Good bread takes time, say the BBC Food and Farm­ing fi­nal­ists whose bak­ery in the Scottish Bor­ders of­fers hand­made loaves the lo­cals love

BBC Good Food - - Contents - in­ter­view CLARE HAR­G­REAVES recipe TOM VAN ROOYEN por­trait PAUL DODDS

The story of Earth’s Crust bak­ery

When Czech­born Pavlina van Rooyen, who runs The Earth’s Crust Bak­ery with her hus­band, Tom, first set­tled in Dumfries and Galloway in Scot­land, she was taken aback by the state of the na­tion’s bread. ‘Back home, every com­mu­nity bakes its own sour­dough bread from scratch,’ she says, ‘so it was quite a shock to see peo­ple buy­ing fac­tory-made stuff in the su­per­mar­kets.’

Pavlina and Tom met while study­ing in Den­mark. Af­ter re­turn­ing to live in his na­tive Scot­land, Tom worked as a cook for a lo­cal events cen­tre and found the job he most en­joyed was bak­ing bread. So in 2012 the cou­ple de­cided to set up a bak­ery, mak­ing the same sort of bread Pavlina had been raised on at home. That meant ‘real’, slow-fer­mented bread, made by hand from the best or­ganic in­gre­di­ents. It hasn’t all been plain sail­ing, though. Their tiny bak­ery was in a shed at the back of their gar­den in Lau­rieston, South West Scot­land. But in March 2015, the build­ing was de­stroyed by fire. A year later, with the help of com­mu­nity crowd­fund­ing, the cou­ple re­lo­cated to Cas­tle Dou­glas, their lo­cal town. To­day, the bak­ery (earth­scrust­bak­ ) makes sour­dough and yeasted loaves, as well as fo­cac­cias, pasties, quiches and pas­tries. It has a café, too, of­fer­ing sin­gle-ori­gin cof­fee and soups.its ar­ti­san prod­ucts are clearly hit­ting the spot, prompt­ing judges Sheila Dil­lon and Gior­gio Lo­catelli to name them fi­nal­ists in this year’s BBC Food and Farm­ing Awards.

Win­ners of the 2017 BBC Food and Farm­ing Awards ( will be an­nounced at a cer­e­mony in Bris­tol on 20 Septem­ber, then in a spe­cial edi­tion of The Food Pro­gramme on Ra­dio 4 on 24 Septem­ber.

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