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Newsletters

  • Folic Acid for Everyone?

    There is something of an uncharacteristic fervour amongst the milling world. The small-scale artisans producing stone-ground flour around the country are concerned about their very existence, all because of folate (or folic acid vitamin B9). Folic acid is needed by us all for cell maintenance but is especially important for pre-pregnancy and pregnant women in order to reduce the chances of their embryo suffering neural tube defects (NTD) such as spina bifida and The Guardian reports that the UK has the highest incidence of NTD in Europe. To combat this, the UK government has published a consultation paper for...

  • A BUMPER Harvest for Rye!

    Last year’s lovely, long and hot summer (or prolonged, severe drought if described by a farmer) caused many modern cereals to fail or to grow very poorly. Some crops that seemed to be doing fairly well then failed as the weather turned wet and made harvesting difficult thereby reducing the quality of the harvest. Dramatic swings in the weather during the growing season causes stress in plants unable to cope with it. John Letts of Heritage Harvest says that his harvest thrived because of the deep root systems his cereals grow and went on to produce top quality grain. It is predicted...

  • Introducing the Fourneau Cast-Iron Bread Oven v.2.0

    Buy Now (Free UK Shipping) Is it always wrong to fall in love with baking equipment? I used to (and still do) feel this way about certain items of stationery. The perfect pen or a decent post-it pad for instance, who doesn’t? I’ve become besotted with my Fourneau cast-iron bread oven. It is quite an investment but it is really at the luxury end of covered bakers, being designed and made in the US with attention to detail and the best materials. The baker resembles a Nissen hut, being a long, narrow dome, closed at one end. Made from...

  • Gilchester's Grain

    Brrrr, following our warehouse getting steadily colder day-by-day over the last week, on Thursday we had to admit defeat and close for a couple of days. The red weather warning was the final straw and the closure a first in 10 years. It is very pretty though, here in Devon, the frozen rain on the trees are especially attractive - although an inch of solid ice across the road makes it tricky to move about. All collections and deliveries have been suspended. The good news is that we should be back to normal after the weekend. Bille and Andrew...

  • THE SOURDOUGH SCHOOL BOOK

    by Vanessa Kimbell. Published by Kyle Books. Photography by Nassima Rothacker. Many of you have known Vanessa from writing the recipes and doing our photos for us. I met Vanessa about 7 years ago just as she began teaching at the Sourdough School. I remember us chatting about a recipe and before I knew it I’d asked if she would write it up to share with our customers. She had already got her first book underway and is now an award-winning author and occasional BBC Radio 4 Food Programme contributor. Vanessa also teaches the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners...

  • A Taste for the Rule of Law

    Every now and again, John Letts of the Lammas Fayre range of heritage flours and I chew the cud over a virtual beer. The conversation runs away ranging wildly from the definition of the term “heritage” which John thinks should be at least pre 1st World War where many think the 1970s is early enough, through to putting the world to rights - just like any good pub conversation. We solve lots of the world's problems that way. John is a fountain of ideas and once we touch on something that fires his imagination, he is off with idea after...

  • Don’t Suffer Ropey Bread

    The warm weather is lovely, or at least, I think it is. The garden doesn’t really agree: peas have panicked and courgettes are a bit sad. The promised storms and heavy rain haven’t materialised yet, at least, not in the southwest. The results for UK cereals is that rye harvest is ahead and looking really good compared to the disaster of last year. Wheat is turning golden in the fields already and the protein levels will be really high, but as John Letts has explained to me, UK (Lincolnshire specifically) usually has the highest yielding wheat in the world due...

  • French Flour from Foricher

    I’m delighted to be able to introduce you to a new range of flour from the French mill, Foricher. I’ve been looking for a really good quality French flour to stock for some years now, but finding the right one has proved to be somewhat difficult. It wasn’t that there was a lack of choice, more a case of ensuring that it was one that fitted with our ethos of delivering ingredients that go above and beyond. The flour from Foricher Les Moulins definitely meets these requirements. The mills have been producing high quality flours since 1997, when Yvon Foricher...

  • 'The bread in your hands is the body of the cosmos'

    (Thich Nhat Hahn) It was a real pleasure give Heritage Harvest’s John Letts some moral support at the BBC Food & Farming Awards on Wednesday. Heritage Harvest was a finalist for The Farming Today Future Food Award. With Sheila Dillon hosting the evening, the variety of small enterprises whittled down from thousands of nominations to a few finalists picked out for their outstanding contributions to the food industry was humbling. From a small business developing driverless tractors (who won John’s category) to Rose Dakuo who cooks for her refugee supper club, the finalists...

  • Heart Cross Buns

    I bumped into the ball of energy that is baker Michael Hanson a few years ago, and have seen him many times since, always wearing his trademark hat. With a strong ethical bent, Michael has been planning a social enterprise to funnel the profits from the sale of his blends of heritage flour grown and milled in England to worthy causes. I’m delighted to let you know that Michael has Bread For Life up and running now and we’ve got the range of his flours for you to try. Even better, we’ve a guest article from Michael this week, introducing...

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