Baker’s Dozen with Tom

To coincide with our 13th birthday, we asked Tom, our CEO and co-founder, our Baker’s Dozen of questions to find out how he takes his coffee and where his love for bread began.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
3am to take care of my hungry jet-lagged 11 year old and then again at 0630h – normal time to let the dog out, wake the kids and make a coffee.

2. How do you take your coffee?
I like it black – double espressos for me.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
I love porridge and a digestive.

4. Why do you think good bread is so important?
It is versatile and healthy.

4. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
My great-grandmom’s bread – her name was actually Grandmom Bread.

5. Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?
Tried once and it was a disaster.  My pancakes are better, my scrambled eggs are superb.

6. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
A simple table in a simple kitichen.

7. What do you spread on your toast?
I love a good rich butter, but recently I have fallen for whey.

8. What is the best part of your day?
The part after your first coffee.

9. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.

10. What GAIL’s product could you never live without?
The seeded crackers.

11. 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?
I need family, poetry, laughter and water.

12. What would you do for a living, if not this?
I wanted to be a fish farmer.  I still have time.

The Baker’s Dozen Birthday

We’re celebrating our Baker’s Dozen Birthday this summer, marking 13 years since we first fired up our ovens in Hampstead. We’ll be kicking off with a weekend of celebrations on 7th & 8th July in the bakery, so be sure to pop along and celebrate with us. We’re excited to give away 13 golden tickets for a year’s supply of bread. Winners will be randomly selected from our mailing list, from competition posts on social media and by entering on our website. Enter here. 

A birthday isn’t a birthday without cake, so to celebrate we’re baking two of our favourite cakes in miniature form with a limited edition birthday cake box.

In reflecting on the last 13 years we’ve also chosen our 13 favourite bakes, including our Cinnamon Bun, Brownie Finger and, of course, French Dark Sourdough. Order online.

“It must be a celebration of bread.” Our founder, Tom, talks about why our 13th birthday feels special.

New Mini Cakes

To celebrate our birthday, we’re baking two of our favourite cakes, the Flourless Chocolate Cake, and the Baked Cheesecake, in miniature form. Find them in your local bakery, with our limited edition cake box, from 5th July. Mini cakes and large celebration cakes are available for pre-order online or you can pop into your local GAIL’s. We are happy to inscribe cakes with personal, special messages.

 

Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake

Our Flourless Chocolate Cake is made with dark chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar and pure cocoa powder – that’s it. Essentially, it’s a baked chocolate mousse, which means we try to capture as much air in the cake mixture as possible, before gently pouring the mousse into moulds and baking on a very low heat until the cake is just set. The result is a rich but not overly sweet cake with deep cocoa notes and a feather-light texture.

 

Mini Baked Cheesecake

We’ve slightly changed our cheesecake recipe, dropping the white chocolate and reducing the sugar content so it’s now slightly sharp, tangy and fresh tasting. We pour the cream cheese custard mixture, made with vanilla, eggs and sugar, over the buttery crumble base, then bake the cheesecake for a little less time than before for a smooth and creamy texture.

 

And we’re already baking three new mini cakes for summer; a vegan Chocolate & Tahini Bite with sesame seeds and dark chocolate chunks, our sticky and fragrant Passionfruit & Coconut Cake, and our Berry & Polenta Cake which we make with polenta and ground almonds. Order online now. 

Baker’s Dozen with Freddie Garland

In the lead up to our next flower arranging evening with Freddie’s Flowers, we asked their founder, Freddie Garland, our Baker’s Dozen of questions to find out more about life in the world of flora.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6am

2. How do you take your coffee?
Black

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Weetabix

4. How do you and GAIL’s know each other?
I love GAIL’s and excitingly, we have just started doing flower arranging workshops together.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
Proper tomato pasta.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?
Regretfully, I haven’t.

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
Freshly baked bread!

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Salted butter and marmalade.

9. For us, bread is the fundamental thing. What’s fundamental for you?
Flowers.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Bacon and HP sauce on soft white bread. 

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything we make, what would that be?
Any of the mini sandwiches. Yum.

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?
I have to say flowers again. Radio 2, Radio 6 or LBC. SkyNews. Test cricket. Documentaries. My very lovely wife.

13. What would you do for a living if not this?
I have always wanted to own an independent café… that’s next on the to do list!

Baker’s Dozen with Jessica

We asked Jessica, head of our coffee team at GAIL’s, our Baker’s Dozen of questions one chilly morning to find out more about her breakfast, daily bread and, of course, coffee.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6:30-7am – gives me enough time to make a hand-brewed filter coffee before I head out.

2. How do you take your coffee?
Usually black. Preferably a filter coffee made with specially selected coffee beans from a single origin such as the Dutezimberikawa, Burundi that we are serving in several GAIL’s bakeries.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Coffee! I try to keep my breakfast protein-rich: greek yogurt with muesli, pumpkin and flaxseeds. I’ve got a sweet tooth so I often have it with a dollop of honey. In the winter, I’m more likely to make porridge with oat milk and seeds.

4. How long have you been working for GAIL’s?
8 years – I started with GAIL’s shortly after my move to London.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
There’s a Filipino rice pudding my great grandpa used to make – it’s called Suman – that is made with glutinous rice, coconut milk and palm sugar. Before he passed, he taught my mother how to make it for us at home. It’s best steamed in banana leaves but he would often bake it in a tray and cut it into thick slices for us to devour.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?
My mother taught me how to make bread when I was little. We never used a recipe – just looked for a specific consistency, kneaded thoroughly and punched it down at the right moment. Some of the most fun we had was rolling up sheets of dough for cinnamon buns and cutting the rolls with a length of thread.

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
Family. My great grandma was a tremendous cook from West Virginia and she used to make cornbread for big family dinners. We’d eat it freshly baked, with the crust still crisp and the inside steaming.

8. What do you spread on your toast?
I love a nut butter.

9. What is the best part of your day?
I like the quiet bit of the morning, before the day starts.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
A Bramley Apple Sourdough grilled cheese with chilli jam – use a pungent washed rind or farmer’s cheese. Amazing.

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything from GAIL’s, what would that be?
Porridge Sourdough.

12. 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?
Creativity and care. Constant learning, creative thinking and attention to detail are big parts of my working life. And working with direct-trade specialty coffee means that I can practice sustainability and ethical sourcing on a daily basis – and know that how we buy our coffee can make a difference both here and abroad.

13. What would you do for a living, if not this?
Creative expression is extremely important to me – I’m also trained as an artist and academic. I find working in coffee very rewarding because it gives me so many opportunities for creative thinking. Care is also a big part of how I want to approach learning and educating. I love that my job focuses on giving others the tools to develop a craft skill. And who knows, maybe I’ll find some time to write a book about it!

Cold Brew With Orange Recipe

GAIL’s House Blend coffee can be enjoyed in so many different ways. We love how it tastes on its own or with milk. Thinking ahead towards warmer weather, we wanted to share a tasty cold brew recipe to make at home. Oranges brighten the rich chocolate notes of GAIL’s House Blend for a refreshing summer brew.

Ingredients:

500ml Water (bottled or filtered is best)
30g coarsely ground GAIL’s House Blend (or another coffee of your choice)
2 oranges
A jar or bottle with a wide neck

Directions:

  1. Rinse and scrub the oranges under a warm tap to remove any wax. Dry.
  2. As if it were an apple, use a vegetable peeler remove all of the peel (not the pith) from 1 orange. Reserve the other for later.
  3. Place the peel and ground coffee in your jar and pour the water over.
  4. Stir once to make sure all of the ingredients are wet.
  5. Refrigerate and let sit for 12-16 hours.
  6. Strain and serve with lots of ice. Garnish with a strip of fresh orange peel.

 

 

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