Bien cuit baking comes to Manchester

A Manchester foodie duo will be introducing a new style of dark-bake sourdough loaves to the UK when they launch the Pollen Bakery in Manchester in August.

Hannah Calvert and Chris Kelly, who have previously run supper clubs and a falafel stall in Manchester, are championing the well-done loaf, from the French country-style baking.

This bien cuit (well done) baking technique is well-known France and America, but has yet to gain momentum in the UK. Slow-fermented breads are baked at unusually low temperatures for long periods of time. The result is a full-flavoured loaf with a thick mahogany crust.

Other bakers using the technique include Bebette in Denver, and Bien Cuit in Brooklyn.

Pollen Bakery, in Sheffield Street, Manchester, will be selling wholesale and directly to customers from the end of August.

Using organic flour, a 24-hour prove, the bakery will produce a core range of five sourdough loaves: a white 24-hour-proved sourdough; a seeded granary wholemeal; a 100% rye; a 20% rye; and a barley porridge loaf (where barley mixed with water is added to the dough to give a moist and creamy texture with a distinct flavour).

Pollen will also bake a range of French pastries including croissants, pains au raisin, pains au chocolat and a cinnamon morning bun.

The loaves will be priced between £3.20-£3.50.

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