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LONDON & THE SOUTH EAST From the outside, it’s just another unit on a north west London industrial estate. On the inside of The Bread Factory, talented bakers produce wonderful creations using timeless techniques and honest ingredients.

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he Bread Factory’s wares are, quite literally, fit for a king. The bakery counts Michelin-starred restaurants, five star hotels and royal households among its clients. However, it also sells through more mainstream channels such as retail, pub and restaurant groups and independent cafés and shops, with the mission of making artisan bread accessible to all. We wanted to “We want to grow produce a simple the market for artisan bread as we believe cracker that more people should works in both enjoy it,” says Ella a sweet and a Ehrlich, the bakery’s head of cake and pastry. savoury setting. As a craft bakery, all The paper-thin of The Bread Factory’s dough provides products are handmade the perfect base. to traditional methods. “This is what our customers judge us on and why we work with them to ensure that every product is exactly how they want it,” says Ella. “It’s also why we have created 227 new product lines in the past year and why 39% of our products are bespoke.” Of all the delicious breads, pastries and cakes that make up The Bread Factory’s extensive repertoire, one product – its seeded cracker – is attracting particular attention after being awarded a prestigious Golden Fork. “We wanted to produce a simple cracker that works in both a sweet and a savoury setting,” says Ella. “The paper-thin dough provides the perfect base. You can really taste the freshness of the crispy, melt-inyour-mouth pastry that complements the spices and flavours of the seeds.” To achieve a base with these qualities, puff pastry and brioche baking techniques are deployed and each sheet is checked by

hand to confirm that the balance and weight is correct before a coating of mixed seeds is applied. The bakery currently produces more than 100kg of the buttermilk-based crackers every day to satisfy the huge and growing appetite for craft baked goods. “Increasingly, people want to know where

GREAT TASTE 2016-17

their food is coming from and what they are putting in their bodies, so the market for our quality, artisan products is growing,” says Ella. With more and more people outside London eager to get their hands on The Bread Factory’s authentically artisan wares, the company opened a Manchester bakery this summer. “This northern base will enable us to share our experience and increase the accessibility of artisanal bread, pastries and cakes to the city of Manchester and beyond,” says Ella. www.breadltd.co.uk

How to use: the bakers recommend pairing with a good strong blue cheese or a spicy chutney www.greattasteawards.co.uk

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