- What time did you get up this morning?
My alarm goes off at 4:10am, ready for another busy day. I start work at 5am every day.
- How do you take your coffee?
Double espresso in the morning, but sometimes I have a Long Black with cinnamon.
- What do you usually have for breakfast?
Our freshly baked croissants.
- How long have you been working for GAIL’s?
I joined Gail’s in February 2014 as a Senior Baker.
- What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
I loved the Stollen cake which my mother usually made for Easter. I would always be impatiently waiting for the first slice.
- Have you ever baked bread?
Yes, I love to bake Tiger bread and eat the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.
- What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
It reminds me of my Grandmother and the feeling of positivity.
- What do you spread on your toast?
Butter and honey.
- What is the best part of your day?
I enjoy every part of my day but lunchtime is the best, when I watch happy customers eating their lunch that I have prepared.
- What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Definitely a toasted turkey sandwich on malted wholegrain sourdough.
- If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything from GAIL’s, what would that be?
This is a hard choice as everything is delicious but I will say that the Chocolate Brownie and Mixed Olive Sourdough are my favourites.
- Our bread is made with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
Personality, respect and following the system of life.
- What would you do for a living, if not this?
I would definitely still be working in the food industry because I can’t imagine myself not working closely with food.
This Easter we will be hosting gingerbread baking classes for little bakers in select bakeries.
We recommend the classes for children aged 10 and under. If your child would like to join, please get in touch with one of our bakeries below. Please see below for class dates and participating bakeries.
Tuesday 16th April:
Farnham, Summertown, Camden, Barnes, Old Town
Wednesday 17th April:
Temple Fortune, Blackheath, Seymour Place, Wokingham
Thursday 18th April:
Tuesday 23rd April
All classes will start at 4pm.
Our coffee guru Jessica has been busy crafting a recipe to make an Affogato at home. Using our new Peruvian decaf, the chocolatey bitterness of the coffee combines perfectly with the sweet, velvety ice cream.
To make 4 affogati (unless you like a lot of coffee):
- 40g Peru Decaf (grind size medium)
- 200 ml hot water
- 4 scoops of Vanilla ice cream
- 80g of honeycomb pieces
This recipe was made with an Aeropress but you can definitely also use a cafetière.
- Pour 80ml of hot water over the ground coffee, saturating the ground evenly.
- Let it ‘bloom’ for 30 seconds. This helps release all of the CO2 left over from roasting, you might even see the coffee bubble a bit.
- Pour the remaining 120g of hot water and stir for another 40 seconds
- Begin to press your Aeropress or pour out the brew from your cafetière into a pouring jug.
- Take 1 generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and place in your glass, pour over 40ml of your DIY espresso
- Finish by crumbling the honeycomb on top.
We believe that all coffee experiences should reflect our commitment to craft. From the beans we use, to how we steam and texturise the milks we serve them with. Decaffeinated coffee is no different. Our decision to offer premium, natural decaf honours our belief that every coffee should be a good coffee. We worked closely with our friends at Union Hand-Roasted to find the best decaf, and we are proud to offer Andes Mountain Organic Decaf, from Peru.
Union Hand-Roasted Coffee is committed to using natural processes to remove caffeine from green coffee to create this decaf. This chemical-free method uses only water and CO2. It keeps in all of the flavour and aroma that we associate with tasty coffee while retaining anti-oxidant rich phenols that offer the wellness properties associated with coffee, all while helping us to avoid caffeine.
Enjoying coffee means enjoying flavour. The sweetness of our decaf creates balance and a pleasant mouthfeel. Its chocolatey bitterness is satisfying and mouth-watering, while the natural fruity acidity is refreshing. We love the unique character of this special organic-certified origin.
Our Andes Mountain Organic decaf respects our natural rhythms. We see wellness as a holistic practice, where sharing enjoyment and pleasure in what we eat and drink creates balance in our lives. It’s all about following your own rhythm. Starting your day with a flat white. Enjoying an espresso after lunch. Sharing cake with friends over a decaf latte in the afternoon. Each of these parts of the day offer moments to reflect, recharge and enjoy.
Inspired by a recent trip to Sri Lanka, our coffee guru Jessica has created a coconut hot chocolate, infused with cinnamon. Perfect for chilly mornings at home.
To make two small mugs:
- 3 tbsp 100% cocoa powder (we used Zuma, a natural-process Peruvian cocoa)
- 1 tbsp organic coconut syrup, or agave also works well
- 500ml unsweetened coconut milk (we used Plenish, which has a dash of salt)
- 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
- A pinch of ground cinnamon, to serve
- 1 tbsp hot water
- Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and heat on a low flame, adding the cinnamon stick.
- Spoon 3 tbsp of cocoa powder into a cup, then add a splash of boiling hot water to make it into a smooth paste, working out any lumps with the back of a spoon. Add a splash more water until it’s a creamy consistency.
- Add the coconut syrup to the cocoa powder mixture, starting with 1 tbsp. (You can add more at the end, to taste)
- Once the coconut milk is hot, take the saucepan off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick.
- Stir in the cocoa mixture until it’s thoroughly combined. Taste for sweetness, adding more coconut syrup if necessary.
- Pour into mugs and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Curling up on the sofa highly recommended.
There’s no better antidote to cold winter weather than a hot cheese toastie, so we asked our cheesemonger and friend Rhuaridh of Buchanan’s Cheese, to share his ultimate cheese toastie recipe.
Ingredients to make one toastie:
2 slices of sourdough – we used our Waste Bread
100g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled
100g Ham Hock – we used Waitrose’s Pulled Ham Hock
1 leek, finely chopped into rings
- Add a knob of butter to a frying pan, then add the leek and sweat it down until soft.
- Butter the bread on both sides, then start to fill the toastie, leek first, then a layer of ham hock, finished with the Caerphilly, holding back a small handful of cheese. Season with pepper and close the sandwich.
- Heat another knob of butter in the frying pan at a medium heat. Sprinkle in a little more cheese to go underneath the bread.
- Carefully place the toastie in the pan, then place a stack of plates on top to press it down. After about three minutes, remove the plates and check the sandwich. Flip the toastie once the underside is crisp and golden brown, sprinkling a little more cheese into the pan to go underneath.
- After another two to three minutes, make sure the toastie is golden on both sides.
- Serve it with a side salad, or eat it straight from the pan if, like us, you can’t wait.