All the way back in 1984, Otley’s Bondgate Bakery started with a great deal of determination and a conviction to bake bread the way it used to be. In those days the Enterprise Allowance Scheme awarded budding entrepreneurs £40 a week to set up their own businesses. So that’s what Steve Taylor did.
It is crucial to us that ingredients are pure and unadulterated and instead of being reliant on mixes and additives, Bondgate has always been about real traditional bread making using locally sourced untreated flours.
Steve, along with his partner, Sally, brought with him a precious selection of family recipes that he learned from his grandmother, a lifelong baker and we still make her Parkin, Christmas Cake Flapjack (we call it Crunch) and Yorkshire Curd Tart.
Bondgate Bakery sells a range of delicious breads and baked goods from its Otley premises and over the years we have developed relationships with a number of retailers and restaurants. We supply a range of Yorkshire clients including Harvey Nichols, Leeds Bradford Airport, Arc Creations and The Tetley in Leeds. You can also find us at Headingley Farmer’s Market on the second Saturday of each month.
We hope you can try our delicious hand made breads and cakes either in any of these places or direct from the Otley shop.
Traditional baking v Factory baking
Breadmaking is an ancient art: Yeast risen bread dates back almost four thousand years to ancient Egypt, where bakers discovered the secret of yeast and learnt how to control it, making bread (and brewing beer) and constructing ovens for baking several loaves of bread at a time.
Traditional home baking almost disappeared in the mid twentieth century, replaced by sugar-dosed, commercially produced, pre sliced white bread. Many people grew up never experiencing the taste of a home-baked loaf made with flavourful stoneground flour. The recent revival of interest in artisanal baking has given people a taste for traditional baking and baking techniques.
The Chorleywood Bread Process
The Chorleywood Bread Process was developed in 1961 and was a mass production technique that revolutionised the way bread was made. For the first time, lower protein wheats could be used, and the bread making process involved intensive high speed mixers to combine flour, improvers, vegetable fat, yeast and water to make the dough. The process sped up fermentation and therefore the production process, by introducing a cocktail of enzymes to create a finished product: soft, squishy, cheap loaves with a very long shelf life and that often contained GM and allergenic residues.
While solving postwar problems of ensuring that there was enough bread to feed a growing population, the bread created using this process was nowhere near as nutritious as old fashioned loaves.
New legislation has improved things no end, as has a growing interest in traditional methods of bread baking.
Bondgate Bakery has been making bread the old-fashioned way for over thirty years. We don’t use additives, preservatives or mixes