e5 Bread Update for 2023
The beginning of 2023 has brought some big changes here at e5. You may have already noticed the disappearance of the Multigrain so we thought we'd take this opportunity to tell you what we are doing and where we are going with bread and grain at e5. Read on to find out!
The quest for UK grown grain and stoneground flour
Buying local and sourcing UK-grown grain has long been a guiding principle here at e5 Bakehouse. This, combined with our quest to use stoneground flour over roller-milled flour where possible (and sometimes where seemingly impossible!) has led us on a beautiful, winding and not always easy path. The grain we mill on our granite Astrier mill at our Hackney site is either grown by us on our Organic farm in Suffolk, by neighbouring farmer friends or farmers from further afield who we know and trust, all using regenerative farming practices. The more we learn about fresh flour and different varieties of wheat and grain the more we experiment and now you can find it in pretty much all of the products that we make where wheat flour is an ingredient. Stoneground flour contains more of the fibre, oils and nutrients stored in the germ and bran of the grain, resulting in a more flavourful and nutritious flour. Our millers are busy milling away to try to keep up with the demand of our bakers as well as keeping our flour shelves stocked for budding bakers to be able to buy fresh flour where the provenance of the wheat (the farm on which it is grown) and the variety, is always indicated on the packet. Back in November we replaced the small amount of Shipton No.4 (a roller-milled organic flour) that we were blending into some of our doughs with Shipton's stoneground wheat flour (which is made from only UK grown grain i.e. no imported grain). This means that almost all of our breads are now made with 100% UK-grown and stoneground flour!
The end of the Multigrain
We finally decided to stop producing our Multigrain loaf which had a small but very loyal following. It was one of the very early recipes that we developed here at e5, and we made many thousands of them over the years. It was a blend of different grains and seeds, some of which despite our best efforts, were coming from quite far afield. We felt that this loaf despite being much loved, no longer really represented our values and the type of bread we are trying to make here at e5.
The birth of the Seeded Stockholm
And so the Seeded Stockholm was born! This is made using a base of the Hackney Wild dough, which is made up in large part of our own, freshly-milled flour (often heritage/population wheat varieties), which we then blend with flour from our friends at Gilchesters, Shipton and Stoate’s Mill. We make a seed and grain mix of: sunflower seeds (Slovakia), linseeds (Moldova), poppyseeds (Turkey), oats (UK), sprouted wheat grains (UK) and a tiny bit of hemp seeds (France) which we toast for extra flavour and then soak over-night. Soaking the seeds over-night makes the seeds and oats more digestible & nutritious (this is partly to do with neutralising the phytic acid present in many nuts, seeds) as well as giving the crumb of the final loaf a creamy texture helping it to stay moist for several days. Sprouting grains is something that our bakers do themselves. Through starting the germination process the grain starts to break down some of the starches into more digestible sugars which are intended to feed the plant’s growth but end up feeding us. These sprouted grains then give a lovely little pop of sweetness when you bite into one. The format of the Seeded Stockholm was chosen because it is quick to shape which means there is less hand contact with the dough once it is well-fermented which makes for a more tender crumb, and we love its rustic look... Too nerdy for you?
Let us know what you think!