In the beginning, there was bread.
It’s easy to overlook the humble loaf.
For as long as we can remember, bread has been a part of daily life. And yet, we don’t often consider the role it played in shaping those lives.
But before there were towns, cities and borders. Long before shops and restaurants and bakeries. Before society as we know it. Before all of that, there was bread.
“For almost the entirety of human civilisation, as we know it, bread has fed humans. One could say that bread has been a precursor of human civilization as we know it” – Anomarel Ogen, GAIL’s Executive Master Baker
Our story starts in the soil. When our ancestors began to grow grain, it anchored them to a piece of earth. Crops needed to be sown, nurtured and harvested. Grain had to be milled to make flour and only then could they bake. It took time, skill and more than one pair of hands. The roles of farmer, miller and baker were cast.
Communities began to grow alongside the fields, bound by the shared work. Together, they would start to build something bigger than the sum of their parts. Bread was baked, and in the embers of those early ovens, culture and civilisation began to take shape.
Thousands of years later, the sacred bond between farmer, miller and baker still exists.
We have been working with our partners and friends at Shipton Mill for 25 years. Set in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the mill at Shipton Moyne Wood has been producing flour since the time of the Domesday Book, over 900 years ago.
Today they combine traditional methods with cutting-edge technology to produce the highest quality flours. But like us, they know nothing beats human instinct. We are all led by feel, touch and smell. We are all still servants of the soil.
Much like a master whisky blender, Shipton’s millers work closely with bakers to create unique flour blends that suit each baker’s specific needs. In return, the baker feels a responsibility to honour the time and work of the miller. Reverence for their craft, skill and ancient knowledge is baked into every loaf.
Throughout history bread has been a constant companion to humankind, creating communities, shaping our society and feeding revolution and rebellion. A ribbon of flour and trail of crumbs that links us all, no matter who we are or how we live.
It matters that we make it properly. The way it always has been made.
Farmer, miller, baker.
Meet the good people at Shipton Mill and listen to their story here.
Order freshly baked bread straight from our bakery to your door with our online delivery service.