In September 2008, Julian Carter and Tim Hart opened Hambleton Bakery, to produce top quality traditionally made bread for Hambleton Hall and Harts in Nottingham
To that they added a little shop at the front, almost as an afterthought; 10 years on, with a growing list of wholesale customers, Hambleton Bakery now has shops in Oakham, Market Harborough, West Bridgford, Stamford and Oundle.
In the course of analysing our offering, we realised a quick win and high impact change to our food experience would be to improve our bread offering. Bread is an incredibly emotive subject - as Massimo Bottura says, ‘Bread is Gold’. We looked at what we offered, and it was quite poor, a selection of mass processed bread rolls and sliced bread.
By chance, our Food and Beverage Manager, Alun Pomfrett, used to work next door to a great Deli called Deli Flavour. Every day he would watch a delivery driver in an old fashioned flat cap and brown coat deliver fresh and delicious breads. The Bakery in question was Hambleton Bakery, the brain child of restaurateur Tim Hart and baker Julian Carter.
Tim is behind the 2 Michelin star Hambleton Hall, Hart’s restaurant and Barafina tapas bars. He was disappointed he couldn’t find great bread made with real flour in a traditional way, so he set out to create Hambleton Bakery. Several years on and Hambleton have won best bakery in several national competitions - a well-deserved accolade!
Alun contacted Rob, who heads up the sales side of the business, who kindly offered us a visit to the bakery where we were blown away by the warm welcome and passion that Julian (Hambletons head baker) shared with us. Julian demystified the traditional process of making sour dough loaves, a tradition that has been passed down through his family over several generations.
He animatedly showed us his Fort Knox of flours carefully curated from artisan millers. Some were from local windmills like Wissendine and some had come all the way from artisan millers in France. The fluctuations in gluten and flavour depending on the terroir and province of flour were key to exceptional bread Julian assured us. He explained that every loaf was spoken for, made with love for each order. The lead time for some of these breads is 3 days.
The key to flavour development and texture, Julian assured us, was down to a ‘slow’ and natural fermentation process. It's clear to see why they have been so well recognised by the industry for their commitment to excellence and we were sure our customers would be thrilled with the quality of the bread. When you see how much work goes into the process you realise what a great value product it really is!
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Top snack suggestion
One of our favourite ways to enjoy Julian’s bread is to make a ‘cheese and onion’ sandwich. As the saying goes this isn’t just any old cheese and onion sandwich!
Take 2 door stop slices of sour dough bread and lightly salted butter. Next, thickly slice some balsamic pickled onions (a delicious sweet and sharp onion nothing like you get in the chippy). For the cheese we opt for the fabulous farmhouse red Leicester ‘Sparken Hoe’. Grating the cheese will help get an even melt but if you’re like us and prefer to have some crunch you might just want to carve of a big slice. Build your sandwich and toast in a panini grill.
Download our Rooted In Food brochure
We love creating exciting menus that celebrate our local food heroes. That's why every proposal that we send out includes our Rooted in Food brochure to whet your appetite.
This brochure contains just a sample of the sort of menus we can produce for your event and is designed to give you a sense of our passion for great food. They are sample menus and are subject to change based on availability of produce.