Local Artisan Bread & Patisserie

Monthly archive for January 2014

How to treat your family AND boost their 5-a-day intake in 1 savoury bite

How to treat your family AND boost their 5-a-day intake in 1 savoury bite

Aren’t we asked to fit at least 5 portions of fruit & vegetables into our diets, every single day?  The truth is, it can be quite a battle on occasion in the Rex Baker’s family.  But never fear, there’s a new way to enhance sandwiches without anything visibly “green” that the kids might resist.

 

  • oats apple sourdough, sourdough, organic white sourdough

Towards your family’s 5-a-day intake in 1 savoury bite

It’s actually thrilling when you’ve successfully sneaked extra health into you & your family’s diet, without them knowing & with them actually loving what they are eating!  All Rex sweet products carry at least a little fruit or extra fibre and of course we hand-make everything in Rex Artisan Bakery with the best ingredients we can source, organic where possible and nothing else added, so plenty gained.

But this week we are recommending one of our breads, Oat & Apple Sourdough for your families’ sandwiches & lunches.   Sourdoughs are very special loaves – they take days to make & have many digestive health benefits especially compared to industrial-made loaves.

Oat & Apple is one of our tastiest breads (according to the Rex Baker’s children) with an extremely light & long lasting moist bread-crumb thanks to the inclusion of up to 1/2 a grated Cox’s Orange Pippin* apple (that’s all the clean skin & flesh) into each organic white loaf.  Topped with extra oats, what we think is a beautiful rustic-looking crust 🙂 does bring some extra goodness with it too.

Whilst an apple a day famously keeps the doctor away, the best thing about Oat & Apple Sourdough is that it just seems like a delicious white loaf that doesn’t taste at all apple-y or indeed sour!!   Think of the inclusion of apple as a natural preservative that maintains great loaf moisture and injects extra tangy-fruit health benefits into every bite.

What’s special about Cox’s Orange Pippin in your sandwich?

  • Did you know that these apples were originally developed in Bucks, not Kent?  So are a local icon!
  • Great source of vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals and antioxidants
  • Good source of extra dietary fibre especially pectin
  • Thought to positively stimulate bacteria in your digestive tract
  • It’s believed that an apple as part of your lunch fills you up faster, so that you are less tempted to overeat later.

Here’s what a couple of friends of Rex Bakery have to say:

“My boys enjoyed the new apple & oat sourdough loaf today”

 “This is sooooooooooo delicious!!!”

If you too would like to inject some extra 5-a-day health into your diet, why not add Oat & Apple Sourdough to your order this week?

* We choose the apple that’s in-season.  This was Cox’s Orange Pippin in February.

Could this be a show stopper?

It’s been a tumultuous week for the Rex Baker.   What we learnt is going to require inventive thinking akin to the “Apollo 13” square peg in a round hole scene to keep going, lol.

It’s ironic because the feedback from the local community continues to be overwhelmingly warm, with so many of you ordering here by Thursday night for Saturday morning collection at the pop up in the Parade; and visitors to No 4 telling us time & time again that an Artisan Bakery is “Just what we need in Little Chalfont”.

Could this be a show stopper?

Last week we told you that it was taking longer than you’d think before we’d be ready to open the bakery.  An important factor we mentioned was the utilities required to operate a working on-site bakery, and that we  had a good idea we would Rex sourdough, sourdough in oven, commercial bakery ovenneed to increase the electricity supply to power all the ovens, retarder provers, chillers etc.    Well just days ago we heard from the electricity supply company that the power to the Parade’s individual shops is woefully inadequate – less than we have to our own home garage in fact – and that all excess capacity to the Parade has been bought up by a certain popular supermarket.  On paper there isn’t enough to the shop to service a bakery, and neither can there be in the short term.

What’s more, the nearest sub-station is some distance away on a private road (so needs planning permission, writing to all the residents, etc.).  We would have to pay  tens of thousands of pounds for our part in a  massive Little Chalfont infrastructure upgrade, which would include  a huge trench dug from our shop to the site for a direct feed and it would take at least 6 months to get through the process.

So  we have to think laterally and work out another way forward because it’s just not an option for little old us to resource such a thing!!

(We do wonder what plans are being made by our Utility Companies for the housing development  allowed on the Donkey Field behind  Chenies Parade and two planning applications for shops/flats between Chenies Parade  & the car showroom. Everyone wants to build in our community but there is no power infrastructure to facilitate it!)  OK, rant over…

It’s all a nasty shock to say the least, because many of you will remember a bakery further down the parade before so the power must have been there on the grid a few years ago.

Which brings us to creative thinking.  So now we are looking at the types of ovens; the fuel they use; how much can be used simultaneously; and especially reviewing gas powered commercial baking oven options which are popular in U.S., Italy and Germany if not Britain.  There are other business model options too, of course.

So we certainly don’t see it as a show stopper at all – yet!!  And we’ll keep you all posted, it’s lovely that so many of you ask about the bakery progress & that you really do care about having  a real bakery in the community.  Thank you.

In the meantime, the builders started work on the interior of the shop, we have sourced gorgeous contemporary wood tables & benches & shelving for the shop and cafe area, organised the shop signage and applications from potential bakers & staff are coming in – so lots & lots of positive shop momentum.

And we are thrilled with the feedback on all the Rex Bakery products and at least we can be totally confident about & committed to the production & quality of our home bakes in the meantime.  chocolate buns, rex bakery And if you are new to Rex Bakery, WELCOME & please sign up for email alerts in the top right hand corner.

Have a great week! xx

 

It’s taking longer than you’d think

It’s taking longer than you’d think

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A British Bun (or two) can’t hurt

A British Bun (or two) can’t hurt

This week buns are back, yay!! The eponymous Elizabeth David, who was born 100 years ago this last Boxing Day, writes in “English Bread and Yeast Cookery” how “all these ‘small, soft, plump, sweet, fermented cakes’ are English institutions”

The British Bun institution

We pretty much sold out of bread and all sausage rolls at the pop up point this Saturday – shame, there wasn’t even a small Multiseed loaf  left for the Rex Baker’s children’s lunch boxes for back to school 🙁

So that taught us that it is OK to offer our Friends of Rex Bakery a limited bread  list in January. And certainly the Rex Baker gained valuable daytimes otherwise spent in bake preparations, for critical business & shop fitting planning.   However, overnight during baking he couldn’t resist preparing some extra dough & baking up some of his favourite buns – so we had a fuller range to offer at the pop up point afterall and we have decided that the same will be true throughout January.

The Bun really is a long standing British Baking institution which has been usurped more recently, as yummy butter-rich overseas invaders like the Croissant has taken its place as a breakfast or mid-morning snack.  Who else remembers a bun at elevenses as a British child in the last century, before the advent of the brunch & continental viennoiserie?

A bun should be slightly sweet,  not too rich, light and most importantly it’s delicious eaten fresh.  In keeping with the lighter New Year bake list, we have a great opportunity to explore the British Bun.

chocolate bun1) Chocolate Buns have been a favourite of Rex Bakery since our Village Day launch.     Our chocolate buns,  inspired originally by an Italian bread, are sweetened just by honey, top glazed with sugar syrup & flavoured by Callebaut Belgium Chocolate  Cocoa Powder and Chocolate Drops, giving chocoholics that chocolate hit but without the fat levels of a chocolate bar or cake.  There is no egg or butter in this bun so it’s light unlike most chocolate products.

2) Rex Bath Buns are also light unlike the  original 250 year old,  Sally Lunn buns of Bath, because ours are not dripping in butter.  We do enrich the slightly sweet dough with egg and flavour with Rex-made citrus peel, lemon zest, anise (a very old fashioned baking spice) and a few raisins.   If you go back to the Victorian  era, apparently nearly 1 million  London “Bath Buns” were baked for the 5 1/2 months of The Great Exhibition of 1851 – although with such a quantity some were criticised as irregular, cloying, prone to staling.  It seems that those set the tone for  the commercial London Bath Bun mass-produced since then.  So you can see that originally they were popular but perhaps it’s time for a new direction for the Bath Bun. We feel ours taste great, meet all our January criteria (light, fresh, tasty, only slightly sweet) and hopefully are our little contribution in reviving the great British Bun tradition.

So now you know all about the goodness, care & tradition that can be in one humble British bun – reassuring for those New Year healthy diets!

Have a great week xx