– and your wish is our command. We delivery every morning to Waterford. New Ross and Kilkenny and on Saturdays to Carlow, Kildare, Naas and Athy. But sometimes we get enquiries from further afield and so we are now offering a wider service. On a Wednesday, we can deliver to within an hour of Speltbakers (R95 xv48). All you have to do is get us five orders ( preferably over €10 each) and we’ll drive your way next Wednesday. Check with your friends and neighbours. Delivery is free, you order on our shop and for orders over €100 total, we include our bread of the month (At the moment that is a fig and berberry sourdough!!) and a tray of pies as a gift.
Another kind of a wish we always encourage is old ( or new ) recipes that you may remember or want to try. Let us know and if we thing it might work, we’ll bake you some.
This week we dropped vegan scones to a beautiful farm near Enniscorthy.
We like treats as much as the next person and an unexpected gift can be the best. Especially these days, where we are all a bit fragile and concerned. Where life is not as sociable as we’d like and we have seen a lot more than we ever wanted of our own four walls.
Anyhow, this is just a small gesture on our part to make it easy to treat a friend. Every Tuesday, we run Treat a Friend on Instagram and Facebook. All you have to do is tag a friend, or mention a friend ( if you are as untechy as me). Comment on our post, mentioning a friend. We draw one winner of all the comments and the winner and the winner’s friend will both get a bag of bread and treats on Wednesday morning.
Easy and uncomplicated, these bags could be yours!!! We’ll deliver if you are on our breadround to Waterford or Kilkenny.
If you are further afield, we’ll find a way to meet you. Winners are announced on Tuesday evening by 9pm and breakfast could be sorted.
Another Friday and another idea how we might help win the battle against climate change and environmental damage
The current pandemic has had a significant impact on the use of single use plastics. What was frowned upon before Covid 19, is now deemed essential as regards packaging. We sleeve our bread with paper sleeves to be able to label the bread and were proud of our lack of packaging. Now, for most shops, we have to bag what we display and every loaf that we sell has it’s own plastic bag. We buy perforated plastic to enable the bread to breathe as it leaves the bakehouse still warm. This morning we made 100 Sourdough, 30 Soda, 20 yeast loaves , 30 baguettes, 60 Stromboli, 30 scones and 30 pies. You do the maths. We are only one tiny bakery. You do the maths for the country.
My question this Friday is: Do we really need it? There is no law, there is some guidance and while some shops display the bread behind their perspex screens other leave it out but most request plastic packaging. On the market, we have established distancing with an empty table between the customers and the bread remains unpackaged. We observe strict food hygene, which we would have done before the pandemic as well, handling the bread with tongs or cloves but displaying it openly. For the entire year, I only got two comments of people looking for all bread to be packaged. Both times I asked about the plastic situation and damage and they agreed that there was no winning….. but said they would just feel safer. A fair comment and a sad reflection of this strange time where fear rules .
Looking for facts, I went back to source and checked the website of the World Health Organisation. They say quite clearly: “There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through contact with food or food packaging. COVID-19 is generally thought to be spread from person to person. However, it’s always important to practice good hygiene when handling food to prevent any food-borne illnesses.” We have always known that and practise that. So, I would ask the question this week. Can we please remember the other world problems and not create this packaging mountain unnecessarily. There is no evidence that bread should be packaged while on display. It should be treated with respect, obviously only touching bread we intent do buy etc. But we did this before Covid and now, that everyone wears masks, arguable we are a lot safer around open food.
Let’s respect and beat Covid but get the fact, keep our fear in check and please let’s not forget: Single use plastic is still a problem and we are all the answer.
Friday for the future is an international climate strike movement which started 2018, a movement where young people try and propel us all to action to avoid the deadly climate crisis we are heading for. Now, I am neither young, nor am I going to strike on Fridays but I do very much believe that we need to do something, something to avoid the continuing climate crisis, something to battle the ever increasing use of plastic with all its associated problems for the environment and last but not least something to improve our own lifestyle and attitude to food and food production to mellow our own impact on this planet and improve our health and wellbeing.
As a bakery, we like to think, we do our bit for good food but, like everyone else, we need to constantly work on our process to make sure we do the best we can. So, every Friday, we are going to keep you updated with one way we try and improve our business and the bread we sell to you.
The product we use most in baking is unquestionably flour. We use about 500kg of spelt flour every week. Since we started, we have only used spelt flour ( hence the name). First, we used spelt imported from Germany, then spelt grown in France. Then, we found Oak Forest Mills, who grow and mill their spelt in Ireland and who operate organically. We use their magnificent flour to make our Irish sourdough and our Jalapeno sourdough. Since the start of this year, all our flour is now grown organically as we have moved to Echt Meel from Holland for the remainder of our breads. As we said last week in this column, spelt can be tricky to grow, to mill and to bake with but we like it and we hope you do too. And using organic products, products produced in line with nature and without causing damage has to be a very important step.
As every week, let us know what you think, what you’d like to know or where you think we could improve. As we all need to deal with covid and all its side effects on all of us, it is maybe more important than ever to remember the bigger picture.
This is a new section to our web site, a place where we share what is new for us and where you can check back on what I say to everyone who does or doesn’t what to hear it at the market.
The flour is back to a great standard
Today, it is the flour. Last year was not a great year for spelt and the harvest is now arriving in the mill over in Mechelen in Holland. When the grain is not super, the flour cannot be either and if there is a massive spelt shortage, the millers have to take what they get as do the bakers. So over the last while you might have noticed that our white loaf was not quite what it should have been and that we either had no croissants or were selling them cheap because we were just not happy with them. Basically the flour was poor and because we use only spelt we did not have the option of adding wheat, which is what many other bakers do to strengthen the spelt.
Spelt flour is a bit of a drama queen. Which is why wheat was invented and why the majority of all bakers and bakeries use wheat rather than spelt. But as Speltbakers, we have limited our choices with the name and what seemed a good idea 10 years ago is still a good idea today – or so we keep telling ourselves.
We were working hard to keep the quality up, using the ever reliable Oak Forest mill flour which we use for our Irish or Pilltown sourdough, to reinforce the poorer spelt. Thankfully, a new batch of flour arrived last week from Holland and we are back to full quality and loving it. So keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram and if there are any questions, check back to this section where we will keep everyone up to date. We always try our best, and we will always keep you informed. All feedback welcome.