The Flour Station

Your Daily Bread

Fri 11 Nov

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BRINGING SELL-OUT SOURDOUGHS TO NW1 ALL DAY, EVERY DAY

When you can smell bread before you see it you know it’s going to be good. For this delicious aroma, follow your nose to our North Yard where you’ll now find the first bricks-and-mortar bakery from sourdough supremos, The Flour Station.

This open kitchen and cafe started out in Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. Straight from the oven speciality loafs and pastries are their thing, however they’re also open late serving some of our favourite things in the world: cheese, charcuterie, fine wine, and to finish, cake.

Manager director Catriona Watt-Smith’s family has been kneading dough since 1872. We find out more about the rise of this farmer’s market favourite.

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How did The Flour Station start?

Since starting in the kitchens of Fifteen restaurant 14 years ago, and launching as The Flour Station at Borough Market in 2004, we have always been committed to bringing the most authentic breads to the markets, kitchens and delicatessens of London.

Drawing on English and Italian baking traditions and using the finest ingredients, our range includes award winning London Bloomer, Rye and Focaccia breads and the beautifully rustic Tortano made with potato and honey. In 2007 we moved to a wonderful new bakery in north west London, growing our capacity and team of master-bakers but not compromising on the attention to detail and artisan techniques we have always practiced. Jamie is no longer involved in the business – he has a lot of other projects! – but we still make many of the breads that were created 14 years ago.

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How has the business grown?

It was always wholesale as well as markets – the only change has been that Jamie is no longer a part of it as of last year. Nothing has changed as to who we are or who we serve, only that we have now created the permanent market cafe working with our market partners.

We took Jamie’s concept wholesale – we now deliver freshly baked bread to restaurants, cafes, delis and sandwich shops all over the London. We then started selling our bread directly to customers at Borough Market. It was such a success that we expanded to farmer’s markets around London, nine in total. We still have a stall at Borough and three of our loafs are named after it. Camden Market is our first cafe concept.

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What’s special about your bread?

Bread is such a basic but beautiful product. To be good, it needs care and attention. That’s why we still do everything by hand. One batch alone takes 48 hours to produce.

what we’re really passionate about is sourdough. We use wild, airborne yeasts to leaven our bread resulting in a deep and complex flavour. We produce mild, medium and strong varieties including crusty French baguettes, ciabattas, olive and walnut loafs, fruit breads, focaccias…

What’s your dream sandwich?

You can’t beat ham and cheese. Go for a good quality ham, Neal’s Yard cheese – I’m a big fan of the Gruyère de Comté at the minute – with chutney or a sliced tomato.

For more info about The Flour Station and where to find them, click here.