Sunday 6 November 2016

Hobbs House Bakery

Hobbs House Bakery is a small bread baking powerhouse in Chipping Sodbury. Impressively, from their base in the small medieval town, they supply many shops in the local area, including the city of Bristol, on a daily basis. They produce a comprehensive range of breads, from your sourdough Ryes, to fruity Fig & walnut loaves and Overnight Sherstons – and everything inbetween they do the common white loaves as excellently as they do their artisan soda seeds.

JP: Thank you for taking time out to talk with us, from my experience of working in a few health food shops in Bristol I know that you have over 15 types of bread. Which one is the original Hobbs House bread? 

TH: Our Sherston overnight dough loaf, it’s named after the local village the method of making bread with a tiny amount of yeast and leaving it overnight to rise. IN 2020 we’ll have been making bread this way for 100 years in the Herbert family. We still make it the same way because its delicious and makes the best toast in the world.

JP: I find sourdough starters that are older than most animals and humans fascinating, but I do not know much about them. Do starters have a lifespan? Are there any health benefits of eating sourdough bread?  

TH: A sourdough if looked after can live forever!!!! Ours is already in 3rd generation. Basically you NEVER use it all up, and what ever is taken out of the simple mixture is immediately replace with organic dark rye flour and water so the culture of fermentation can continue. It’s a delicious and magical thing. The sourdough starter or culture is full of beneficial bacteria and the long slow process of rising the bread makes it much easier for people to digest. And it tastes so good which is a bonus.

JP: If you don’t mind me asking but what is the age range of the starters you use for your loaves? 
TH: Our sourdough starter os now 61 years old. Last year we had a birthday party for it.

JP: Your bread is available in most of the good food shops of Bristol, such as Better Food, Wild Oats and Harvest. What are some of the challenges you faced on your journey to becoming one of Bristol’s most loved bakeries? 

TH: Challenged come in many forms, and can change from morning to morning. Needless to say we embrace them all as highly caffeinated optimists turning them into opportunities. They can be varying flour strength and quality from season to season (it might all look the same but flour can change a lot). Coping with high demand at busy times of year. Getting all deliveries made whatever the weather.

JP: This year you started producing a gluten-free and vegan loaf. How has it been received? Do you think you will ever expand your gluten-free line? 

TH: The GiFt loaf has been tremendously well received. It won Britains best Gluten Free loaf on the day we launched it, and because we’ve set up a buy-one-give-one with a bakery in Ifakara Tanzania and thanks to strong sales we’ve been able to gift over 10,000 loaves to the place that gives GiFt its I & T. We are working on expanding the range now. Watch this space.

JP: Is your gluten-free loaf a sourdough?

TH: No, though it does have chickpea sourdough in it that is strong enough to give the loaf a delicious crust though not enough to raise the loaf enough.

JP: Have you ever tried making (or just eating) a sourdough cake? If so, would you recommend it?  

TH: Not in cake, because it’s so sour, though it’s amazing in lots of things from pancakes to soups, we’ve lots of recipes if you need inspiration on

JP: When did you begin to become serious about baking?

TH: We are a 5th generation bakery, it’s in our jeans. We are well into-bread.

JP: Finally, In an average week, how many loaves of bread do you bake? 

TH:On a busy week it can feel like one too many!

JP:Great work! Thanks again, for your time and also for providing such a lovely palette of bread for us locals to enjoy.

TH: Peace & Loaf,

Interviewed by Jan Philips and Greg Macalla
with Hobbs House Bakery Innovations Director Tom Herbert
Cook Eat and Travel 2016

To follow
Hobbs House Bakery visit their website and FB page.
or contact:

No comments:

Post a Comment