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!

Popsicle anyone?

Well the weather may be no good for proving sourdough, but it’s perfect for ice cream!

We’re chuffed to be stocking CREAMED POPS, a brand spanking new Birmingham based, small-batch artisan ice cream lolly brand! We rally behind our fellow Brummie food brands, so we just had to have them!

CPops x5 Jordan Ish

All natural ingredients, no artificial preservatives and fresh produce, combined to create a super delicious treat! Their ‘pops’ are fast frozen, meaning their ice cream stays silky smooth, creamy and icicle-free.

1pop2pop3pop4pop

We’re currently stocking: Cinnamon Toast, Raspberry Cheesecake, Salted Caramel, Carrot Halva, Pure Origin Chocolate and fast-favourite Vietnamese Coffee.

What flavour will you choose?!

New Loaf Bakery Shop Opens – Sat 26 April

Stirchley Just Got Tastier!

At Loaf  this week there has been a hive of activity.  We have done a complete refit of the shop and are introducing some new editions – including weekday takeaway lunches, and a small selection of cookery equipment, specialist cookery ingredients and local produce to buy. We’ll also be selling  our usual selection of speciality bread and cakes . Thanks to a fantastic team of staff and volunteers the new & improved Loaf Bakery Shop re-opens tomorrow – Saturday 26th April 2014. Particular thanks goes to Tom, Sarah, Nancy, Andy, Jordan, Mike, Alasdair, Russ, Walter and Jane for all your hard work. You’re amazing!

Below you’ll find out what’s new, discover our new opening hours and salivate at this week’s takeaway lunch menu – changing every week. We hope you like the look of the new shop too, with much of our furniture made from reclaimed palettes and recycled materials….

New Loaf Bakery Shop Refit  New Loaf Bakery Refit

New Loaf Bakery Refit Tom Making Tea for the Workers

 

New Loaf Bakery Shop Opens – Saturday 26 April 2014

So here’s what we’ve got on offer. Pop in to discover what’s new….

New Loaf Bakery Shop. Designer: Kerry Leslie

 

New Opening Hours

Tuesday – Friday: 12 – 6.30pm

Saturday: 8.15am – 1pm

Tuesdays – Fridays: Takeaway lunches, from 12noon

 

Weekday Takeaway Lunch Menu

Tuesday 29 April  to Friday 2 May 2014, from 12 noon

Tuesday – Daal with sourdough;  Baked ham & mature cheese croissant.

Wednesday – Herb & mushroom Frittata with green salad;  Baked ham & mature cheese croissant.

Thursday – Rosso Pomodoro Soup with sourdough;  Baked ham & mature cheese croissant.

Friday – Spinach, artichoke & chilli goats cheese pizza;  Spicy ‘Nduja sausage, mozzarella  & parmesan pizza.

We will also have brewed coffee and loose leaf teas to takeaway.

Brewed cofee and loose leaf tea to takeaway

 

Pick up a Loyalty Card

We like to reward our regular customers with the Loaf Loyalty Card, to enable you to collect ‘Loaf’ stamps and redeem a free loaf of bread!

You’ll get your last loaf in a baker’s dozen on us

when you buy 12 loaves, you’ll get the 13th free!*

Ask at the till. Subject to terms and conditions – details on the card*.

Loaf Loyalty Card

We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Loaf Team

New Loaf Bakery Shop Opens – Sat 26 April

Stirchley Just Got Tastier!

At Loaf  this week there has been a hive of activity.  We have done a complete refit of the shop and are introducing some new editions – including weekday takeaway lunches, and a small selection of cookery equipment, specialist cookery ingredients and local produce to buy. We’ll also be selling  our usual selection of speciality bread and cakes . Thanks to a fantastic team of staff and volunteers the new & improved Loaf Bakery Shop re-opens tomorrow – Saturday 26th April 2014. Particular thanks goes to Tom, Sarah, Nancy, Andy, Jordan, Mike, Alasdair, Russ, Walter and Jane for all your hard work. You’re amazing!

Below you’ll find out what’s new, discover our new opening hours and salivate at this week’s takeaway lunch menu – changing every week. We hope you like the look of the new shop too, with much of our furniture made from reclaimed palettes and recycled materials….

New Loaf Bakery Shop Refit  New Loaf Bakery Refit

New Loaf Bakery Refit Tom Making Tea for the Workers

 

New Loaf Bakery Shop Opens – Saturday 26 April 2014

So here’s what we’ve got on offer. Pop in to discover what’s new….

New Loaf Bakery Shop. Designer: Kerry Leslie

 

New Opening Hours

Tuesday – Friday: 12 – 6.30pm

Saturday: 8.15am – 1pm

Tuesdays – Fridays: Takeaway lunches, from 12noon

 

Weekday Takeaway Lunch Menu

Tuesday 29 April  to Friday 2 May 2014, from 12 noon

Tuesday – Daal with sourdough;  Baked ham & mature cheese croissant.

Wednesday – Herb & mushroom Frittata with green salad;  Baked ham & mature cheese croissant.

Thursday – Rosso Pomodoro Soup with sourdough;  Baked ham & mature cheese croissant.

Friday – Spinach, artichoke & chilli goats cheese pizza;  Spicy ‘Nduja sausage, mozzarella  & parmesan pizza.

We will also have brewed coffee and loose leaf teas to takeaway.

Brewed cofee and loose leaf tea to takeaway

 

Pick up a Loyalty Card

We like to reward our regular customers with the Loaf Loyalty Card, to enable you to collect “˜Loaf’ stamps and redeem a free loaf of bread!

You’ll get your last loaf in a baker’s dozen on us

when you buy 12 loaves, you’ll get the 13th free!*

Ask at the till. Subject to terms and conditions – details on the card*.

Loaf Loyalty Card

We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Loaf Team

Loaf is Changing

Shop Changes

After a successful first year on Stirchley high street Loaf has outgrown the bakery and is expanding to keep up with increasing customer demand for delicious bread & cakes. Thank you to Stirchley Stores volunteers, our customers, bread bond holders, bread club members,  our landlords, Loaf directors and staff for making this success possible. At the end of April 2014 Loaf will be taking over the shop from Stirchley Stores in order to meet our growing customer demand. The new bakery shop will be run & managed 100% by Loaf staff.

20th-25th April 2014: Shop closes for refurbishment
End April 2014: New Loaf Bakery shop opens

——————————————————————————————————————————

The new Loaf Bakery shop will sell:

Our usual selection of delicious bread & cakes
Fresh takeaway lunches & hot drinks
Specialist cookery school equipment (e.g. preserving equipment)
A limited selection of specialist cookery ingredients (e.g. 00 pasta flour, yeast)

——————————————————————————————————————————

sourdough

A Special Thankyou

To Stirchley Stores volunteers for your hard work, passion & energy this year. You have brought the community together, &  proven that local people are really keen to see positive change on their high street & to see better access to healthy, affordable, & ethically sourced food. We wish you every success in moving forward with new options in the future and hope to see you continue as a co-operative in Stirchley.

Keep an eye on the Loaf website for future shop updates
www.loafonline.co.uk

Urban Harvest: Urgent Crowd-funding

Urban Harvest: Help save Birmingham’s fruit from going to waste

Our friends at Northfield Ecocentre need our support. They’re re-launching the fantastic Urban Harvest project originally set up by wonderful Loaf and Stirchley Market supporters Eleanor Hoad and Nigel Baker. As keen wild food foragers at Loaf (next Foraging course – 3 Oct), we know there’s loads of free edible treats in and around urban street, canals, parks and back gardens, and whilst we do our best to pick and use what we can, it’s a crying shame that so much goes to waste each year.

The aim of Urban Harvest is to turn local fruit that would otherwise go to waste from back gardens and public places into jams, preserves and juices, and to give apples and soft fruit away for free to children centres and food banks for re-distribution to individuals and families who could benefit from the good old five a day.

Urban Harvets Logo

Crowd funding – £10,000 needed by Weds 18 Sept!

They’re looking to raise £10,000 to re-launch the project and employ a part time co-ordinator, and need 2000 people to donate £5 (or more!) each to reach their target. The deadline is looming, on Wednesday 18th September, and if the target is not met they will be unable to go ahead.

To donate visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/urban-harvest

Urban Harvest

They’re also looking for:

  • Volunteers and drivers to help pick fruit
  • People with fruit trees and bushes who would like their produce picked (tell them how much you want to keep and they’ll use any surplus)
  • People to help promote the project and share the crowd-funding site with friends and families
  • Retailers wiling to sell juices and preserves made with local fruit
  • Local producers who need fruit to make their own preserves etc
  • Children centres, food banks and charities who can re-distribute free fruit to those who need it.

Northfield Ecocentre is working with Martineau Gardens, Urban Veg and Growing Birmingham to deliver Urban Harvest.

 

 

 

Loaf, Building Community Through Food

As a social enterprise Loaf was set up with the purpose to promote good food and healthy living in communities and build community through food . This means putting our profits towards social projects, primarily in our local community.

This month we welcomed year 6 children and parents from our local Stirchley Community School on Pershore Road to Loaf Cookery School for their very own bread making workshop. The afternoon was a huge success and as teacher Karen Sweeney said “They had an amazing time! The children they were raving about it!”. With three year 6 workshops in total, and comments shared that it was one of the best workshops we’ve ever been to, we’ll take that as a thumbs up! In June we also hosted an enjoyable bread workshop with adults who are deaf and hard of hearing through the work of national charity deafPLUS.

For more Stirchley Community School workshop photos visit their school website – you may even spot a few familiar local faces.

Stirchley Community School Bread Workshop at Loaf
Year 6 pupils, parents & teachers from Stirchley Community School enjoy making bread at Loaf
Parents & children from Stirchley Community School at Loaf
Parents and children from Stirchley Community School at Loaf

We also offer occasional work placements to individuals with a passion to develop a professional career in baking, which this month included Megan Jones who is studying for a Diploma in Artisan Baking at the prestigious School of Artisan Food.

Megan Jones on student placement at Loaf from The School of Artisan Food
Megan Jones on student placement at Loaf from the prestigious School of Artisan Food

Loaf reaches new heights

This month Stirchley featured in the May edition of Brussels Airline’s bthere magazine.

Described as a ‘destination for creativity, comedy and exciting cuisine’, it included us at Loaf and celebrated other local community food and arts initiatives such as Stirchley Community Market. Stirchley seems to be making a name for itself – not only in the UK, but now internationally!

To read more visit the be the b there website or download the full magazine as a pdf. We’re on page 74.

Brussels Airlines bthere Magazine - May 2013
Brussels Airlines bthere Magazine – May 2013

Lasagne and Watercress

Veg: Part 4 – vegetable growing diary

Read previous veg blog

It’s not every day you hear someone say that they’re pleased to have a surplus of cardboard boxes. Well we are. For now anyway.

This week Tom and I tried Lasagne gardening at our new allotment in Hazelwell Park. It’s an increasingly well-known method of no-dig gardening that originated in the USA, and is apparently great for reducing weeds. As the name suggests you lay down sheets of cardboard (the pasta) with layers of mulch in between (we’ve got dry grass, homemade compost and leaf mould) and water well. The idea is that instead of digging up all our couch grass and breaking our backs in the process we’ll suppress them and – fingers crossed – kill them, and at the same time add compost and nutrients as the layers rot down.

Lasagne Gardening
Loaf’s cardboard box surplus in it’s new home on our allotment

This way we can also avoid further compacting our clay heavy Stirchley soil, and breaking up the natural soil structure by digging into the subsoil. This could inhibit movement of water, air, minerals and biological activity, and we need all the help we can get to grow our veggies. According to Alys Fowler at Urban Veg more water is lost through evaporation than drainage so our mulching will definitely help with conserving water when we plant too.

Genius. Less work, and happier soil. And hopefully happier veggies too.

We’ve also discovered a patch of comfrey – great for making natural fertilizer, so we’re looking for a water drum to make a liquid solution in (1 part comfrey to 10 parts water). I’ve got my eye on nettles too and am hoping to learn to build a wormery. This is one area in which we have let our veggies down in previous years. Watering but rarely feeding. I’m told that new compost contains only has 6 – 8 weeks worth of food, so that’s why our vegetables have rarely grown big and strong in the past. They were hungry. Seems obvious now.

Weeding the water-cress bed
This weeks’s soup is watercress

At the weekend we exchanged garden labour for great home-cooked food and veggie growing tips at Tom’s uncle and aunty’s house in Hampshire. They have a gorgeous old saddler’s cottage which they have rented for over 50 years. It comes with an amazing riverside garden with watercress bed, wooded area and huge veggie garden to die for. However, in even the most cared for garden, diseased soil (honey fungus) has started to kill a treasured old tree. That’s where we came in – to battle with and fell the old tree. We also came home with armfuls of watercress (today’s soup) after clearing their bed of encroaching reeds. A joy to weed on a sunny afternoon. Heaven.

Weeding the water-cress bed
…thanks to our weed clearing skills

Whilst we’ve done nothing in our back garden this week, we’ve had a lot of fresh air in exchange for food growing knowledge and trial and error no-dig gardening. Last week at Urban Veg to come.

Read previous veg blog