I was born in Bath and whenever I head back for a visit I become so terribly homesick for many reasons, but one of them is the abundance of fantastic bread there. I don’t know why but great bread is really thin on the ground round my way. The upside of this though is that I bake quite a bit of my own, which I love doing, but my oven has a mind of its own (and its a bit of a nightmare) so it would be so lovely to have fantastic sourdough bread readily available.
I first heard about The Thoughtful Bread Company last year through BBC 2’s The Big Bread Experiment in which founder Duncan Glendinning and head baker Patrick Ryan help a Yorkshire community set up their own bakery. I knew that they had a stall in Bath’s Green Park Station so vowed to visit them. I did just that last year and was not only really impressed by their amazing breads and cakes (oh my god their cakes!) but by the guys that make up the company itself. Ross was running the stall that day and we got chatting about the company and their eco-friendly business. Not only are they absolutely lovely guys but their passion for bread is really inspiring.
So when I headed off to Bath last week for my big sister’s birthday I made sure I popped over to see them once more. It was only 12:30pm by the time I got to the Farmer’s Market at Green Park Station and met up with Ross but he was already sold out. Gutted. All was not lost though because Thoughtful Bread had a pop up cafè in The Guildhall for 2 weeks during the Bath Literary Festival – HOORAY!
Ross and Duncan were busy behind their counter and their cafè was a quirky mix of mismatched crockery, hay bale seating and trestle tables all surrounded by their gorgeous breads.
How beautiful do these loaves look? They make so many variations of loaves depending on what’s in season – cider, beetroot, walnut, wild garlic – all beautifully made and most importantly tasting amazing.
Oh and their cakes really are something special. “Try our gluten free spiced orange cake” said Ross. For some reason I avoid gluten free cakes but I won’t anymore. The wheat flour had been replaced by ground almonds and the sweet, sticky orange cake was absolute heaven. Their Guinness cake, although I didn’t try it, completely inspired my Guinness free Guinness cake that I made for my Domestic Sluttery posting on Friday and those chocolate and raspberry tarts are just beyond delicious.
They even have a book so you can make their breads at home!
I bought one of their sourdough loaves to take back to my sister’s later that day.
I stopped off on my way back that afternoon to pick some wild garlic so I could have my favourite Spring treat…sourdough, wild garlic and cheese sandwiches – hell yeah! Plus my gorgeous niece Nyla tried wild garlic for the first time and loved it!
Nyla gave their sourdough an almighty thumbs up too!
So if you find yourself in Bath make sure you head to see the fab fellows of The Thoughtful Bread Company, say hello from me, try their goodies and stock up. Oh, and if you happen to be heading up to Melton Mowbray, bring me a loaf too!
And no, they haven’t paid me to say all these lovely things about them!