The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

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Who makes the VegVan’s food? Find out more about the people behind the food in your weekly shop

Modern bakery loavesCultivate is delighted to be one of only three Modern Baker wholesale customers and as we’re sure you’ve tasted, the bread speaks for itself. Established in May of 2014, Melissa, founder, and Lindsay, head baker, share a huge passion for healthy, wholesome and tasty food. Modern Baker is the creation of Melissa Sharp who, after falling ill in 2010, discovered the healing powers of healthy food. She took herself off on a number of bread making courses and, quickly realising she needed to work with a professional baker, recruited Lindsay Stark, a graduate of the School of Artisan Food in Nottingham, who shared Melissa’s vision for tasty, healthy, organic foods, especially bread.

Modern Baker only bakes organic sourdough bread and sources their flour from Stoates in Dorset and Oxford resident John Letts’ organic flour that is grown closer to home in High Wycombe (which is also stocked on the Cultivate VegVan).

Lindsey preparing the loaves for the next day
Lindsey preparing the loaves for the next day

Each day, Lindsay puts her loaves for the next day in the ‘retarder’ overnight, this is a cool area beneath the gigantic bread oven that allows the sourdough to slowly prove. If the bread isn’t proved enough she transfers the loaves to a warmer spot before putting them in the oven to be baked fresh for the day’s trading. This long proving process breaks down some of the gluten in the flour and makes the bread much easier to digest, as well as giving it its characteristic sourdough flavour and chewy texture. Large, commercial bread manufacturers such as Hovis take just four hours to process their bread from start to finish. This is thanks to the ‘Chorleywood’ process of bread making that was developed in the 1960s and uses high speed mixing alongside flour treatment agents (usually ascorbic acid and emulsifier) to speed up the proving process, all of which results in bread really high in gluten and devoid of natural health benefits.

It feels brilliant to sell Modern Baker bread and we’ve got brilliant feedback from customers. Not only is the bread incredibly tasty, it also lasts for days, is filling, healthy, lovingly handmade, sustainable and is well worth every penny.