08 Oct The Wild Loaf
Bread. The symbol of life in many cultures, and central to our daily routine. Except we’ve hit a glitch recently with the waves of gluten intolerance sweeping through the population. There are many nuances to this phenomenon but one which sticks out is the way we make our bread these days. I highly recommend checking out Netflix series ‘Cooked’ by journalist and food lover Michael Pollan, where he discusses the science of bread making and the nature of gluten. Pollan delves into fermentation, allowing time for the natural breakdown of gluten and complex carbs into simple sugars and amino acids which are more easily digestible. Naturally leavened bread like this is a completely different animal compared to industrial loaves. Therefore I started pondering how to make sourdough myself. Fortunately The Wild Loaf came into my life and I didn’t have to bother!
Nestled in a cosy cobbled courtyard off the main road, you might easily bypass the bakery. Actually, they refer to themselves as a micro-bakery and it is indeed teeny. Their ethos is to produce small batches of high quality products made fresh daily. Which is to say, they open at 9 and if you want to ensure a loaf go before midday! Doughnuts appear throughout the day from 11am and sandwiches from 11.30. You can also treat yourself to a super coffee (freshly roasted beans) from independent producers ☕️ They mention studies which suggest that due to the slow fermentation, people with gluten intolerances can eat sourdough, hooray! (As always, do your own research and do what’s right for your body. I have tried this and have been fine, but don’t go eating a million loaves a day in celebration!).
The ingredients are simple: flour, water and salt. Boom. It being a well considered loaf, the flour is organic English grown and milled, and the salt Himalayan pink salt. The water I presume is…nice water 💦 I thought the Organic Sourdough would be the best place to start. At £3.50 yes it’s more expensive than normal, but at least they provide you with a massive loaf! The smell is incredible. I kept it in my locker during the day and every time I opened it the waft of freshly baked bread drifted out 🤤 The crust is fantastic, the perfect mixture of bite and chew. On the inside, the bread is full of wonderful air bubbles due to the proving and fermentation (how many times have I use that word already?!), both soft and springy. Most importantly though, the FLAVOUR!!! Drool worthy, the slight sourness makes it extremely moreish.
I would definitely suggest checking The Wild Loaf’s instagram page. Not only will you get slow-mo’s of bread moulding and shots straight out of the oven but also close ups of stomach-rumble inducing doughnuts! These could anything from jam & mascarpone, pistachio & raspberry, honeycomb & custard, classic peanut butter & jam, hazelnut chocolate or vegan raspberry & lemon. Quite the choice, and that’s just from one day’s menu! I tried a vegan lemon and pistachio. Again, the wonderful dough texture had a slight spring in it. Sweet but not overly so with the citrus tone, it was devoured in seconds. All the doughnuts are filled to the brim with jam, chocolate or honeycomb bursting out the surface, perfect filling to dough ratio! They also make little cinnamon ‘bombolinis’, aka mini doughnuts for £2.50 if you’re trying to be good 🙂
This is an absolute must visit if you like good bread. They’re closed Sunday – Tuesday so plan accordingly! I’d try the Organic Sourdough first, but they do variants such as sesame, wholemeal, parmesan and black pepper. Occasionally they’ll do a rogue sourdough focaccia with rosemary and olives, or garlic and and sea salt. The Wild Loaf also provides bread to the neighbouring bar, Buyers Club, and to Oktopus, the restaurant on the other side. So if you miss the 9 – 3 opening hours, panic not, you can sample some at these locations.
Let me know if you try The Wild Loaf and send me photos of your purchases! If you’re already a master baker please share your bread making tips with the #minnsmunchtime community 👍🏼 Thanks for reading this post and for your support, please like and share if you enjoyed it!
Total receipt: £7
1x doughnut 3.5
1x classic sourdough loaf 3.5
Rating: 10/10 🌟Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no moooore (unlikely situation)🤩