Real Bread in Northumberland & the Scottish Borders

Published on 25 Feb
5 min read

The Real Bread Campaign is an annual, international event that highlights the importance of real bread in our lives. Every culture around the world celebrates life-giving bread; from the Jewish Challah bread and American cornbread to chapatis in India and humble Irish soda bread. Bread is part of our culture. This is why real bread matters.

Real Bread Begins with Real Grains

Ancient grain farmers at Gilchesters Organics.

Grains have been an essential part of civilisation since its beginning and they continue to spark much debate today. Over the past 40 or so years, however, grains have had a bad reputation. They bloat us, cause unnecessary weight gain and many contain hidden nasties that have allegedly spiked allergies and intolerances in our bodies. This does not have to be the case though.

Gilchesters Organics, near Stamfordham in south Northumberland, cultivate ancient wheat grains like Emmer and Einkorn. Grains such as these were part of our ancestor’s agricultural beginnings[1]. These grains, too, are also recommended by nutritionists as they contain whole grains[2]. Whole grains are full of nutrients including fibre, omega fatty acids and minerals such as calcium and iron[2]. This shows how important real bread can be in our diets.

Baking can be a therapeutic activity.

Why Real Bread Matters

Real bread matters because, simply put, we have forgotten the joy of bread. Bread has been demonised in Western culture because we’ve allowed and accepted tasteless, over-processed loaves to take precedence in the marketplace. These Chorleywood loaves have brought nothing of substance to our diet, health and satiety.

But, real bread is becoming trendy again. A fresh batch of bakers has appeared across the country, recreating old-fashioned techniques and recipes with a modern-day twist. Unleavened bread, ancient grains and slow-fermenting loaves are now frequently being spotted across markets and bakeries. Our current lockdown situation has also inspired novice bakers to begin baking their own loaves at home. The secret is is that bread needs time. Our less-frantic lives have allowed us to fully appreciate the pleasure of a homemade loaf.

Local Bakeries

Local bakeries are at the heart of our communities. Freshly baked bread is the backbone of many meals from toast in the morning, a crusty heel to dip in our soup at lunchtime and a quick jam sarnie at teatime brings joy to many bellies across the world.

Artisanal bakers and bakeries including Bread & Roses from Alnwick, who supply many independent shops like The Green Shop in Berwick, The Good Life shop in Wooler and attends farmers markets including Hexham’s Farmers Market. Try their 5-grain Levain loaf which is a lighter-than-usual seeded loaf. Try this loaf as an accompaniment to your weekend tapas boards.

Grant’s Bakery, family-run bakers in Corbridge, won The Craft Baker Business Award from the Baking Industry Awards 2020.  Try the San Francisco Sourdough, with National Award Winning Sourdough Starter, for brunch topped with smashed avocado and a poached egg.

Lough’s Home Bakery in Eyemouth has been family-run since 1947. They won Best Bakers in South Scotland 2020 at Scotland’s National Business Awards. Try their morning rolls with bacon and brown sauce for a hearty breakfast.

Learn how to bake sourdough loaves at Allendale Bakery

Learning to Bake Real Bread

We are lucky enough to have several bakers who teach the art of baking too. Across Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, you can learn how to make sourdough starters, make international favourites including bagels and rye loaves and lots more. These classes can give you the confidence to create your own bakery in the comfort of your kitchen. Even more exciting is using these techniques with local ingredients too. You can buy local flour from Gilchesters Organics and Heatherslaw Corn Mill.

Local bakers who teach baking bread include Bread & Roses, Allendale Bakery and Savour the Flavour. Why not sign up for a class when things begin opening up again?

Local Bread around Northumberland & the Scottish Borders

Be part of the Real Bread Campaign by baking your own loaf using local grains or by supporting your local baker. Here is a list of bakeries across Northumberland and the Scottish Borders to get you started. Who is your local?

Northumberland Bakers

Discover a local baker near you in Northumberland. Enjoy the tastes of organic grains, local loaves, vegan cakes and more.

Rolls or loaves? What do you prefer?

James Ford & Son (Berwick-upon-Tweed, Norham)

Bread & Roses (Alnwick)

Allendale Bakery (Spartylea)

Artisan Baking Community (Bedlington)

Anderson’s Quality Baker’s & Pork Shop (Ashington, Newbiggin)

Baker’s Pantry (Morpeth, Ashington)

Broadway Bakery (Blyth)

Cheviot Farm Bakery (Wooler)

Gilchesters Organics (Stamfordham)

Glenton’s Bakery (Ashington, Newbiggin by the Sea, Bedlington, Pegswood, North Seaton, Meadowfield,

Grant’s Artisan Bakery (Corbridge)

Greenwell Bakery (Rothbury)

Rothbury Home Bakery (Rothbury

Heatherslaw Corn Mill (Cornhill-on-Tweed

The Farm Bakery (Rennington)

The Grateful Bread Bakery (Hexham)

The Rolling Pin (Amble)

The Running Fox (Felton, Longframlington,

This Little Farmer (Alnwick)

Trotter’s Family Bakers (Seahouses, Wooler, Alnwick, Amble)

Wright’s of Bedlington (Bedlington)

The Chirnell’s Farmhouse Kitchen (Thropton)

Scottish Borders Bakers

From classic loaves, old fashioned favourites to allergy-friendly bakes, there’s a baker for everyone around the Scottish Borders.

Ready for a fresh, tasty loaf?

Alex Dalgetty Bakers (Galashiels)

Bread Works Organic Bakery (Tweedbank)

Cameron’s Oven Fresh Bakery (Selkirk)

Forsyth’s (Peebles)

G Harrow & Son ( Hawick)

Granny Jean’s Home Bakery (Kelso)

Hunter’s the Bakers (Hawick)

Lauder Bakery (Lauder)

Lough’s Home Bakery (Eyemouth)

Savour the Flavour (Hawick)

Trotter’s Family Bakers (Coldstream, Duns)

Stone milling keep all the parts of the grain so nutritional content isn't lost
Ancient techniques such as stone milling, is still used today, and forms the basis of one of our humblest foods: bread.

Change Your Daily Bread

Make real bread and local bakers your latest food passion. Whether you are vegan, wheat-sensitive or worried about the myths that surround REAL bread, make sure you try out some lovingly made local baked goods before you decide about grains.

Baking at home is 1 of the top trends during the lockdown.

Whether you’re experimenting with baking bread with locally grown ancient grains like Einkorn from Gilchesters Organics or enjoying a Selkirk Bannock from Alex Dalgetty Bakers with a cup of tea, real wholesome food is there to be enjoyed.

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If you’re looking to support the Real Bread Campaign, as well as follow local bakers who take part, look out for the Loaf Mark.