Frank Bread begun trading in April 2020, during the first lockdown. Ex-e5 Bakehouse head baker, Luke Duffy started the business from his newly refurbished home based micro-bakery in Broadstairs, Kent.
From a local delivery service for the community, to a regular bi-weekly spot at Sandwich farmer's market, to a monthly spot at Cliftonville. We're still going strong with the home deliveries, expanding our area to Margate & Ramsgate.
What's all this sourdough malarky about?
Sourdough bread is much thought of as a type of bread, or more specifically, a type of bread that hipsters wear on their denim jackets as a kind of union member's broach. In truth, sourdough speaks of a method for making bread that pre-dates industrialisation by around 30,000 years. All of our breads are made using this method (and some of our cakes).
A sourdough culture of flour and water that is teaming with lactic bacteria and wild yeast act as a raising agent for the dough. More than that, it helps to 'pre-digest' and ferment the flour, unlocking much more flavour and all of the nutrients. The lactic bacteria also produce acidity which gives the 'sour' part of the name. The acidity also helps to keep the bread from moulding for over a week, a natural preservative, if you like. There is now much evidence to suggest that these types of bread are actually good for your gut health, rather than bloating or leading to abdominal discomfort. My personal gut health has been greatly benefitted by regularly imbibing the good stuff, alongside other 'live' foods such as water kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and sprouted grains.
Flour + Sourcing
Where we source our ingredients from is paramount. The flour is all sustainably grown, either as heritage population wheats from John Letts in High Wycombe or Organic stoneground flour from Shipton Mill. In the country loaf we blend the two (about half/half) and then all of our tins are purely made using ingredients from John Letts heritage grains. This flour costs more to produce, as there are no artificial inputs, which is ultimately better for soil health and the planet. Heritage varieties are chosen more for their flavour and nutritional value (we feel the two go hand in hand) rather than their yield potential or response to chemical fertilisers. You can read more about John's flour in the article he wrote below, regarding continuous grain cropping of his heritage population grains.
Our stoneground flour and wholemeal flour retains all of the germ (vitamin E rich oil segment) and therefore the loaves keep for longer, are more nutritious and have a deep flavour.
Our selection for the sweet toothed amongst us is fairly simple. A mainstay salted caramel dark chocolate brownie made using lots of 73% organic dark chocolate, dark muscovado sugar and malted barley extract is a real treat. A french apple and almond cake is made using organic almond flour, vanilla and locally sourced Kent apples (of course) and we usually have a spiced vegan offering such as ginger and cardamom cookies or mayan spiced brownies.
Our special all throughout Lent and Easter will be Swedish Semlor Buns. Sourdough brioche style dough with cardamom, almond and vanilla paste and finished with whipped vanilla cream makes for a very happy bunny.
We stand out in the cold (+ the sunshine) selling these products because we believe in them and they bring us joy. We hope you enjoy them too and want to co-create a healthy food community here in Thanet!