This Christmas we will be hosting gingerbread baking classes for little bakers.
We recommend the classes for children aged 10 and under. If your child would like to join, please get in touch with us. Please see below for class dates and participating bakeries. Please note that children cannot be left unattended.
Tuesday 17th December 2019, 4pm:
Farnham, Summertown, Camden, Barnes, Clapham Old Town, Abbeville, Battersea, Willesden Green
Celebrating the spirit of Sundays with Desmond & Dempsey.
Lionel Ritchie got it right. Sunday mornings are for taking things slowly, easing into the day with good coffee and your favourite breakfast – warm croissants with butter and jam, French toast drizzled with maple syrup, eggs on toasted English muffins – and sipping, strolling and reading your day away. And whether you want to lounge in your pyjamas all day, or dress up to see friends and family, a morning trip to your local bakery is a must. Scruffy or smart, anything goes on Sunday. No expectations, no judgements. Just breakfast.
To celebrate the spirit of Sundays, we’ve collaborated with pyjama masters Desmond & Dempsey to create a limited-edition apron and tea towel with an exclusive hand-painted print inspired by GAIL’s: baking, coffee, craft and our mutual love of mornings. For D&D founders Molly and Joel, it started with a fondness for our ham and cheese croissant – flaky and filled with rich béchamel sauce, honey-glazed ham and Gruyère cheese – and turned into a Sunday routine. Their morning isn’t complete without a trip to their local GAIL’s and so we’ve worked together to bring their pyjama prints to the kitchen and celebrate the slow morning rituals that make Sundays special.
Available to buy from our bakeries and online, the stylish print and soft cotton make these culinary essentials perfect for pottering in the kitchen, or cooking up a storm for friends and family. And to keep every day feeling like Sunday, the print will also be featured in all of our bakeries, and will even take over the facade of our Portobello Road bakery.
Fancy winning a year’s worth of D&D pyjamas and GAIL’s bread?
To celebrate our collaboration with Desmond & Dempsey we’re giving you the chance to win a year’s worth of your favourite GAIL’s bread and D&D PJs. Enter here, T&C apply.
With the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees… I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F Scott Fitzgerald
With the long, warmer days of summer, we crave food that is light and bright. Rich comfort foods and heartier meals are swapped for salads and seasonal vegetables, still accompanied by a generous slice of bread and butter, of course. Puddings come served with jewel-coloured berries, and refreshing iced tea or cold brew coffee elevate afternoon treats. With this in mind, our chefs and bakers have created a summer menu to take us from dawn to dusk.
Of course we’re partial to a slice of toast in the morning. We have quite a few loaves to choose from, after all. But on a hot day, a cooling yoghurt hits the spot. Try our Greek yoghurt topped with roastedpeaches and fresh raspberries, or mango, lychee and sorrel, or our vegan Coconut Yoghurt, Lemon Curd& Blueberries pot, made with a zingy lemon curd recipe that we haven’t stopped eating since we came up with it. We’ve added passionfruit to our Overnight Oats for a summer flavour. The oats are soaked in oat milk, mixed with coconut yoghurt and topped with perfectly-ripe strawberries, highest-quality pistachios from Iran, and vibrant passion fruit compote, for a breakfast that is somehow both creamy and fresh.
Hit the sweet spot after lunch with our Set Vanilla Yoghurt, Spelt Crumble& Strawberry Pudding. A sophisticated, cheesecake-like pudding that isn’t overly sweet, the soft, light texture of the vanilla contrasts with the crunch of the crumble and vibrancy of perfectly-ripe British strawberries. A riff on a classic, think souped-up strawberries and cream for a summer’s day.
Einkorn is the oldest wheat known to man. Grains of wild einkorn can be traced back tens of thousands of years, and it has been grown and harvested by farmers since around 6000 BC. Archaeologists recently discovered kernels of einkorn at an underwater archaeological site on the Isle of Wight, from a time when Britain was still connected by land to the rest of Europe. This ancient grain has continued to be cultivated in remote agricultural communities, where for thousands of years these precious grains have been preserved for their remarkable qualities: rich in fibre, protein, essential fatty acids, potassium and beta-carotene.
Making flour from this nutritious grain is a way to preserve and promote rare varieties of wheat and protect biodiversity. Just as important though, is the fact that it makes delicious bread. For our Einkorn & Whey loaf, we mix this special flour with traditional British wheat flour, a touch of dark rye and, of course, our 20-year-old sourdough. We then fold red quinoa, whole soya beans, chia and millet into the dough, and scatter seeds across the top to create a pleasing crunch to the crust when baked. The result is an earthy, nutty flavour with an unmistakeable sourdough tang.
Flavour and nutrition are key to everything we do, but we are always looking for creative ways to reduce food waste too. The Einkorn & Whey Sourdough is our latest epiphany: made using whey, a by-product from the cheesemaking process. For years we’ve been buttering our bread with Quicke’s Whey Butter, and we’re chuffed to have found another use for their whey, a waste product that many cheesemakers throw away. A kindred spirit, Quicke’s use traditional recipes, time-honoured techniques and heritage starters, yet are open to innovative ideas and ways to become more sustainable.
To us, our new Einkorn & Whey loaf is the perfect mix of tradition and innovation. Pick one up in your local bakery, or order online, and try it with lashings of butter, or a chunk of Quicke’s outstanding clothbound cheddar.
Our crumbly Gruyère and chive scones are best eaten straight out of the oven with lashings of melted butter, perfect for a summer picnic.
360g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
170g butter, chilled and diced
250g Gruyère, grated
small bunch of chives, finely snipped
Preheat the oven to 180℃/gas mark 4 and line a baking sheet with baking paper
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and add in the diced, chilled butter
With your fingertips rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
Use your hands to mix in the cheese and chives
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the milk and eggs all in one go, stirring gently with a wooden spoon as you go (the mixture should be sticky and lumpy)
Use your hands to form the scones: wet your palms slightly and scoop the dough up in handfuls, dropping it into 12 mounds onto the baking sheet
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the outside but still soft inside
Serve when hot, with lashings of butter
Top Tip: if you don’t want to bake all 12 at once, wrap the others in cling film and freeze for up to a week. You can take them out as and when you want to bake them. This is our naughty way to have freshly baked scones everyday with almost no extra effort.
Bread currently has a very poor reputation – it is accused of causing weight gain, bloating, digestive issues and providing little nutritional benefit. This is due to supermarket loaves being made using the Chorleywood method, which aims to speed up the process leaving us with bread which often contains more than 15 ingredients.
However, we believe that bread should be made using just 4 ingredients, flour, water, salt and yeast. Combining these 4 simple ingredients and the slow fermentation technique used in making sourdough, means it can support digestion and is often well tolerated by those who ordinarily find bread a digestive irritant. Our bread also uses the whole grain; this increases the fibre and the nutrient load because the husk of the grain (the most fibrous part) is included in the bread.
Good quality bread, which uses the whole grain, contains carbs, protein and fat, coupled with a nutrient dense topping (such as eggs, salmon, avocado) will nourish the body, regulate blood sugar and minimize the need for snacking. We love that our bread is health food.