Baker’s Dozen with Mary Quicke

To capture a slice of life on Home Farm, we put our baker’s dozen of questions to Mary Quicke, whose family have run the Devonshire farm for 14 generations, and whose cheese we love to eat.

 

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6.30am.

2. How do you take your coffee?
I prefer tea. A flat white, if I must.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Cheese starter (like a cheddary yogurt – yum), fruit that I grow in my garden, seeds, nuts, rolled oats and wheat germ.

4. How do you and GAIL’s know each other?
You make magic out of our cheese, butter, whey and buttermilk.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
Poached salmon.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?
I love baking bread. My mother taught all her six children to bake the Doris Grant loaf, with wholemeal flour and a single rise. My favourite is a seedy spelt wholemeal loaf.

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
Home. Comfort. Love. Happiness

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Quicke’s whey butter.

9. For us, bread is the fundamental thing. What’s fundamental for you?
Cheese! With great bread. And salad that I grow from heaps of different plants.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Homemade wholemeal bread, or a sourdough if it’s not my own. Our whey butter and Cheddar and plenty of my salad leaves crammed in.

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything we make, what would that be?
Cheese scones!

12. We work with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
Milk, starter, rennet, salt, time and love.

13. What would you do for a living if not this?
That’s difficult – maybe I’d make extraordinary flavoured salads?

 

Why the butter’s as important as the bread

NO WASTE

We work closely with our friends at Quicke’s to ensure nothing from the Clothbound Cheddar that we buy goes to waste; from the whey strained from the curds at the beginning of the process, to the crumbly bits that don’t make it into a slice.

We first met Quicke’s on our quest to find the perfect cheddar for our Ham and Cheese Sandwich. We still love the richness of Quicke’s Clothbound Cheddar, and to us it’s the perfect pairing with roasted ham, mustard butter and French Dark Sourdough, which is why it’s been pride of place in our bakeries ever since.

 

QUICKE’S WHEY BUTTER

We’re proud to butter our toast with Quicke’s Whey Butter. It’s made with whey cream, a bi-product from the Cheddar cheese-making process that would otherwise go to waste. Quicke’s add milk from their grass-fed herd to the whey cream and follow a rare heritage recipe to make the butter.

Whey butter is recognised by the slow foods movement as one of the great ‘forgotten foods’ and we love its rich and nutty flavour. Come in to try some on toast or a freshly baked Cheese and Chive Scone.

 

CHEDDAR SOURDOUGH STICK

We started selling this bread in our shops this year – it’s made with Quicke’s Clothbound Cheddar and we love it on its own and we also make a lunch or tea sandwich with smoked Merano Speck.

We buy the whole wheel of cheese from Quicke’s for our Ham and Cheese sandwich, but to get a clean slice, the ‘core’ of the cheese is removed for easier cutting.

To put the core to good use, we’ve developed the Cheddar Stick, which is made using the offcuts of the Clothbound Cheddar. We mix the offcuts into a sourdough base, with thyme, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.

As the amount of offcuts fluctuates depending on how many Ham and Cheese sandwiches we make, so does the number of Cheddar Sticks that we bake.

We are excited by both the opportunity and challenge of working with Quicke’s beautiful dairy – watch this space as we keep developing more recipes.

 

Click here to read our Baker’s Dozen with Mary Quicke, whose family have run the Devonshire farm for 14 generations.

 

Moroccan Lamb Harira Soup Recipe

Moroccan Harira Soup – Serves 8 – 10 as a main

Traditionally eaten during Ramadan to break the fast, with a handful of medjool dates.

Ingredients

700g lamb mince
3 medium onions or 2 large, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
5 celery stalks, diced
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
400g chickpeas, tinned or jarred
330g red lentils
2 litres of lamb or chicken stock
1.2 litres of water
3 desiree potatoes, peeled and diced into large cubes
1 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander seed
½ tsp chilli flakes
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground milled pepper, to taste
2 lemons, juiced
Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in the pan, then add the garlic, celery and onion. Fry for 10 minutes until softened.

2. Add the minced lamb into the pan to lightly brown, breaking up into pieces as it fries. After ten minutes, add the spices and fry for another two minutes, until the spices become fragrant.

3. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and lentils while stirring, to ensure the spices are mixed through.

4. Cover with the stock and water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add in the diced potatoes and leave to simmer for another 20 minutes.

6. Check that the potatoes and lentils are tender, then remove the saucepan from the heat.

7. Stir through the lemon juice and add salt and freshly milled pepper to taste.

8. Sprinkle over the chopped herbs and serve with a thick slice of sourdough.

 

 

Baker’s Dozen with Christopher Brown

For the past two years, Christopher Brown has been capturing the essence of our bakeries and their neighbourhoods in his signature linocut prints. We asked Christopher our baker’s dozen of questions to find out more about our friend behind the ink.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
I’m always awake at 5 and usually up by 6.  Then, I like to enjoy the quiet of the morning before going for my daily swim.

2. How do you take your coffee?
I usually have a latte, but sometimes a flat white.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
In the winter I love GAIL’s porridge and in the summer, it’s usually fruit and a yoghurt drink. If I feel I deserve it, I will have a pain aux raisin with my coffee, post swim.

4. How do you and GAIL’s know each other?
We met back in 2016 and bonded over our loves of London, art and cake.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
Toast. But also licking the bowl when my mother was making cakes – to me it was a heavenly treat.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?
Once, and not a great success – it was like a brick!

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
I always imagine a happy woman with a starched apron, and traces of flour on her face.

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Marmalade. Always.

9. For us, bread is the fundamental thing. What’s fundamental for you?
Lino. Nearly all my work is made using it.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
I do love cheese and pickle, but roast beef and horseradish is a favourite and reminds me of my childhood. We always had them on a Sunday if my mother cooked a joint.

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything we make, what would that be?
That’s a difficult question. GAIL’s bread is delicious; I could consume a whole loaf. The carrot cake is heaven, too.

12. We work with three primary ingredients. Six if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
Hand, eye, mind and humour.

13. What would you do for a living if not this?
I have no regrets about my choice of profession, though as a little boy I wanted to be a history don at Oxford. I would, in a fantasy world, have loved to have been a first class competitive swimmer (then I could have eaten GAIL’s cakes every day).

New Seasonal Salads

Working with nutritionist Sam Bloom, we’ve created four new salads for the colder months, focusing on the best of the season’s nourishing ingredients.

Miso Chicken and Forbidden Rice with Pickled Ginger
Inspired by flavours of Japan, the umami flavour from the soy and miso roasted chicken breast is balanced with a citrusy ponzu dressing. The flowering vegetables kohlrabi, radicchio, rocket and spinach were chosen for their slight bitterness, which activates stomach acid production and in turn aids digestion. The garlic and pickled ginger are antimicrobial which promote a healthy gut, and the chicken breast and edamame beans make this salad rich in protein.

Roasted Root Vegetables and Feta with Pomegranate Dressing and Almonds
A celebration of our favourite winter vegetables, we brighten the earthy roasted root vegetables with sharp pomegranate seeds and a creamy tahini and pomegranate molasses dressing. Phytonutrient-rich celeriac, cauliflower, parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes balance blood sugar levels and make for a satiating meal. Feta cheese is an excellent source of calcium, as is the tahini in the dressing, and the almonds are full of healthy fats and potassium.

Hot Smoked Salmon Fishcakes with Black Barley and Dill Yoghurt
Each element in this salad has been created to complement the rich hot smoked salmon fishcakes, from the piquant chopped cornichons and capers in the black barley, to the creamy dill yoghurt dressing. Protein-rich salmon is a good source of omega-3, which is essential for brain function. High-fibre black barley and kohlrabi help to balance blood sugar levels throughout the day, while the radish and leafy greens trigger the production of stomach acids to aid digestion.

Pumpkin and Wild Rice with Roasted Cabbage and Pecan Pesto
This comforting winter salad is sweet with pumpkin and nutty from roasted cabbage, wild rice, pecans and pumpkin seeds, making for a satiating meal. Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A and beta-carotene, which contribute to healthy skin and our immune system, and the pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc and anti-oxidants. The cabbage is a good source of fibre and vitamins K, C and B6. Wild rice is higher in fibre and protein than white rice, helping us to feel fuller for longer.

New Seasonal Soups with Sam Bloom

 

With temperatures falling and the nights closing in, we’ve worked with Nutritionist, Sam Bloom to create nourishing winter soup recipes for the coming months.

Goulash
This warming stew is spiced with paprika and deep with umami flavour from the slow cooked beef chuck and stock. It’s high in vitamin C from the tomatoes, peppers and carrots, and rich in iron from the beef.

Moroccan Lamb Harira
From the Arabic word for ‘smooth’ this soothing soup is traditionally eaten during the month of Ramadan after sundown. Flavoured with anti-inflammatory turmeric, cumin, coriander and parsley, this soup is good for gut health. Red lentils, chickpeas and minced lamb are all high in protein and make for a satiating meal.

Sweet Potato and Coconut
This fragrant soup is inspired by Thai flavours, with a base of lemongrass, kaffir lime, ginger and garlic. Sweet potato is a good source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A, an essential vitamin and it also has a low glycemic index, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels.

Chicken and Vegetable
Our restorative chicken soup is simmered with aromatic bay, dill and parsley, and with a hunk of French Dark Sourdough makes for a warming winter lunch. The collagen in chicken stock helps to heal the gut lining and reduce inflammation, and the garlic is anti-inflammatory too.

Lentil and Vegetable
This nourishing lentil and vegetable broth is brightened with lemon, coriander and parsley and sweet with seasonal pumpkin. Lentils and freekeh are high in fibre and protein, both of which make us feel fuller for longer. The pumpkin contains high levels of Vitamins A, C and E and potassium, which supports cardiovascular health.

 

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