|Baker Julian Carter, left and owner Tim Hart|
Patient, peckish queues spilled out of the shop into the seasonal April showers today to sample the bakery's range of artisan breads baked using stoneground flour and slow fermentation methods which maximise vitamins and mineral content leading to much more nutritious loaves.
It's a fabulous new foodie destination for Melton Road but why was West Bridgford in particular chosen? "We found a site that we like where there's other nice food retailers, a really good butcher, fruit and veg shop and a fishmonger where we buy our fish from," said Tim Hart. " It's a good place to pop in and you can often get a car in here. We thought of different places but we worked out West Bridgford would be the best spot."
Master Baker Julian Carter, voted 'Baker of the Year' at the prestigious National Industry awards (with Hambleton Bakery itself winner of Britain's Best Bakery 2012) agreed that West Bridgford was ideal for the bakery's new shop which also has retail outlets in Exton, Stamford and Oakham.
"People tend to go into the city centre not to buy food but to buy clothes and other things and I think you need to be near other good food retail shops like fishmongers and then it's a destination," he said. "We had so much demand from customers that wanted the bread that we opened our first shop in Oakham, that was a great success so we opened two more and now West Bridgford, I think it's perfect here."
It's a beautiful little shop packed with tempting and tasty treats."We want to appeal to everyone, not just bread fans, but anyone that likes bread at all and so we offer a wide range. But we're in control of it from start to finish from the pastries to the fillings, everything is made by us," said Julian. The specialist breads on sale are more expensive than supermarket breads but the extra quality and health benefits justify the price, he adds. "People will happily spend three pounds on a cup of coffee and that's for one person but they can spend the same on a loaf of bread that will feed four people for two days.
"When you stone-grind flour everything comes through. When you roller mill everything is stripped away bar the white flour, you're stripping away the wheat-germ and the important stuff. "
"The other aspect that makes the difference in terms of nutrition is Julian's long fermentation process," adds Tim Hart. "Industrial bread is made very fast with a lot of yeast and our bread is made very slowly and during very long fermentation the gluten in the bread is transformed into something much more digestible and so you get better digestion, better nutrition and better taste. Bread was always made very slowly until they invented these new processes."
Confidentially, the lemon and treacle tarts and the Campagne Bloomer and Hambleton Local loaves are catching our eye, whilst the Rutland Pippin, invented for Britain's Best Bakery Competition, an apple-shaped crusty dough encasing Lincolnshire sausage meat, ham hock and Stilton had already sold out, sigh. But which is their favourite Hambleton bread?
"My favourite is the sourdough," said Tim."If I was to take a loaf home, I'd always grab the sourdough, it's a bit of everything, you can make a sandwich with it, you can toast it or even have it on its own, it's got a good strong flavour and it smells lovely."
"I think I'd like to mention the Borodinsky which is a rye bread," said Tim Hart. Brilliant with smoked fish and it has a great crumpety texture."
Hambleton Bakery is now open on Melton Road West Bridgford, full details can be found on their official website http://www.hambletonbakery.co.uk/