The Baking Room in Goole, Yorkshire is home to Britain’s best wholegrain bread.
For proof, simply look at its performance in the wholegrain category at the Britain’s Best Loaf competition 2020. Not only did it secure the top spot with its Spelt Sourdough with Cranberries but also the Highly Commended accolade for its Wholemeal Sourdough.
“I was 100% chuffed,” owner Krzysztof Bieszka (pictured right) tells British Baker.
The Baking Room is a one-man operation, when it comes to bread at least, with Bieszka baking every loaf. He sells around 200 loaves a day through the shop, as well as supplying wholesale customers.
Elsewhere, it’s a family affair with Bieszka’s wife handling the administrative side of things, his sister doing cake decoration and finishing products, and his cousin on delivery duty.
The Spelt Sourdough with Cranberries, described by the Britain’s Best Loaf judges as “like eating jam on toast”, is sold every Monday and has been on the menu since day one.
Bieszka starts by making a levain from dark rye flour, which is mixed with the juice and water used to soak the cranberries, before being left for 18 hours.
“After 18 hours, I mix the dough and allow to ferment for 7-10 hours, depending on the weather,” he explains. “I then mix the fruit through the dough, which adds to the jam-like taste.”
I’m a very old school baker. I recommend wholemeal flour, spelt, dark rye and light rye
The full process takes about 26 hours. And, because the loaves have nearly 100% hydration and “are almost like soup”, they’re baked in a tin to maintain their shape.
Bieszka prides himself on his baking methods and use of ingredients, which has been a cornerstone of the bakery since it opened three years ago.
“I’m a very old school baker. I recommend wholemeal flour, spelt, dark rye and light rye – about 75% of my loaves are made from these. They have a long fermentation; it’s heavy but healthy bread and people really like it.”
Prior to opening The Baking Room, Bieszka spent nearly three decades working as a baker. “I’m always happy I’m going to work,” he laughs.
Since the win, more wholesale customers, including farm shops, have got in touch with The Baking Room to stock the loaves.
“We’ve had many congratulations and many cards. It’s a small town so for me it helps to promote the town as well,” he adds, noting that the trophy will be proudly on display in the shop.
“I think I won because I’m baking with my passion, with my heart, with love,” he adds. “I come here every day, I’m always happy. Being a baker is like being an artist.”
To find out more about how the other category-winning loaves at Britain’s Best Loaf 2020 are made, click the links below: