What’s special about your ingredients?
I believe that we should be mindful of what we put into our bodies and the effect that our diet has on the environment around us. That is why I use ingredients which are organic and as minimally processed as possible, preserving their nutritional value without unnecessary chemicals and additives.
I source my ingredients from producers and suppliers who support sustainable, responsible farming practices and promote soil health, environmental and social responsibility. I am particularly proud of my relationships with Gilchesters and Shipton Mill who provide the excellent, organic and stoneground flours used in my breads.
I use natural sweeteners in my granola: honey and coconut blossom syrup, instead of refined sugars. The honey I use in my bread and granola is organic, unpasteurised and untreated, with no additives or preservatives. It is full of natural vitamins and minerals. The coconut blossom syrup I use is organic, sustainable and vegan.
Salt is a necessary ingredient, controlling the fermentation process, gluten structure and shelf life of my breads and acting as a flavour enhancer in my granola. The salt I use is natural, non-iodised sea salt with no anti-clumping agents or preservatives. I use as little of it as possible.
What is naturally leavened bread?
It's only in the past 150 years that we have used commercially produced baker's yeast to leaven our bread. Before then, and for thousands of years dating back to 3700 BCE, breads across the world were leavened by the fermentation of naturally occurring wild yeasts.
I use a natural yeast culture called a levain to leaven all of my bread, except The Woodlander, which uses baker's yeast.
A levain is a mixture of water and flour that is home to wild yeasts and friendly bacteria. They munch on the proteins and starches in the flour, producing carbon dioxide, which leavens the bread. The process of lactic fermentation in the levain also encourages the development of beneficial microbes, which help break down the structure of flour, grains, nuts and seeds making them more digestible and their nutritional value more accessible to our bodies.
This is commonly referred to as sourdough. People can associate this with breads that are sour or sharp in flavour; not mine. My preference is to use levain to enhance and compliment the natural flavours of the flours and grains that I use, in a subtle balance.
What is slow-fermented bread?
Once I have mixed my bread it is allowed to slowly rise and ferment, a process which takes place over between 18 and 36 hours depending on the recipe. This is a relaxed pace for a loaf! To give you a frame of reference a standard supermarket loaf can take as little as 3 hours from mixing to slicing!
This long, slow process allows lactic fermentation to take place within the dough. This enhances the natural flavours of the flours and grains and gives the bread a wholesome, toothsome texture. Lactic fermentation also breaks down the structure of flour and grains to enable your body to more easily absorb their minerals and vitamins and making the bread gentler on your digestive system.
Why don’t you use locally grown ingredients?
Whenever I can, I use local producers and suppliers. Unfortunately this is not always possible. I continue to hope that there will be an increased local use of organic farming methods and I am always on the look out. If you know of a producer who you think I should get in touch with, I would love to hear about it. Contact me here and let me know.
How do I store my bread?
The best way to store your bread is by wrapping it in a natural, breathable material such as heavy cotton (a dry tea towel), paper or beeswax wrap. You can also use cling film, but this will trap the moisture in the bread which may soften the crust and increase the risk of mould forming.
Bread is best stored at room temperature for up to one week. It also freezes very well; simply wrap your fresh, cooled loaf in paper and seal in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible and it should keep for up to 2 months. I would suggest defrosting loaves wrapped at room temperature, but you can also freeze ready-sliced bread and pop each slice in the toaster straight from the freezer as you want them.
How do I store my granola?
The best way to store your granola is at room temperature in a sealed jar or container, out of direct sunlight. Kept in this way, granola should stay fresh for 3 to 4 months. You can also freeze your fresh granola in a sealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Defrost at room temperature before use.
Why is your bread and granola so expensive?
Actually, it isn't.
A couple of quick examples: an "artisan sourdough" bread from Sainsbury's costs 50p per 100g. It's not pure sourdough. It uses a proportion of commercial yeast and is mass produced, with non-organic ingredients. My bread costs from 52p per 100g. Marks and Spencer's "luxury granola" costs £1.23 per 100g, mine is £0.99 per 100g.
Is your packaging environmentally friendly?
Yes. Simply remove the ingredients label and all of the packaging that I use is 100% plastic-free, recycled and recyclable, including my Elsing Bakehouse label and cards.
The granola/cookie/bread bags are made with Natureflex, which is made from wood pulp and is certified 100% compostable. Shred any paper and pop it on your compost heap or in the recycling bin.
How do you deliver?
Once your bread, granola or cookies are cooled from the oven, I package it and pop it on my bicycle and then pedal it round to you.
If you live outside my 2.5 mile delivery zone then you can arrange to click and collect your order from Lyng Stores (see more information below: What if I don't live in the delivery zone?).
When do you deliver?
My daily bicycle deliveries are between 11.30am and 2pm, Wednesday to Saturday.
Bread Club orders are delivered between 11.30am and 2pm, Wednesday to Friday.
If you would like your delivery before lunch, please send me a message and I will do my best to put you at the top of my bicycle round.
Where do you deliver?
I deliver to addresses within a 2.5 mile radius of Elsing, Norfolk.
Why such a small radius? Because it’s just me and my bicycle!
If you’re not sure if I deliver to you, please just contact me. I may be able to make to fit you into my route!
What if I don't live in the delivery zone?
If you live outside the 2.5mile delivery zone, you can arrange to collect your order from Lyng Stores from 11.30am-5.30pm on your chosen delivery day (click here for a map). Just select the collection option at the checkout.
What happens if I am not in when you deliver?
If you’re not in when I arrive I will leave your order on the doorstep. Please leave me a note if you would like me to put it in a safe, dry place such as a porch, outbuilding or garage, or with a neighbour. If it’s raining, please leave a dry box or bag for me.
Why can’t I get my products delivered on the same day I order?
All of my bread, granola and cookies are freshly baked to your order. All of my bread is slow fermented and takes 18 to 36 hours to make. This means that my orders have to be completed two days ahead of delivery so that I have time to prepare them for you.
What happens if I want to change or cancel my order?
Bread Club members can change or cancel their order online at any time, just log in with your details and follow the simple instructions.
For all other orders please contact me as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, if you cancel on the same day of delivery your order will already have been baked for you and you may still be charged.
How does Bread Club work?
Bread Club is a weekly subscription service. Members can select a bread and a delivery day. Their freshly baked orders are then delivered by bicycle to their door weekly. Members can log on and pause or cancel their membership at any time.
Orders must be placed by no later than 4pm two days ahead of the delivery day. Orders placed after this deadline will not be delivered until the following week and a refund will be given.
This service operates weekly for 48 weeks a year and includes Christmas and Easter - I take a little holiday in the spring and autumn! I notify my Bread Club members of any breaks in their supply well ahead of time and am happy to bake up extra loaves for you to cover the gap.
What happens if I am unhappy with my purchase?
It is very important to me that you enjoy the food that I bake. If for some reason you are unhappy with it then please do not hesitate to contact me and I will arrange a swap or refund.
Are any of your products vegetarian or vegan?
All of my products are suitable for vegetarians.
My Country Blonde, Seeded Boule and Woodlander loaves are vegan friendly, as is my Roasted Buckwheat granola.
Please check the ingredients of special items such as my seasonal sourdoughs which change every few weeks. Several of these products are also suitable for vegans.