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.

 

How to Make the Perfect Seasonal Salad

We start by thinking about the time of year; which vegetables, legumes and leaves are in season? It’s autumn now, meaning pumpkin, squash and mushrooms are in season and as the weather gets colder, root vegetables and brassicas will be in their prime.

Once we’ve chosen the seasonal ingredients, we think about how we want the salad to taste: fresh and zingy or warming and robust? For winter, we focus on roasting or sautéing vegetables to concentrate their flavour, whereas in summer, serving vegetables steamed or raw showcases freshness. To create a comforting dish for cooler climes, we choose warming spices like cumin and paprika, along with woody herbs like rosemary and thyme to complement the seasonal vegetables. For brighter spring and summer salads, we turn to soft herbs like basil, coriander and mint.

With the key seasonal vegetables and flavours in mind, it’s time to build the salad from base to dressing. We chose a grain or legume for sustenance that will complement the seasonal vegetables – our winter favourites are black barley and lentils.

For contrasting textures and flavours, we like to pair cooked elements like roasted vegetables, lentils and grains with something raw, like thinly sliced raw vegetables and leaves. Adding chopped nuts and seeds brings extra crunch to every mouthful.

When it comes to protein, our favourites are soft cheeses like feta or goat’s cheese which pair well with autumnal flavours like pumpkin and mushroom. Roasted chicken and hot smoked salmon also work well in winter salads and add depth of flavour.

When making the dressing, we think about whether the salad is bitter, sweet or salty, then use contrasting flavours for the dressing. Choose a base for the dressing like buttermilk, yoghurt, or oil, then add acidity with lemon, vinegar, or pomegranate molasses which bring sweetness too.  We love using tahini in our salads as it’s great for binding the dressing and offers a nutty, rich flavour.

Grains can be dressed as soon as they’re cooked, to ensure they absorb the flavour of the dressing, but never dress leaves ahead of eating as the leaves will lose their crunch.

 

Waste Bread

We spend a lot of time thinking about reducing waste and trying to be as sustainable as we can, so we’re proud to introduce our Waste Bread, a sourdough made from day-old loaves.

Our baker, Roz, has been working on the Waste Bread since January, tirelessly tweaking the recipe to get it just right. To make the Waste Bread, we take yesterday’s unsold loaves and turn them into breadcrumbs, before making a porridge-like mixture with them. The breadcrumb porridge is then added to a fresh white sourdough dough, with the waste bread making up around a third of each new loaf. It’s then proved, shaped and baked, and at 750g, it’s larger than our other loaves.

The result is a moist, tacky loaf with a scorched crust and malty flavour, and as the variety of surplus loaves changes daily, each batch will taste slightly different. We like the Waste Bread best thickly sliced and spread with lashings of whey butter, but it’s a very versatile loaf and is ideal for making sandwiches or dipped into soup.

Find the Waste Bread in selected bakeries from the 11th October.

 

 

Halloween Baking Classes

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be running spooky baking classes for children in selected bakeries. Find out class dates and which bakeries are hosting classes below.

If you’d like your little ones to join us, please visit or call one of our bakeries below and let the team know. Please note all classes start at 4pm.

Monday 22nd October
Farnham

Tuesday 23rd October
Summertown
Camden
Barnes
West Hampstead

Wednesday 24th October
Temple Fortune
Blackheath
Hove
Richmond

Thursday 25th October
Swain’s Lane
Crouch End
Pimlico

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

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