Luing Bakery success at Highland show
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.’