Lu­ing Bak­ery suc­cess at High­land show

The Oban Times - - Farming -

LU­ING Bak­ery of Cul­lipool won two of five gold awards at the Royal High­land Show’s first Scot­tish Bread Cham­pi­onships.

Wendy Bar­rie, who set up the cham­pi­onships this year, said there were fan­tas­tic breads among the 50 en­tries kneaded, knocked and baked by com­peti­tors over three hours in Ed­in­burgh last Tues­day, but Isle of Lu­ing baker Mary Braith­waite walked away with the most awards.

Mary picked up top prizes for her clootie loaf fol­low­ing ‘ a tra­di­tional or an­cient Scot­tish recipe’, and her toasted seed and oat sour­dough in the cat­e­gory of ‘ bread ex­celling in nu­tri­tional qual­ity’.

Mary, who also holds a doc­tor­ate in ar­chae­ol­ogy and an­thro­pol­ogy, pre­vi­ously ran a Kent bak­ery with her hus­band Nigel, and moved to Lu­ing for a qui­eter life two years ago.

Cur­rently she just bakes from her kitchen in Cul­lipool House to sell at the is­land shop, Lu­ing Stores, but her busi­ness will ex­pand as soon as her new bak­ery is fin­ished.

‘No more get­ting up at 3am in the morn­ing, or work­ing 14 hour days,’ she said.

Mary has de­vel­oped breads that in­clude grains that used to be grown on Lu­ing, es­pe­cially bar­ley and oats. Other breads in­clude rye, spelt and Orkney bere­meal, which is an an­cient form of bar­ley.

‘Lu­ing was known for its grain,’ she said: ‘In 1549 Lu­ing was de­scribed as ‘guid for corn’, and rent pay­ments by ten­ants in­cluded large quan­ti­ties of bere (bar­ley) and meal (oat­meal) un­til the 18th cen­tury. For cen­turies rye was grown in small quan­ti­ties through­out the He­brides.’

A pop­u­lar bread now is Lu­ing sour- dough, which in­cludes flakes of bar­ley, oats and rye. Mary also makes sweet en­riched loaves with fruit and spices, in­clud­ing the clootie loaf which uses eggs from Balvicar on Seil, Scot­tish butter, mo­lasses, raisins, sul­tanas, cur­rants and spices.

‘Lu­ing is a great place to es­tab­lish a small bak­ery as it has a long and fine tra­di­tion of home bak­ing,’ she adds. ‘It has an ac­tive Isle of Lu­ing Home Bak­ers group. The cur­rent 18 mem­bers pro­duce very good cakes, bis­cuits, short­bread and savoury items, some of which are also on sale at Lu­ing Stores.’

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