Back to School with Loaf

If you’ve not been on a Loaf course but have always fancied it, why not use the changing seasons and new school term time as an excuse to learn a new skill.

We have spaces on several of our courses over the Autumn months including Seafood Masterclass, Handmade Pasta, Pork Butchery and Charcuterie, Sweet Breads and Vennoiserie and Flavour Geography: Thailand, and Chinese Bao and Dumplings (pictured above).

The courses are really enjoyable, informative and hands-on. You’ll be taught by our friendly and experienced in-house experts and passionate guest-tutors. On our courses we also share and enjoy the fruits of our labour and you will never go home hungry! 

We also sell vouchers for courses if you’d like to gift a visit to Loaf Cookery School to a loved one – is it too early to think about Christmas?!

To check the dates and courses available please visit the courses calendar here.

Rye not?

We started out with our Revolutionary Rye, way back when Tom first started Loaf back in 2009 and it has graced our shelves ever since!

Our recipe was based on Andrew Whitley’s Russian Rye, ours is 100% rye sourdough, topped with toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Why is it revolutionary? (Everybody wants to know!) Mainly because back when Tom started, no one was making a rye sourdough up here in the Midlands at least! Not only that, but he figured given its Russian roots, he’d pay tribute to their revolutionary history…

If you didn’t already know, Rye is a type of grain, low in gluten, high in fibre, protein and most importantly flavour.

Over the years, we’ve played around with rye specials such as the Borodinsky and Volkornbrot, but this year we’ve decided to feature them more frequently, because rye is great, and ‘rye’ not right?

Our Borodinsky is made with a rye starter and flour, malt extract, molasses and caraway seeds for a surprisingly refreshing flavour despite its density! Find it in the shop on TUESDAYS

Our Volkornbrot, is made with a rye starter and flour, chock-full of sunflower seeds, and kibbled rye for lots of texture! Find it in the shop on THURSDAYS

Will you be trying it? Let us know! Tweet or Tag us – we’d love to see how you’re enjoying it!

New dates for courses 2017!

Illustration: www.walternewton.

 The announcement of our Cookery School courses 2017, has been somewhat long awaited by the eager and organised amongst us, so here it is just in time for Xmas!

NEW dates for January-March 2017 are now available for:


– Bread: Back to Basics
– Bread: Simply Sourdough
– Sweet breads and Viennoiserie
– Flavour Geography: South Indian Dosa
– Handmade Pasta
– Macarons

Plus many more!

We’ve worked hard to fit in as many courses as we can, so we hope you’ll find something to suit your needs!

pig butchery Dosa Workshoppasta bread back to basics Seafoodone_new2 sweet breads

If not, why not buy a gift voucher?

You can purchase Cookery School gift vouchers from £1-£150!

Further dates will be staggered throughout 2017.

*Foraging & Earth Oven Building will be available from March.

Lamb & Poultry will be available from February.*

Happy Booking!

Syrian inspired speciality bread for Oxfam

This Saturday 20 July, our bakers are teaming up Oxfam Midlands to bake a one one-off Syrian yoghurt flatbread to help raise awareness of Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.  The bread will be sold in the Loaf Community Bakery, 1421 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham, B30 2JL from 8.15am to 2pm. Look out for it on our specials table in the shop window.

Every day at Loaf we bake a different speciality bread, often inspired by cultures and flavours from around the world. As a former Media Campaigner for Oxfam Midlands and having had friends who lived and worked in Syria, this is close to our hearts. Baking bread in solidarity with the Syrian people, is one way that we can do our bit to help. What is happening in Syria is a tragedy so we want to do whatever we can to make a difference. We would encourage our customers to join us and come and buy the bread and/or make a donation to Oxfam’s Syria Crisis appeal.

www.oxfam.org.uk/syria

See our article in the Birmingham Mail on Thursday 25 July, pg 17 – “Bakers use loaf to boost charity”.

Oxfam syria appeal

Oxfam is working with refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Jordan to provide access to housing water and sanitation but the charity needs to raise more funds as soon as possible to reach thousands more refugees who need emergency help.  The situation is getting more desperate as the UN’s latest figures show that the number of people killed in Syria has reached a staggering 100,000.  Eight million Syrians are in desperate need of aid and almost 1.8 million forced to flee to neighbouring countries.

As well as at Loaf, a series of events and fundraising activities in the West Midlands have been taking place to raise awareness and money for Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.  Oxfam in the Midlands are asking local people in Birmingham and the Black Country to get in touch to find out how they can get involved to raise awareness, campaign and/or fundraise.

Katy Cook, Community Campaigns Coordinator for Oxfam Midlands said: “Many people in Birmingham and Wolverhampton will have heard about the conflict in Syria in the news but not many people will know what it is like to live there.Through the baking of speciality Syrian bread at Loaf in Birmingham and sharing personal stories of refugees in Wolverhampton we want to bring the experiences of ordinary Syrian people closer to home to people in the West Midlands.  The refugees we are working with are ordinary people like us who are bystanders to the conflict but the fighting, bloodshed and violence has forced many families to leave behind everything they know.  There are many heartbreaking stories of people who have watched their children die or lost family members but even amidst the despair there are some amazing and inspirational stories.”

For more information please go to www.oxfam.org.uk/syria or call the Oxfam Midlands office on 0121 634 3611

Jane Baker

Britain’s Best Bakeries

Thanks everyone for your flurry of Twitter and Facebook messages on Sunday. To those of you who missed it, we were announced as one of Britain’s top five bakeries in The Sunday Telegraph Seven magazine, by The Fabulous Baker Brothers. So we’re a bit chuffed.

We’re honoured to have been mentioned, as there are now so many amazing bakeries popping up across the UK who deserve recognition too.

We’ve  been in touch with Tom and Henry Herbert to say thanks and we’re hoping they may even pop down to see us in Stirchley one day soon. We’ll keep you posted if this happens.

Britain's Best Bakeries
The Sunday Times, Seven Magazine (3 March 2013)

Britain’s Best Bakeries

Thanks everyone for your flurry of Twitter and Facebook messages on Sunday. To those of you who missed it, we were announced as one of Britain’s top five bakeries in The Sunday Telegraph Seven magazine, by The Fabulous Baker Brothers. So we’re a bit chuffed.

We’re honoured to have been mentioned, as there are now so many amazing bakeries popping up across the UK who deserve recognition too.

We’ve  been in touch with Tom and Henry Herbert to say thanks and we’re hoping they may even pop down to see us in Stirchley one day soon. We’ll keep you posted if this happens.

Britain's Best Bakeries
The Sunday Times, Seven Magazine (3 March 2013)

Loaf HQ progress part 4

Sorry it’s been a while since the last update and LOADS has happened. We’re very close to getting the shop keys now (this Thursday), and then it will be full speed ahead getting our equipment in and shelves and units up to start taking customers as soon as possible (give us a shout if you can help!!!). We’ve pencilled in an open day for the 8th september – stay peeled to the blog for updates. Also, we’re hoping they’ll be a sneak-preview pop-up a bit sooner than that too. Nod nod wink wink.

Well all the plastering’s finished, it’s been painted and most of the electrics and plumbing is complete. Flooring goes down this week and a bit of tidying up and touching up paintwork etc then it’s ours! I’ve taken loads of photos but here’s three views below. First up this is the rear corridor looking towards the cookery school dining room and cookery school at the front. This isn’t really a public area apart from if you’re looking for the loo, but it’s nice and bright and Jane has been busy potting up plants to green it up a bit!

Next this is the Stirchley Stores shop looking from the back wall towards the shop front. You can just see the bottom of some new light fittings. These will soon be adorned with gorgeous green enamel shades from our pal Harry Starling who also supplied the retro wires and ceiling roses etc.

 

Finally here’s the new shop front for Stirchley Stores and the bakery. Actually this was taken a few days ago and the glass is now complete and it’s been nicely varnished. Smart!

Lucky 13 Bakehouse Seek Apprentice

Our friends over at Lucky 13 Bakehouse, based in Hockley Birmingham, are seeking a bakery apprentice on a skills-for-labour basis. Lucky 13 specialise in artisan bread and biscuits supplied to cafes, restaurants and deli’s across the city, and it’s an excellent place for an enthusiastic amateur or two to build up their skills ready for professional employment. To apply, download this document (click here) and get in touch with Neil and Amy. Loaf will be looking for our own apprentice later in the year so watch this space for more real bread opportunities in brum!

Loaf HQ – coming soon in 2012

I just wanted to write a quick blog post before I finish for Christmas to let you know our plans for the New Year. If you follow us on Twitter you’ll know by now that we have signed a contract for a lease on a new premises on our local high street in Stirchley, south Birmingham. This is great news as we’ve been operating from Jane’s and my house for 2 years now, and we’re bursting at the seams!

The property (pictured right) has been recently purchased by Everards the brewer, with the purpose of Loaf being their tenant at the building. the new Loaf HQ will be the first premises established as part of Everards’s ‘Project Artisan’ – an innovative scheme to purchase and then lease out buildings suitable for artisan food and drink businesses that need to expand, initiated by Everards after the success of their project to convert pubs for micro-breweries (Project Willam). Everards investment in the property means that Loaf can take on a bigger and more suitable premises than we otherwise could have done and we are very grateful that they came along when they did. We’re currently waiting on planning permission for the conversion of the premises, and there will then be 2 months of building work to complete. This means we are hoping to be in the new place by late March or April.

What will the new place do?

Loaf has been running a community bakery and cookery school for two years now, and the new premises is primarily an expansion of those – there will be a 12-person cookery school on site (visible from the pavement!), as well as a bakery producing a range of real bread for Stirchley and the surrounding area. They’ll also be a retail space, which Loaf is giving to South Birmingham Food Co-operative to run as a joint space. They will be selling our bread in the shop, alongside store cupboard essentials, wholefoods, and eco cleaning products etc – all ethically sourced and fairly priced.

Bread Bonds

Everards are investing in the refurbishment of the property, which is an enormous help, and means we only need to buy the equipment we need and fit it into the property when we’re handed the keys. We need to raise around £25,000 to kit out the bakery and cookery school. In January we will be doing a ‘bread bond’ issue which we hope will raise the majority of that cash. We are looking for people interested in buying ‘loanstock’ – essentially a £1000 loan to Loaf for 3 years. During the 3 years, bread bond holders will get an interest rate on their loan, which instead of being paid in cash will be paid in the equivalent value in bread. At the end of three years, the bread bond holder get’s their £1000 back. If this is something that might interest you and you’d like to be included in the bond issue or would like more details please email me at tom@loafonline.co.uk – I won’t be answering emails until after the new year, but I’m guessing you’ll be pretty busy too, and i’ll be in touch asap after new year.

There’ll be plenty of updates next year as the project progresses, so keep your eyes peeled to the blog or twitter for all the latest. In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, Peace,

Tom.