Bourne Artisan Butchery & Bakery and The Gates Farm Shop

August has been an extra busy month, here at the Bakery with two new venues opening with our breads, cakes and savouries; first we had the highly anticipated Gates Nursery Farm Shop that opened on 23rd August with an extensive selection of our products.

Then last weekend saw the old Burtons of Bourne opening as the new Artisan Butchery & Bakery in collaboration with Grasmere Butchers.

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2020 Countryside Alliance Awards

2020 Countryside Alliance Awards

2020 Countryside Alliance Awards are Open for Nominations from 9th September to 8th December 2019

The Countryside Alliance Awards, the ‘Rural Oscars’, the gold standard rural business awards are back and open to nominations. They reward the very best of our produce, enterprise, heritage and communities. Nominated by the public, the Awards recognise and honour those who excel and go the extra mile for their community.

As a Local Food producer, we would love you to tell the Countryside Alliance all about us!


Something New to try…..

Leigh’s Bees Natural Honey

Leigh’s Bees Natural Honey

We are happy to have Leigh’s Bees Natural Honey in all our Shops; if you haven’t already tasted this delicious honey, pop in to sample our four different flavours……….

You will find every jar of Leigh’s Bees honey just as the bees created it. The honey is unprocessed, apart from coarse straining to remove impurities and, where necessary, gentle warming to allow bottling.

Carefully placed apiaries enable Leigh’s Bees to forage a specific range of nectar depending on the time of year and location. That may be sea lavender from the saltmarshes of the North Norfolk coast, swathes of summer flowering blue borage flowers, the Derbyshire heather moors or the ivy-clad hedgerows and woodland of their ‘winter base’ at Narford. Knowing the origin of each and every jar of honey, all of which are unblended means the honeys retain their own unique tastes.



As customers of our local Heritage Mills Whissendine & Boston; we are supporting this government petition to exempt these Heritage Mills from adding folic acid to their flour; this proposal will have a dramatic impact on traditional wind and water mills should it be enforced across the whole industry




Future of the Prior’s Flour at risk – act now

On the 13th June 2019, the Government launched a 12 week consultation seeking views on the proposal to introduce mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid. This, the consultation states, is to help reduce neural tube defects (NTDs) in foetuses by raising the folate levels of women who could become pregnant. The consultation seeks views on fortifying all flours with Folic Acid, not just white flour.

We at Fosters Mill welcome government initiatives to reduce neural tube defects. We have no expertise to comment on the medical evidence being used to justify the proposals to fortify flour, nor the appropriateness of using flour as a vehicle to achieve this outcome. We do, however, have the experience and authority to comment on the practical implications of implementing what is proposed:

The Problem

The mandatory fortification of all flours (which is one of the options being proposed in the consultation), could have a serious effect on the future viability and integrity of Fosters Mill, such that we may have to cease flour production; putting at risk our thriving flour business and one of the main sources of income to sustain this important historic Grade 2* listed building.

Practical Issues relating to traditional mills adding folic acid to all flours:

Fosters Mill has no suitable equipment to accurately mix folate into flour, whether it is incorporated into Creta Plus (the product used to fortify white flour), or otherwise. Neither does the mill have the capacity required in terms of mixing equipment, elevators, augers or hoists required to mix all flour being produced by the mill – something that may be required if the decision is to fortify all flours. The space available in the mill and the listing status of the building would also prevent the installation of the machinery required.

Other issues:

Even if we were able to install the machinery required, the cost of purchasing, installing, the consequent training and staffing of the additional processes required would be prohibitive to the financial viability of the mill. As such any requirement which arose as a result of this consultation would potentially lead to the mill ceasing to produce flour putting at risk the future sustainability of the mill as an historic listed building.

The milling process undertaken in traditional mills is not compatible with accurate dosing of flour with additives. To be able to add folate to all flours produced, we would need to create a whole new production process. This not only requires the investment in machinery, the costs of which are prohibitive, but also the staffing of a new production process which adds costs / time to a production process which is already a very low margin activity from a financial perspective.

Proposed Exemption

Given the above, the Traditional Cornmillers Guild and SPAB Mills Section (the national organisation which campaigns to protect and promote traditional mills) are urging the Government to consider an exemption for traditional mills producing less than 1000 tonnes of flour per annum. The combined production of traditional mills represents a minute fraction of the nation’s flour consumption, of total white flour (for which data is available), we represent less than 0.013%. As such, such an exemption will have no real effect on the success of the initiative, but will secure the future of Fosters Mill and other traditional mills.

What can you do?

  1. Read the Traditional Cornmillers Guild Folic Acid Info Document for more information to help inform you.

  2. Please then respond to the Consultation

  3. Write to your MP raising your concerns

  4. Tell all your breadmaker friends and ask them to respond to the consultation and write to their MPs

Please act NOW or we really could see the day when The Prior’s Flour (and the flours produced by many other wind and watermills) is no more!


National Bakery Awards - East Midlands Regional Winners 2019

On Tuesday 4th June we were invited to BAFTA Piccadilly in London for a gala event to celebrate being County Winners in the National Bakery Awards sponsored by Bakery Business Magazine. Whilst there we were crowned East Midlands Regional Winners


Alice Cooke from Bakery Business, with Tim Hart and Tim Clarkson from Dawn Foods


We were delighted to have received the Regional National Bakery Award this week in a gala event at BAFTA, Piccadilly in London hosted by the Bakery Business Magazine in their first ever National Bakery Awards ceremony.

The night saw 14 regions crowned Regional Baker; Mr Tim Hart collecting the award for Hambleton Bakery as the East Midlands Regional Winner. One of five Artisan Bakers that won their region.

Asked why he thought Hambleton Bakery had won the award Tim said “we make Real Bread with principles, with no additives, using slow fermentation traditional methods, using local ingredients and producing healthy bread, packed with fibre for our customers”

An ethos reiterated by overall National Winner Aidan Monks from Lovingly Artisan - a fellow Real Bread campaigner who made an impassioned acceptance speech championing Sourdough in particular, Aidan said: “I believe that we truly have an opportunity to put bread back in the centre of the table. We are the generation right here, right now, who can actually take this back and deliver this food; this is the food of health, the food of life.”

Adding “The only way it’s going to happen is through awards like this and us all standing side by side; we’ve just got to get the message out there that bread is back.”

Earlier in the evening, from the previously announced county winners, we were one of five Real Bread Campaign supporters named regional winner:

  • North West Lovingly Artisan Bakery

  • South West Patisserie Mark Bennett

  • East of England Flour and Spoon

  • East Midlands Hambleton Bakery

  • West Midlands Live Love Local

Delighted Tim Hart added “The Award means a great deal to all of us at Hambleton Bakery. It crowns ten years of effort and ambition to be recognised as the best in our region”

Bread is well and truly back on the Menu


The New National Loaf

Our New National Loaf : Saving the Nation’s Health

100% British Wheat 80% Wholegrain Loaf


To coincide with the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings Hambleton Bakery are bringing back the National Loaf…..

In 1942 the wartime government prohibited the production of white bread and introduced a new National Loaf which contained 80% of the bran and wheat germ discarded when white bread was made. By re-milling the bran and returning it to the white flour it added vital fibre to the diet as well as important vitamins and minerals. A government survey in 1953, found a significant improvement in the Nation’s health. This was partly ascribed to rationing, but the National loaf earned its share of the credit.

We want to Save the Nation’s Health Again

For 10 years we have been baking fine Sourdough and other Artisan loaves from the Bakery in Exton, whilst applying the “NO ADDITIVES “ and “SLOW PROOVING” principles to a softer white bread, beloved by many.

A significant number of bread loves want healthier bread but still like the taste of the traditional “White Tin”. We have recreated The National Loaf with them in mind and for health-conscious Schools and Hospitals.

We are to bring back a cost effective, high quality New National Loaf to save the Health of the Nation; using specially milled National Flour for the family fun Heygates Mill in Northampton.


Picnic Season Approaches

With the Picnic Season approaching, we thought you might be interested in getting some ideas for you hamper basket; with a large selection of different types of breads why not try our Muffins, Focaccia, Baguette, Ciabatta or Olive Bread with your fillings; you will be amazed how good they taste.


Mr & Mrs Tim Hart - Open Gardens Sunday 28th April

Mr & Mrs Tim Hart will be opening their gardens to visitors this Sunday 28th April as part of the National Garden Scheme Open Gardens event in aid of charity. 

The Old Hall, Market Overton is set on a southernly ridge overlooking the Catmose Valley, and gardens comprise of a number of stonewalled & yew hedge areas, with herbaceous borders, shrubs, as well as young and mature trees. 

Hambleton Bakery will be providing cakes for this event; whose charities include For Rutland, Mind & Carers Trust. 

All visitors are welcome from 2pm until 5pm


Specially for Easter

As always for this time of year we have our seasonal treats in our Shops: Hot Cross Buns, Jam Tarts, Simnel Tarts and our traditional Simnel Cake - have you put your order in.

Order Deadline: Wednesday 17th April 2pm for Good Friday & Thursday 18th April 2pm for the Weekend.


Author & Real Bread Campaigner Andrew Whitley visits the Bakery - 6th March 2019

What a great day we all had with Bread Matters author and Real Bread Campaigner Andrew Whitley; it was an amazing opportunity to discuss new ideas, tastes and philosophies with one of the founders of the Real Bread revolution. Julian and Scott have long held the Bread Matters Book as a mantra for Hambleton Bakery: believing in long fermentation, local, quality ingredients as well as a passion for making bread in the traditional manner; in so doing producing bread that is full of nutrients, has health benefits and is abundant in flavour.

Our Borodinsky Rye has in fact been developed from Andrew Whitley recipe for Rye Bread.

Discussing the Health Benefits of long fermented breads was high on everyone’s agenda, as we had noticed those with both sugar and wheat intolerance seem to be able to consume our breads with little or no effect. It appears that the long fermentation method changes the Glycaemic Index in the bread; and in so doing reduces the GI content. And with regards to the wheat intolerance, it appeared that those consuming the Sourdough & Rye Breads benefit, as a number of the indigestible bacteria and enzymes had already been broken down during the fermenting process, therefore making these Breads more digestible.

Furthermore the Health Benefits of eating smaller quantities of good quality breads, benefit in two ways, the slow release of energy and the consumer no longer needing to eat piles of toast with butter and jam to satisfy their hunger. Eat Less = Feel Better

There was a lot of talk of ATI - or wheat inhibitor enzymes that are found in modern wheat; but that’s definitely a topic for another post; interesting nevertheless to understand the importance of good wheat selection by farmers; as of course all our Bread starts life in the fields of many parts of the UK & Europe.

All in all a wonderful visit -Thank you Andrew for taking the time to visit us here in Exton.


REAL BREAD WEEK 23rd February - 3rd March 2019

We are delighted, as always, to support Real Bread Week, part of the Real Bread Campaign to promote the importance of traditional artisan breads, made using the best quality ingredients and long fermentation methods, as we do for all of our Breads.

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