Friday, 2 August 2013

A new loaf for Strathbungo

It’s quite ironic that one of the reason I started baking my own bread is that when I moved to my current abode on the South Side it was quite inconvenient to buy anything decent on the way home from work. The closest I could get was at the southern edge of Queens Park where the greengrocer Stalks & Stems stocked the bread from the Bavarian Bakehouse, but that involved a diversion that I couldn’t always be bothered with.

Times have changed now. In the last few years small specialist enterprises have sprung up along Pollokshaws Road with the highest concentration around Nithsdale Road. The Glad Cafe, Tapa, Gusto & Relish, Cookie and the new, bigger Locavore shop.

The more coffee-centric outlets don’t see too much of me, because I live so close by that I can just go (or stay) home and make some coffee if I want it. But I can now wander along to Cookie and get Bavarian Bakehouse bread, and since this morning Locavore is selling bread from a new bakery, bakery47.

The bakery has been established (as far as I can tell) for just a few months and has been supplying the nearby Glad Cafe with a custom loaf, the “Crossmyloaf” named after the Crossmyloof area of town. Now Locavore is also getting its house bread.

The shop says “Up until now we have been unable to source bread which meets Locavore standards as most loafs contain flour grown on other continents. The loaf is made using rare-breed, organic, stone-ground flour which is grown and milled just across the border in Northumberland using renewable energy, which is produced on site. For us this is the most sustainable loaf and ticks all our boxes.”

I’m not as purist as that about sourcing flour but I went to grab a loaf anyway.

It’s a tin loaf, topped with oat flakes, with a richly chestnut-coloured, soft crust. The crumb is soft, airy and fluffy and ever so slightly damp. The most distinctive thing for me is the aroma. My own sourdough bread smells a bit milky, like mild cream cheese. The Locavore loaf has an amazing, seasidey aroma, like oyster shells and sea spray. No idea where that comes from – the bread just smells really fresh.

Seems quite low in salt. Wheaty sweetness and some chewy grains to munch on, and there’s an unusual, somewhat bitter finish. On the whole there’s an awful lot of flavour going on in this bread. 8/10.

I still think Glasgow is very under-bakeried, but things seem to be moving slowly. Perhaps we will see someone snap up a few of the shops of the sadly collapsed Bradfords chain, making good bread a bit more accessible.