting!

Jane on the Machynlleth Market stall.

After having their son Reuben in 2016 and Tom taking an extended period of parental leave, they headed off in a campervan, visiting bakeries and permaculture projects across Europe and searching for the right place to start the next chapter in their lives.

Machynlleth in mid-west-Wales is that place! They moved in April this year and started a new ‘micro-homestead and family bakery’ called Rye & Roses or Rhyg a Rhosod in Welsh. They sell their bread at Machynlleth’s amazing weekly market – the biggest street market in Wales. Tom bakes purely sourdough from Loaf’s original sourdough starters, with a focus on whole-grain loaves from non-commodity grain milled by water power at Felin Ganol just down the coast.

Award winners already!

They’ve benefited hugely from taking over their spot on Machynlleth market from Mair’s Bakehouse who had been selling wood-fired sourdough bread there for the past 9 years, and had decided to retire this year and kindly endorse Tom and Jane’s new enterprise. They’ve also hooked up with another bakery, Andy’s Bread in Llanidloes, and formed the ‘Mountain Road Bread Collective’ and sell their bread together at the market and other events.

Tom makes everything by hand (no mixer!) just like the early days of Loaf, and currently bakes in a semi-commercial ‘Rofco’ oven in the conservatory. They’re hoping to be fully off-grid with the bakery in 2019 and put a wood-fired oven in a purpose-built bakehouse in the garden.

Perhaps most exciting of all is their forays into farming. They have just planted up a fifth of an acre on a local farm with an organic population of winter wheat, and they’ve agreed with another local organic farm to rent an acre for grain growing over the next few seasons. And Jane has enrolled on an innovative horticultural training course called ‘Pathways to Farming’. Exciting times ahead! Follow their progress on Instagram and twitter (@ryeandroses), Facebook
(https://www.facebook.com/ryeandrosesmachynlleth/), and at www.ryeandroses.co.uk

Farmer Bakers!

We’re looking for new local suppliers

We’ve always done well with a number of local producers and suppliers, from Cuffufle‘s jams and chutneys to Pip’s hot sauces, and we’re now actively looking for more for the bakery shop 

We have three broad criteria:

  • Local businesses. Stirchley is the gold standard, of course! But West Midlands based in great. 
  • Bread-related. We sell bread and bread-making equipment, so we’re looking for products that complement. Spreads and sauces are obvious winners and coffee always sells well. What else might people who are buying lovely bread also need?
  • Stuff we can use. One of the founding principles of Loaf is you can do what we do with the tools and ingredients we use. Everything we sell in the shop is or could be used in the bakery, cookery school or for preparing lunches. Usually we source this from Suma wholesale, but it’s be lovely to get it locally. 

Beyond that, products should obviously be packaged professionally for retail and according to food hygiene standards. They should ideally have a long shelf life, though we are open to selling perishable items if it’s worth it. 

Terms are figured out to mutual benefit, so if you’re producing something that fits some, if not all, of our criteria, please get in touch with Pete at info@loafonline.co.uk

We’re also going to be actively looking at places like Stirchley Community Market and always welcome tips from our customers. What would you like us to sell? 

Coming up at Loaf – a Pop Up with Lap-Fai Lee and our closed week

Here’s what you can look forward to over the next couple of weeks at Loaf. First up, next week Lap-fai Lee is back in the kitchen, bringing you our #TEAMRICE pop up on Thursday 23rd August. Doors open at 6.30pm and it’s first come, first served. It’s eat in or take away and we’ll do our best to throw a good queue party for you all. Here is the menu – Kerry’s final design before she finished at the end of July, featuring Molly’s illustrations.

The following week, Loaf will be closed for annual maintenance from 28th – 31st August. Don’t worry, we’ll make plenty of bread on the Saturdays  so you can stock up! We will be in the building doing work but don’t be fooled, we won’t be baking. Instead we’ll be tidying, sorting, organising, painting and all the other things on our list of odd jobs.

In the cookery school, August courses are full but there are spaces on several dates in September, including:

Dosa on Tuesday 4th or Thaali on Tuesday 25th both with Haseen from Kings Heath’s Pop Up Dosa.

You can join our Martha for Bread: Back to Basics on Thursday 13th.

Loaf founder Tom Baker is back in town delivering a Sourdough course on Saturday 15th.

Phil will be teaching our ever popular Handmade Pasta course on Tuesday 18th and he’s about to spend a week holidaying in Italy so we’re expecting fresh inspiration when he returns.

Enjoy the rest of the warm weather everyone, see you at #TEAMRICE!

 

 

 

What’s on at Loaf this week?

Hello! Here is the lunch menu for the week ahead:

Tuesday: Tarka daal with sourdough (be)
Wednesday: Roast squash, caramelised onion and blue cheese sourdough pizza (V)//Squash, lentil and walnut salad with focaccia (Be)
Thursday: Chlodnik (cold beetroot soup) or borscht (depending on the weather) with sourdough (V)
Friday: Salt beef on challah with mustard and pickles//Sri Lankan carrot and coconut curry with sourdough
Saturday: Salt beef on challah with mustard and pickles//Veggie sandwich on brioche roll

We had another lovely breakfast and bike ride with our friends at Birmingham Bike Foundry this sunny Sunday just gone – the next one will be on the 9th September. The rest of the week is quieter for us – no courses until next week when we have the following – still spaces on Thai and Sweet Breads and Viennoiserie, follow the links to book your place!

Wednesday 15th – Thai Cookery with Lap-fai Lee, one place available.
Thursday 15th – Bread: Back to Basics with Rob, fully booked.
Saturday 18th – Sweet Breads & Viennoiserie with Rob, five places available.

Today is Stirchley Community Market day, we won’t be there this time but there are loads of lovely stalls to be found from 4-8pm at Stirchley Baths.

#thebreadfastclub getting hot this morning on another great ride

A post shared by Worker Co-op // Bike Shop (@birminghambikefoundry) on

We’re hiring!

Big news for the Loaf team – we have two vacancies coming up! It’s bittersweet as we are saying goodbye to two wonderful team members – Kerry and Rob – but they both have exciting plans and we wish them all the best.

If you would like to apply – have a look at the adverts and job descriptions on our jobs page – we really hope to hear from you soon!

Happy International Women’s Day

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day at Loaf today, reminding ourselves of its early 20th Century origins, when on 8th March 1917 women marched through St Petersburg, demanding Bread and Peace, instigating a general strike, the abdication of the Tsar and a revolution. Serious girl power.

We stand on the shoulders of countless women whose political work and direct action mean that we have rights, opportunities and pleasures that they didn’t – we’re celebrating them and we also wanted to share some things we’re proud of here at Loaf, where, if you have visited us, you’ll know that lots of lovely women and a few lovely men work (and also collectively own and run the business).

The key thing for us, is that it’s really not about Girl Bosses, it’s about no bosses. As a worker co-operative all our staff have an equal stake and responsibility in running Loaf, and equal rewards too. Over the past couple of years we’ve been particularly focussed on how best to allow our team to balance family and work, with well paid parental leave and flexibility in the rota. It’s hard to get right but we try to extend some recognition to the work that goes on in the home, as well as the work that goes on at work. We hope this will keep great women working at Loaf, baking bread, serving in the shop, teaching in the cookery school, doing VAT returns, baking cakes for as long as we’re here.

There are some events going on in Birmingham to mark the day, including a free breakfast hosted by our friends at Artefact Cafe (they will be serving our bread) and a rally at midday in Victoria Square. However you celebrate the day, have a good one!

Oh and p.s. International Men’s day is on 19th November (thanks Richard Herring!) ;0)

 

 

 

We’re open!

We haven’t been snowed in and our bakers only live a few minutes walk away. No excuses! Come and visit us if you’re local and your work has been snowed off!

Lunch today: Butternut squash and bean chilli with sourdough (ve) OR Salt Beef on challah with pickles & mustard

Lunch Saturday: Salt Beef on brioche with pickles & mustard OR Cheddar, apple and peanut butter sandwich (v)

PLUS Veggie rolls + Pork sausage rolls and patisserie.

Real Bread Week

 

 

We’re supporting The Real Bread Campaign in their celebration of 10 years of Real Bread Week!

#RealBreadWeek runs from Saturday 24 February to 4 March 2018.

An annual initiative of the international Real Bread Campaign, the aim of Real Bread Week is to celebrate additive-free loaves and the people who make them.

We are proud to bake loaves that are 100% free of artificial additives of any kind!

During Real Bread Week 2018:

  • You’ll be able to sample tasters of a different loaf every day during the week – including sourdough, white tin, rye, multigrain, focaccia – and on Saturdays, Maslin! This is the perfect opportunity for you to try something new if you always go for the same loaf when you visit us!
  • We will have bread soups for lunch! If you’re feeling inspired and want to make your own bread soups then we recommend this Chickpea, Tomato and Bread soup by Ottolenghi or this Spiced Chickpea and Sourdough Starter soup by Hobbs House Bakery
  • We will have beautiful riso-printed posters proudly saying ‘I Loaf Real Bread’ available for you to take home and put up and display (if you do – please take a photo to show us!) printed by The Holodeck our local printers
  • Come and have a look at our bookshelves in the shop – we have a number of great real bread books available to buy including ‘Slow Dough‘ published by The Real Bread Campaign
  • You might not know but we also sell bread-baking equipment and flour (£1 per kilo) and yeast. Bring your own tub!
  • If you bring a pot you can get some of our starter for free so that you can try making your own sourdough!

Real Bread Campaign coordinator, Chris Young, says: “Real Bread bakeries like Loaf’s play a really important role in their local communities, providing not only great, all-natural food but also helping to keep the high street alive. Real Bread Week is a great chance for everyone in the area to get along to show their support and help to make sure that they don’t lose such a valuable asset.”

The Real Bread Campaign is part of the food and farming charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. Starting from basic definition of Real Bread as made without any artificial additives, the Campaign’s mission is to find and share ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet.

People can find full details of #RealBreadWeek, discover local Real Bread bakeries and classes, and learn about the Campaign and how to join it and enjoy a range of special offers at: realbreadcampaign.org