GAIL’s x Frieze Art Fair

This October, we’re delighted to be baking for Frieze London and Frieze Masters for the 10th year.

This year, our spaces at both Frieze London and Frieze Masters will be adorned with bold colour blocking in autumnal shades, designed in close collaboration with our friends at Bread Collective.

We’ll be serving all our favourites, from sausage rolls to cinnamon buns, as well as some limited edition items baked specially for Frieze. New to Frieze this year are our cheese and charcuterie boxes, made with our friends at Buchanans, served with our seeded crackers.

To celebrate our 10th year at Frieze, we’re giving away two tickets for Frieze London and Masters for Thursday 4th & Friday 5th October. Head over to our Instagram to enter.

Making our Cups More Sustainable

Over the past year, we’ve poured hours of research, thought and discussion into the world of takeaway packaging: are we as sustainable as we can be?

Our first aim with waste is to reduce it at the beginning, not to think about what we do with it at the end. We invest a lot into everything that we make, in particular our ingredients and our bakers’ time, and as such, we don’t want to waste a thing.

So, are we leading the charge with the most sustainable packaging?

This year has been a good one; from switching from plastic to paper straws to buying biodegradable disposable cutlery made of potato starch, we’ve made some good improvements, made possible by developments in the packaging industry.

But by far, the most exciting development for us has also been the hardest to crack: coffee cups.

Almost all takeaway coffee cups in the UK fall into two categories – neither of which are getting recycled in everyday practice. There are cups with the traditional polyethylene plastic (PE) lining, and cups with a Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) lining, the latter being made from genetically modified (GMO) corn and compostable above 50°C. Both options are *technically* recyclable, but unfortunately most end up in landfills rather than being recycled due to the lack of specialist recycling plants in the UK.

Recently we came across a cup which is new to the market. It’s lined with BioPBS which is made from sugar cane waste and is biodegradable and compostable at room temperature. Being made from sugar cane waste, edible food crop is not sacrificed in the manufacture process. We’re proud to be introducing BioPBS cups in all of our bakeries this September.

We love talking about packaging – and all things that help make us better – so get in touch for a chat or to find out more, including what we do with our surplus food at the end of every day. breadheads@gailsbread.co.uk

Baker’s Dozen with Alex

1. What time did you get up this morning?
My alarm goes off at 4:45am, and I get to work for around 5:30am. I like to do a bit of admin before starting to set up the bakery at 6am.

2. How do you take your coffee?
In the mornings, always a short black and usually an iced latte in the afternoon too.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
A short black! I usually have something to eat around 10ish. At the moment I’m quite partial to one of our freshly baked plain croissants with butter and marmalade.

4. How long have you been working for GAIL’s?
I’ve been working for GAIL’s in Hove since January 2017. I came on as a shift leader and after two months, I was promoted to Assistant Bakery Manager, then promoted again to Bakery Manager in April this year.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
As a child, I loved peanut butter on toast. I remember getting home from school with my sister, Sarah, and mum would make us peanut butter on toast while we were watching Neighbours.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did it go?
I actually studied baking and cake decorating at college many years ago! I baked all sorts of bread, but the one that I remember most fondly was a white, plaited milk loaf. It was truly delicious still warm from the oven.

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
Home and warmth (and college, of course).

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Peanut butter.

9. What is the best part of your day?
Walking to work early in the morning. It’s very quiet and peaceful, and it gives me a chance to plan my day.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Two slices of toasted Barnes Sandwich Loaf, topped with slices of ripe tomato, a good quality mozzarella, big chunks of soft avocado, freshly torn basil, seasoning, and a drizzle of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Delicious!

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything from GAIL’s, what would that be?
Ah, this question! I go through phases with favourite breads, favourite cakes, favourite savouries etc, but my answer would have to be our coffee. I have been a big fan of good quality coffee for many years and the flavour and strength of our House Blend are just about perfect for me.

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?
Putting 100% into whatever I choose to do, patience, level-headedness, and trying to maintain a good work/life balance.

13. What would you do for a living, if not this?
I would be running my own traditional tea room, with top quality tea and coffee, and an abundance of homemade cakes.

Introducing Our New Breakfast Menu

After searching for the best quality ingredients, and much sizzling, scrambling and sautéing, we’re proud to introduce our new breakfast menu.

Our Sausage Breakfast Roll is made with a free-range sausage patty topped with melted Mayfield Swiss Cheese and a fried egg, served on a Cream Bun with homemade Tomato Relish.

For our vegetarian Scrambled Egg Roll we layer scrambled eggs, avocado, homemade tomato relish and baby spinach onto a cream bun. We’re also baking a vegan-friendly option in a new Seeded Potato Roll too, which we fill with avocado, sautéed mushrooms, baby spinach and homemade tomato relish.

Our Potato, Cabbage and Leek Cake is fried until golden, then topped with Crème Fraîche, a fried egg and chopped chives. We can also add folds of Goldstein’s smoked salmon or sizzled rashers of Hepburns’ streaky bacon.

We’re now using Oatly oat milk to make our porridge, with a range of toppings that are either vegetarian or vegan. Pop in for a bowl topped with fresh blueberries, toasted seeds and maple syrup or almond butter and seasonal fruit compote, along with our old favourites like honey and date molasses.

To complement our new breakfast menu, we’re serving more homemade condiments; Brown Sauce, Tomato Relish and Hot Sauce. We’ve also got a homemade smokey Bacon Jam, which can be ordered as a side with anything from our breakfast menu.

Find the new menu in your local bakery or see it online here.

Baker’s Dozen with Valerica

We asked Valerica, who’s been with GAIL’s for twelve of our thirteen years, our Baker’s Dozen of questions to find out about her time at GAIL’s and her enduring love of Cinnamon Buns.

1. What time did you get up this morning? What’s your morning routine?
I wake up at 3.30am to get to work and and start baking at 5am.

2. How do you take your coffee?
I only drink espresso.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
I wait until I’ve baked the first batch of Cinnamon Buns in the morning, then have a warm bun and an espresso for breakfast. I eat a lot of Cinnamon Buns!

4. How long have you been working for GAIL’s?
I started working for GAIL’s in October 2006 in the Hampstead bakery as a kitchen porter. After a few months, the baker asked me to join them in the kitchen and I loved it. When we opened the second bakery in Notting Hill six months later, I moved there to work as a baker. I went back to work in Hampstead for a few years and have been working as the Head Baker in Seymour Place for four years now.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
My mother always baked apple pie in a wood oven outside. It reminds me of running around barefoot as a child.

6. Have you ever baked bread?
Of course!

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
It reminds me of my childhood, when my mother would bake bread, then share it between my brothers and sisters.

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Butter and strawberry jam.

9. What is the best part of your day?
I’m happiest in the morning, when everything’s quiet and it smells like baking pasty.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Avocado and tomato on Russian Rye Sourdough. 

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything from GAIL’s, what would that be?
I would choose the cookbook, then I can have everything! Or the Cinnamon Buns…

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?
Hard work, positivity and working together.

13. What would you do for a living, if not this?
I’d love to be a judge, in charge and making the decisions.

Baker’s Dozen with Adriana

We caught up with our Coffee Trainer, Adriana, to find out about her career with GAIL’s, growing up in Italy and how she takes her coffee.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
I woke up at 6am. I always get up a little earlier than I have to because I like to leave enough time for breakfast without rushing.

2. How do you take your coffee?
I mostly drink espresso and filter coffee but I have to try all of our coffees and hot drinks when I’m training baristas and doing quality checks.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
When I’m in the UK, I have coffee and coconut yogurt with granola. I could write a book about what I eat for breakfast back in Italy (you know moms, they like to feed you when you come home!).

4. How long have you been working for GAIL’s?
I joined GAIL’s in December 2015 as a barista in South Kensington. I progressed to Head Barista, which meant training and supporting the new baristas in the bakery, then in March this year I was promoted again to become a Coffee Trainer in our Coffee Team. During my time at GAIL’s, I’ve really enjoyed the training as it’s great to learn new things.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
My mom’s aubergine meatballs and my sister’s custard and strawberry cake.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did it go?
Of course! I learned when I was a child and still bake with my sisters and friends. But most of the time we bake pizza.

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
Family. Growing up, I remember watching my grandma and my aunts baking. My family have a wood fired oven in the backyard to bake bread and pizza. Just thinking about it makes me feel nostalgic and hungry at the same time!

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Nutella (I’m Italian!) but I also love peanut butter and homemade jam.

9. What is the best part of your day?
I love the quiet of late nights.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
That’s easy – Mixed Olive Sourdough with mortadella.

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything from GAIL’s, what would that be?
The Mini Salmon & Avocado Yoghurt on a Poppyseed Roll. It’s been my lunch almost every day since I started.

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?
Loyalty, humility and constant learning; both in work and in life.

13. What would you do for a living, if not this?
I grew up on a farm and I’ve always loved animals, so probably something to do with animals.

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