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.

Easter opening times!

It’s almost Easter and we’re in the throes of Hot Cross bun season, it comes round quicker and quicker each year!

As you may already know, we’re offering our Earl Grey flavoured HCB’s right up until Easter, available everyday in our shop.

We’re ramping up the numbers as we get closer to the long weekend, so make sure to take advantage as there’re only 7 baking days til they’re gone! #RIPHCB

We will be taking pre-orders for Good Friday and Saturday (14th & 15th April), just pop into the shop and place and pre-pay for your order.

Please note that we will be closed after Easter for some general maintenance, dates and times are as follows:

Good Friday 14th April – 12-6.30pm (pre-order collection)

Saturday 15th April – 8.15am-1pm (last day for pre-order collection)

Easter Sunday 16th April – CLOSED

Easter Monday 17th April – CLOSED

Tuesday 18th – Friday 21st April – CLOSED

Saturday 22nd April – 8.15am-1pm – open as normal

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!

Don’t forget!

Hi guys!

Don’t forget our opening times for Xmas and New Year!

We’re open from 8.15am – 1pm Friday 23rd (tomorrow), and the same again Saturday 24th.

We’re no longer taking stollen, mince pie or macaron pre-orders as they are already made to order! We will have a selection available to buy on a first come first served basis in our shop both Friday and Saturday.

We sold out within a few hours today so expect a queue and come as early as you can to avoid missing out; we’re working through the night tonight and Friday to make as much as we can (we’ve even roped in Tom off his paternity leave to lend us a hand!) so we hope to disappoint as few people as we possibly can!

You can still purchase books and cookery school vouchers in the shop too!

We’ll be closed from Christmas day until Wednesday 4th January 2017, when we open from 12pm as normal.

Thank you for all your support this year, we can’t do this without you!

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to you all! 

Love, Team Loaf x

 

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!

*Closing for maintenance!*

We’ll be closed for maintenance from Tuesday 23rd – Tuesday 30th August; opening as normal on Wednesday 31st August.

closecalendar

We’ll be making some improvements throughout our building: in the shop, bakery, cookery school and back of house; very exciting stuff!

We know a lot of you will be alarmed that you won’t be able to get your usual orders (or salt beef – goodness!!); so make sure you stock up in the weeks before. Our bread and sweet stuff freeze brilliantly you know! Just perk them up in the oven once you’ve defrosted them.

OR…

Jump onto one of our bread or sourdough courses and make your own! Fresh bread just can’t be beaten can it!

Also, we’ve got the last few places on Lap’s phenomenal Bao course on the 31st; now you can recreate #baohouse at your house!

 

 

 

August in the Cookery School

With it being holiday and vacation season (for you guys and us!) we don’t have as full a course schedule as we normally do; though we have ensured that we’ve got the best coverage of our bread courses to suit most needs, so if you’ve got some time off and have always meant to book on to one – take advantage now!

We’ve got places available on all dates for August:

Bread: Back to Basics – Saturday 6th 9.30am-4pm

Simply Sourdough – Friday 12th 7.30-9.30pm – Saturday 13th 9.30am-1pm

Bread: Back to Basics – Thursday 18th 9.30am-4pm (weekday)

bread selection circle

And we’ve even snuck in a Bao and Chinese Dumpling course with Lap on Wednesday 31st 6.30-9.30pm – we’re always thinking of you!

 

July in the Cookery School!

We’re coming to the end of June, and our July courses are filling up fast!

What better way to spend an evening or day, than learning great new cooking skills, and more importantly EATING!

dosa

 

  • Kicking off the month with our Earth Oven Building course (now SOLD OUT! But join the mailing list if you want to attend the next one!)
  • We have got places on all our super popular Flavour Geography courses though: Dosa, Sichuan & Bao.
  • Not to mention specialist evening courses on Macarons and Fish with our resident Foodist, Lap-fai Lee!
  • Finishing it off with the final places on our stellar Bread and Sourdough courses – it’s not too late to learn!

 

 

 

We look forward to welcoming you to our school!

 

 

NEW COURSE! Flavour Geography: Thailand

We’re introducing a new course into our popular Flavour Geography series – Thailand!

thai main

 

Join Loaf and expert cookery tutor Lap-fai Lee for this exploration of Thai flavours and classic Thai home cooking. Thailand has many world famous dishes, and rightly so – Thai food beautifully combines an often complex array of ingredients and flavours, with an emphasis on fresh, aromatic, and spicy. It’s so much more than a jar of supermarket Thai green curry sauce!!

Like all Loaf courses it is very hands-on, and throughout the evening we’ll be tasting the fruits of our labour. We’ll be making Som Tam Thai (spicy papaya salad), Nam Pla Ra (fermented fish relish with fresh vegetables), Pla Tort (deep fried grouper with Nam Jim sauce), Massaman beef curry, Yum Makeua Yao (smoky aubergine salad with egg), and Khao Niaw Mamuang (mango sticky rice).

som tam

Please note this course is not suited to a vegetarian diet.

The course usually takes place on a weekday evening from 6.30pm-9.30pm at Loaf HQ in Stirchley, South Birmingham. You’ll feel right at home at Loaf, and everything you learn will set you up for impressing your friends and family with your new found skills at home.

The course costs £60 (inclusive of VAT) and all refreshments, equipment, recipes, and aprons are provided. Use the calendar to find and book a suitable date and add to your basket, and pay via the online checkout.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Wanna learn how to make #MACARONS?

Wanna learn how to make #MACARONS?!? We now run a macaron making course in our cookery school with the incredibly talented Lap-Fai Lee.

Teaching you how to make macaron shells, and a variety of different flavoured ganaches, caramels and butter creams to fill ’em with! With all the secrets to a top banana Pierre Hermé kinda macaron.

What more could you want. Really.

AND why not treat all those loving Mothers out there by giving them this course as their #MOTHERSDAY present (March 6th remember…)You’ll feel the love too, as they’ll bring home a tonne of macarons from the course, as well as baking them all day erryday because they’re so darn gooooood. (you’re welcome)

The next course running for this is on Thursday 24th March! You can book it here or pop into the shop.

24834252500_4a642e3479_o

Posted by Anna.

Brand new Viennoiserie and Sweet Breads course

take home breads small

On Saturday we held our first Sweet Breads and Viennoiserie course, which by all accounts was a roaring success. I was super nervous about the first one as it’s the first new bread course that I’ve introduced for a couple of years and I didn’t have any jokes lined up about laminating. I needn’t have worried as we had a great room-full of people who were chatty, interested, and by the end of the day, very talented! I just wanted to share a few pictures of the day and encourage you to book on our May dates which still have spaces (14th and 23rd May). The above picture was kindly sent in by Chris Wordsworth when he got home and spread out everything that he’d taken home from the course. The rest are some photos taken on my phone during the day! You can find out more about the course and book online here. TB.

Seven brand new courses: Kitchen Essentials

2013 should be a fab year for Loaf, and we’ve decided to kick it off with a great new series of short workshops called Kitchen Essentials. Taught by our talented baker and chef Dom Clarke, these workshops are aimed at improving your basic cooking skills and helping you to be confident and efficient around the kitchen. Priced at just £30 each (except for cooking meat which is £40) they’ll make a great Christmas gift for a loved one, we’ll even print you a voucher with a personal message on if you wish. You can find the full details of the workshops in the shop along with online booking, but see our brief outline of the courses below:

 

 

Kitchen Essentials One: Knife SkillsTuesday 22nd January 7-9pm
Don’t know your julienne from your chiffonade or your paring knife from your boning knife? This is the course for you!  From the basics of choosing the right knife for the right task, to keeping your knives in tip-top condition, and chopping our way to some delicious dishes along the way!

Kitchen Essentials Two: Stocks and SaucesTuesday 29th January, 7-9pm
There are as many sauces in the world as there are chefs, but this Stocks and Sauces workshop will give you an introduction to the building blocks of some of the classics. We’ll explore both Asian and Western sauces and share some delicious treats throughout the evening.

Kitchen Essentials Three: Eggs – Tuesday 12th February, 7-9pm
Eggs are one of natures most simple yet beautiful foods, incredibly versatile but surprisingly difficult to cook right. On this two-hour workshop we’ll whisk, scramble, omelette, poach two ways, turn into delicious sweet tarts and a classic egg-based sauce.

Kitchen Essentials Four: Cooking VegetablesTuesday 26th February, 7-9pm
Vegetables are the delicious encapsulation of sunshine. For too many years they have played second fiddle to meat, but no more!! On this fantastic Kitchen Essentials: Cooking Vegetables workshop you’ll learn how to bring out those fantastic flavours locked up inside veg, and put them out front on a pedestal, where they belong.

Kitchen Essentials Five: Flavour Geography – Tuesday 12th March, 7-9pm
Lamb and rosemary, tomato and basil, peas and ham, ginger and spring onion, duck and orange. There’s a reason why some flavour combinations have stood the test of time and are now considered classic. On this educational two hour workshop you’ll learn the origins of some favourite combinations, cook some fantastic dishes from around the world, and gain the confidence to improvise with flavours in your own kitchen.

Kitchen Essentials Six: Beans, Pulses & Grains – Tuesday 19th March, 7-9pm.
So versatile but so often overlooked, this Kitchen Essentials workshop will teach you how to make the best of beans, pulses and grains. Perfect for these austere times, beans and pulses are cheap, nutritious, and if you cook them well, absolutely delicious.

Kitchen Essentials Seven: Cooking Meat – Tuesday 26th March, 7-9pm
Meat is an increasingly precious foodstuff in todays world, it’s becoming even more important to eat less but better meat, and cook well with it, wasting as little as possible. But what to do with it? Roast, braise, griddle, fry, steam, barbecue, or grill? Low and slow or hot and fast? On the bone or off the bone? Our fantastic two-hour Kitchen Essentials: Cooking Meat workshop will answer all of these questions and more.

Cookery School news

Bread: Back to Basics

There are spaces available on our 29th September Bread course, it’s a week on Saturday and will take place in the new cookery school adjacent to Stirchley Stores:

Bread: Back to Basics is a day-long course. Loaf Director Tom will equip you with the skills to make consistently good, wholesome bread at home. This experience takes bread back to its essential ingredients – flour, water, salt and yeast – and teaches you a great repertoire of beautiful breads based on these basic building blocks. You’ll learn how to make rustic white loaves, wholemeal seeded rolls, ciabatta, fougasse and pizza, which you’ll eat for your lunch. You’ll also make an enriched brioche dough for you to take home and bake the next day.

 

New butchery courses

1st November – Perfect Poultry & 21st November – Nose to Tail Lamb

These are run in partnership with Steve Rossiter, who runs Birmingham’s only certified organic butchers in Bournville.

To book a place on any of our courses, or for more information see our shop

 

Updates from Twitter and Facebook

Tomorrow marks the first week of Loaf HQ and Stirchley Stores being open to the public, and we’ve had a great response so far. There are some photos up on our facebook showing Stirchley Stores/the Loaf HQ opening, as well some of the daily loaves available, and Tom regularly puts a few photos up on his twitter, here’s Dom’s special Mustard and Chedder Boulé:

 

Last chance to forage!

Just a quick blog to tell you about the last forage and cook course that we’re running in 2012. Next Thursday evening 6th September will be our last outing into the wilds of Stirchley to check out what wild plants are around at this time of year and what tasty treats we might be able to cook up using wild ingredients. Also for the first time we’ll be starting and finishing the course at our brand new cookery school on Stirchley High Street which is very nearly finished! You can check out the course details and reserve your place using our new online shop. There’s loads of other courses now advertised in the shop and I’ll tell you all about those in another post very soon.

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.