FOOD AND FARMING AWARDS
Good bread takes time, say the BBC Food and Farming finalists whose bakery in the Scottish Borders offers handmade loaves the locals love
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 (earthscrustbakery.co.uk ) 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 (bbc.co.uk/foodawards) 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.