Social Enterprise Drive video

As well as being a worker co-operative, Loaf is a registered social enterprise (indeed most co-ops are by definition social enterprises in the UK), so we weren’t surprised to be included in this video for the Social Enterprise Drive 2021. Follow Lizzie from i-SE as she explores the green spaces in Birmingham along the cycle network and the social enterprises you can find there.    

New Oven News!

While the installation wasn’t quite as smooth as we’d planned, eight days from delivery to activation is not too bad for a major upgrade to our bakery during a pandemic. The oven was switched on on Wednesday and we did our first bake on Thursday, testing out each product in our range. 

And it all came out perfectly, first time!

Faced with piles of perfect bread we quickly rustled up a table in the doorway and gave it away to passers-by, asking for an optional donation to RSVP, our charity this quarter. After a couple of hours it had all gone and we’d raised £110. Thanks everyone! 

Baking for actual customers on Friday morning was, to quote Rachel, “a dream” and we’re looking forward to pushing this shiny new beast to its limits. 

One entertaining feature: it has glass doors and internal lights, which means we can make time-lapse movies of our bread being baked. 

Here’s a 40-minute bake of white sourdough from dough to loaves in 40 seconds. Expect more of this, and if you have any time-lapse requests (croissants should be amazing!), let us know. 

Future Stirchley: A Street of Opportunity

Last month we were invited to take part in a film about how Stirchley high street has dealt with the pandemic lockdowns. Alongside clips of the people who live and work here, the film sees a Birmingham poet synthesise the hours of interviews into a spoken word piece. It’s a lovely piece of work produced in record time by Geoff of the Living Memory Project.

If something seems strangely familiar about the style, you’re not wrong. In 2012 Geoff made To Be Home, another film about Stirchley. Fascinating to see what’s changed, and what hasn’t.

Bread videos

Got a new iPhone4 and the video camera seems much better on it than my old 3GS, so I thought I’d start shooting a few bread videos and posting them on here. It may become something significant, it may not, but here’s the first three.

First up one of my students on Saturday invented her very own kneading method. I like it.


Second this is me mixing the dough for the borodinsky bread’s on sale tomorrow at Stirchley Market. This is a 6kg batch and includes rye sourdough starter, water, salt, malt extract, molasses, caraway seed, plus rye flour.


Finally this is me shaping that dough into tins. It only has the one rise or proof, directly in the tins – 3 hours after this and it’s in the oven. Always have wet hands when shaping rye!