Workshops and masterclasses

We have a range of workshops and classes available; from full day Sourdough Breadmaking classes, to evening classes in Sourdough Pizza, Flatbread and Mezze, Butter, Jam & Pickles, Cookery, and coming soon a brand new fermentation workshop!

 

Keep a look out for special guest classes too – we often run masterclasses with experts from around the world who want to share their passions and craft with you.

 

For our full range of what’s on offer, plus class availabilty and booking check out our classes page.

 

 

 

e5 baking retreat in the Alpujarras

This coming April, for the 5th consequetive year, e5 owner Ben will be heading to Southern Spain, to lead a baking retreat at Las Chimeneas in the heart of the Apujarra mountains.

 

This retreat includes a one day Sourdough immersive, covering a range of our favourite recipes and techniques, together with a half day Sourdough Pizza workshop, using a traditional wood-fired oven.

 

Alongside the bread and pizza classes there will be 3 days set aside for exploring the local area through a selection of curated trips by our hosts David and Emma, although of course if you just feel like striking off and exploring on your own that’s perfectly fine.  Best of all, we are going in early April, so the bountiful Spanish Spring – with all its wildflowers, blossom, birds and bees – will be coming into bloom!

 

Spaces are limited to 10 people, so that there will be plenty of time for discussion and enriching learning as well as relaxation!

 

More information about the class and booking info on our classes page of the website here or about Las Chimaneaus here .

 

Christmas Opening Hours

 

Cafe

Christmas Eve – OPEN 7am – 4pm

25th December – 1st January –  CLOSED

Reopen 2nd January – 7am – 7pm

 

 

 

 

Millhouse

Christmas Eve – OPEN 7am – 4pm

25th – 28th December – CLOSED

29th & 30th December – OPEN 8am – 7pm

31st December – OPEN 8am – 3pm

1st Janaury – CLOSED

Reopen 2nd January – 7am – 7pm

Makers Market at e5

On Sunday 2nd December we’re holding a festive Makers Market in our Millhouse and backyard. We’ll be showcasing a selection of products from UK based makers and designers who have a sustainable, ethical business model.

 

As well as beautiful handmade goods, there will be organic food, festive drinks and good beats.

 

If you’re a maker or designer with a sustainable, ethical business and would like a stall please get in touch on office@e5bakehouse.com. Limited places available.

 

 

e5 staff ride to Suffolk

We had a wonderful couple of days in Suffolk: a rapid decompression that, afterwards, felt more like it had been a week. We arrived at the farm Sunday evening, around sunset, and were welcomed by Ben and Starter. There was a huge pot of split pea curry steaming over a fire. We had a look around at some of the wonderful things happening in this place: the market garden, the polytunnels, the pond with Indian runner ducks, the cabin and yurts, and the huge meadow where we pitched our tents. As it got dark, we gathered around the fire, and ate masses. Hot chocolate, and whisky, were passed around, and stories shared.

 

Three of us had set off from e5 in the morning: Luke, Sarah, and Anthony. It was beautiful weather, with sunshine and tailwinds as promised, and we made distance quickly enough to afford a detour to tiny Edwardstone to try some wild and mixed fermentation sour beers at a quietly radical pub. The roads, fields, towns, and villages we rode through were beautiful, and we started to plot next year’s ride on the way. We joined the others (there were 12 of us in all) at Needham Market and rode together for the last section to the Farm.

 

Monday’s ride to Dunwich—after a breakfast of soaked oats, berries, compote, kefir, bread, eggs, and lots of coffee—became a foragers’ journey, as we were frequently distracted by things glimmering in the Suffolk hedgerow: constant blackberries, plums, sloes, apples and pears, and wild hops. Saddlebags and pockets were stuffed with whatever we could carry.

 

After a jump in the sea to refresh, and drying off in the sun, we ended up in the beer garden of the Ship Inn with a few pints and many plates of fish and chips. All that was left was a short ride to the station and a sleep on the train, trying not to think about what Liverpool Street was going to be like during Monday rush hour.

 

Antony Powis

e5 Delivery Rider

Zero Waste Week

This week is International Zero Waste week, and as a such an ideal time for our business to take stock of what we are doing to reduce waste, and more importantly to review ways in which we can do better. 

 

What do we mean by operating zero waste? For us it’s reducing what we are sending to lanfill, it’s about resusing as much as we can, and it’s about composting. It’s about buying less but better,  reducing our plastic use, and it’s about thinking of ways in which we can operate in a circular economy. 

 

Here are a few things we are doing to reduce our waste:

 

-Selling resuable products in our shops; ecocups to encourage people to ditch the disposables; and cotton produce bags for our loose fruit and veg

 

-Discounted price for hot drinks when using a resuable cup

 

-Selling loose produce in bulk to encourage plastic-free shopping; from UK-grown grains and pulses, to fruit and veg from our favourite organic farms
 

-Reusing any surplus food; for example we’re brewing Kvass using surplus rye bread. And if we have any leftover bits of dough from our daily bakes, our bakers mix them together into one loaf for our staff lunches – our much loved speckled “bowlmeal” loaf. Our pancakes are made with buttermilk leftover from butter making, and our banana bread and flatbreads have both been enriched with heated milk leftover when making coffees

 

-Composting what we can; our coffee grounds and bran from the mill are composted at our farm in Suffolk

 

-We use biodegradable and compostable takeaway packaging

 

-We’re happy to be part of the Refill London campaign, to encourage people to come and refil their water bottles with our tap water

 

-Encouraging staff to consider every process;  we have a channel on our internal communications  app Slack, dedicated entirely to zero waste and ideas of how we can improve as a business

 

This is just a snapshot and we know there is more we can do. We’d love to hear any ideas for more ways in which we can reduce our waste, for example we’re currently considering about how we can reduce the amount of packaging we use for our takeaway coffees and lunches.

 

Could we phase out takeaway packaging entirely and only offer takeaways for customers with reusable cups?

 

Could we move to serving our takeaway lunches in tiffin tins, so they can be reused again and again?

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

e5 Open House Family Festival

Join us on Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July for our Open House Festival.

 

We’re opening our doors for a behind the scenes look at the bakery; join our bakers for a tour of the bakery and learn about our baking process from farm to loaf, and about what we’ve learned over the years.

 

Or join one of our free workshops where you can have a masterclass in making butter, jam, pickles, cookies, kvass, as well as composting, or perfecting your coffee skills.

 

Throughout the day and into the evening there will a selection of DJ’s and live bands bringing some funky tunes to the bakehouse.

 

We’ll be firing up our wood-fired oven for pizzas alongside other delicacies, plus we have a courtyard bar with a selection of craft beers, and wines.

 

To book your free workshop or for more information about the festival please email info@e5bakehouse.com.

 

Season’s Greetings

We thought we’d take an opportunity as 2017 comes to a close for us to collate some of the stand out events over this past year, a kind of report or debrief if you like.  This has without doubt, been the most eventful year in the history of e5.

 

It began with the tragic news that our colleague, Will, had passed away as a result of a stroke.  After years of being a professional musician with the Bonfire band, Will joined e5 having honed his baking skills at home.  Like many e5 bakers he learnt his trade on the job, exploring fermentation and becoming passionate about the possibility of re-localising the grain supply chain, stone milling and heritage cereals.  Will was an inspirational teacher, sharing his knowledge with hundreds of students, many of whom would contact the bakery after the course to tell what a moving day they had experienced.  Will took an interest in everyone.  He soon found out what made people tick and cared deeply about how we were doing.  His highly intelligent and quirky sense of humour, his Irish (and other) accents are irreplaceable. We mourned collectively through a small service at e5 and later in the year came together with his wider family and friends to remember him in company. The Bakehouse will forever be indebted to his creativity and vigour.

 

You may have come across the book The Third Plate by the American chef Dan Barber of BlueHill Farm and restaurant.  The book encourages cooks to reconsider the traditional meat and two veg concept and shift to a style of cooking which reflects a sustainable food system.  As fans of the chef’s approach we were delighted to be appointed to create a range of new recipes which utilised food waste for their pop-up WasteED at Selfridges.  We made bread from the husks of peas, from waste beer (I know hard to believe such a thing exists), even old bread was reconstituted and turned back into fresh loaves.  It was a great challenge and we hope the awareness will drive more food business to recognise food waste as the opportunity it is.  Keep an eye out for WasteED specials on the shelves next year, as well as a new soft drink we have on offer. Kvass is a delicious and refreshing fermented drink we make with old bread and sourdough starter (we know it sounds gross, but it isn’t!)

 

Last March we had an amazing two weeks in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain, offering students the chance to explore a range of recipes & fermentation methods, in the splendour of Las Alpujarras.  Almond blossom was out, foraging for wild asparagus, wood fired pizza adventures and trips to the local bodega kept everyone occupied, but there was still plenty of time for chilled out walks along the shepherds paths. We’ll be returning again next March.

 

After a couple of arduous research trips to the north and south of France to meet different manufacturers of an Astrier style mill, we settled on a one metre diameter stone mill from Samuel Poliane. Samuel drove the mill over from Brittany and set it up in our new Millhouse. We are currently milling a tonne of organic wheat every week which comes Stuart Roberts of Hammonds End Farm, Hertfordshire.  We commissioned another Hertfordshire farmer, Oscar, to grow e5’s own heritage ‘Fellows’ blend of ancient wheat which we blend into the Hackney wild dough.

 

This year we ran our fifth Just Bread programme in collaboration with the Refugee Council.  Every group receives training in all apsects of e5’s work; churning butter, making jam, cakes, coffee and of course bread.  The intention is to create a great environment for the students to interact, share experiences and acquire some new skills, often with the intention of finding new work.  We felt that a new enterprise was called for to celebrate the course and the graduates, so we opened a new café, in Poplar, East London.  We’ve intertwined another simmering passion from the team at e5, which is coffee, and have begun to roast our own beans there. Hence the name, e5 Roasthouse!  As at e5, we’re open every day of the week, and serve a daily lunch usually involving flatbreads which we bake on the hearth. The coffee is roasted in small Giesen roaster and delivered to the Bakehouse several times a week.  This has given us the opportunity to bring new skills in-house and along with the flatbread production, to lend a healthy splash of industry to the new site.

 

At our small farm is Suffolk the fields have been in a period of organic conversion and regeneration.  A ley crop of clover, chicory and vetch are all working to re-establish a healthy soil structure.  In addition we have worked hard developing a market garden to supply the Bakehouse with some fresh vegetables, and which has given an opportunity in the future for the Bakehouse team to get their hands into the earth.

 

Looking forward to next year we’re excited to launch several new classes, including an evening flatbread and mezze class at the e5 Roasthouse, and a day jaunt to visit organic farmers to learn about the methods they employ growing in an organic rotational system, and the processing of the grain post-harvest. This will be followed by a trip to a traditional water mill.

 

At the Bakehouse, the milling infrastructure we have been dreaming of will finally be installed. We will have the capacity to hold 4 different grain varieties in hoppers with an auger system, thus allowing grists to be blended, and with a superb cleaning system. Our flour will be made with the cleanest possible grain!

 

Please keep in touch with all that’s going on by following us on social media.

 

We wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas, all power for 2018 and THANK YOU so much for your support.

 

Ben, Jess, Ed, Eyal and all at e5.

One month bread subscription to support refugee training

Last week we opened our doors to the 5th group of Just Bread trainees. These are migrant women taking part in a 10 week bread-making course, to learn all about our sourdough bread making as well as more general skills for working in the food industry in the UK.

 

The program is run in collaboration with the Refugee Council, and covers a range of bread making skills from the beginnings of using a starter and long fermentation, to sharing skills and techniques on other traditional methods and recipes, as well as learning about the daily runnings of a busy cafe and bakery.

 

Bread subscription

As part of the training, the participants will produce a range of bread which will be available to buy throughout November, as part of a four week subscription service. Subscribers will receive one loaf per week and can choose from four collection sites across east London.

All Subscriptions help cover program running costs and ensure we can continue to support this inspiring project. It also gives a sense of purpose and helps build confidence of the trainees as they get a sense of selling to real customers.

Find out more and subscribe

 

e5 Roasthouse 

 

Last month we opened a new cafe and coffee roastery called e5 Roasthouse, situated in Poplar Union, a community arts centre in Poplar. One of the primary reasons for opening the new cafe is to provide employment for the refugee women who have taken part in this program. Sana, a participant from the very first program, is involved in the daily running of the cafe, and we have 3 other staff members who were former trainees.

 

In addition 30% of profits from e5 Roasthouse will support refugee organisations.

A Tale of Four Andy’s

When I started e5 in the spring of 2010 it was a given that all bread would be made with organic flour. This I felt was the biggest contribution that could be made to a more sustainable, bio-diverse countryside.  Since then our consciousness has expanded; agro-ecological farming, to encompass farming methods which mimic the trophic systems in nature seem more resilient, and local seems as or more important than organic.

 

Unfortunately the amount of land certified organic in the UK has been declining, despite EU subsidy favouring this approach.  The bulk of organic milling wheat needs to be imported, predominantly from Kazahkstan, Canada and Ukraine.  Not only does this involve large food miles, and challenges to traceability, but it also creates a disconnect between grower and user which could be improved upon.

 

Before intensive agriculture kicked into gear, lets say a little over 100 years ago, all farming was by-and-large organic, and the varieties of wheat were abjectly suited to low input farming which didn’t rely on chemical pesticides, herbicides and fossil fuel derived fertilisers.  In practice, this often meant that wheat grew taller, shading out weedy competition, had awns and spiky tendrils, which discouraged insect predators, and most importantly there were a great diversity of species meaning pathogens couldn’t spread from farm to farm.  These days an organic farmer only has about 3 legal varieties to choose from, meaning that the risk of disease is high.  These modern varieties have been bred for the intensive industry where short straw in an advantage.

 

Organic farmers in fact find that the tall, old varieties offer good shading, stopping those pesky weeds flourishing.  Anorther point seems to be that the old varieties have not been expressly bred for gluten – is this why so many people are gluten intolerant? Therefore whilst a challenge for bakers like us, who are used to modern flours blended by millers with high protein imports, old varieties are likely more digestible.  Eveidence also suggests they have the ability to develop symbiotic relationships with soil bacteria, whilst modern wheats have lost the ability.  And finally, research is beginning to suggest that these old timers are higher in micro nutrients, whether that makes a big difference to our health, I don’t yet know.

 

What exactly constitutes a heritage grain is sill up for discussion, but it seems that if you’re called Andrew you have a higher than normal chance of being interested.  Andrew Whitley, based in the Scottish Borders, author Bread Matters has been to the Vladivistock Institute in Russia selecting old Scottish varieties, and has started Scotland the Bread, with the intention of drawing on heritage to radically change Scotlands agro-food scene where currently all bread wheat is imported.

 

Andrew Wilkinson packed in a life in the British Forces, and went to agricultural college.  Having bought a conventional farm he was struck by how hard it was to make a buck and decided to take the risk and convert to organic.  Being an ambitious chap he also decided to do a PhD in wheat genetics and managed to create his own variety, drawing on these heritage traits and suitable for organic farming.  He’s also installed a big stone mill at his farm so that he can add value to his harvest, and to close the loop has a herd of cows which happily munch the bran.

 

Andrew Cato got disillusioned DJ-ing to mega-crowds with Groove Armada and is farming heritage varieties in the South of France using horses, Amish principes, and is also milling and baking on site.

 

Finally, here in London and a mentor to me is Andy Forbes of Brockwell Bake who started growing heritage wheat on his allotment in Brockwell and has now collaborated with farmers around the country to grow heritage wheat.

 

Installing our own mill at e5 has provided an opportunity to work directly with farmers.  Oscar of Duchess Farm in Hertfordshire is up for finding new business opportunities so jumped in and sowed 10 acres with a mixed, heritage population wheat we had received in a circuitous way from a German biodynamic institute.  He has just harvested and we have 11 tonnes ready to mill.  Oscar crunched the numbers with me earlier today.  On his conventional wheat he had an average yield of 3.8T, ours was 1.1T/acre.  But, because he didn’t spray with anything his costs were much lower, and because we are buying directly from him, it is financially beneficial to grow the wheat for us.  He is planning to convert a portion of the farm to organic, so fingers crossed this is the start of something very good.

 

Ben Mackinnon – e5 Founder

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