Here at Monkey Puzzle West Norwood we are truly dedicated to ensuring that children are provided with healthy and nutritious meals. We provide fresh fruit, porridge, our tasty homemade museli, 3 grain cereals and we only provide boxed cereals with minimal sugar content. In addition to this we are working with Christopher, a local baker from Christopher’s Baker, who shares our ethos and will be providing us with fresh Sour Dough and Rye bread.
Christopher only uses the best flour to make his bread…….
Our Bread Philosophy
We make our bread throughout the day rather than through the night in contrast to many other bakeries. We do this for a few reasons, that it provides our customers with fresher bread that has not been waiting overnight for delivery and provides in our view a better quality of life for our bakers. The inevitable downside however is that we do not have fully stocked shelves first thing in the morning as most of our bread is brought out fresh and often still warm from the oven. The only exceptions being bread made predominantly from rye flour which is better eaten the next day and beyond as they have pronounced longevity, and our 100% wholemeal which has similar qualities.
We use Bioreal Organic Yeast, normally fresh but sometimes dried when stocks are unavailable, or our own natural sourdough starters whom we’ve christened Johnson, Snow White and Dominic. Commercial yeast production involves artificial growth substances and other chemicals such as sulphuric acid, ammonia, ammonium salts and synthetic vitamins. Organic yeasts are cultured in organic nutrient solutions made from organic grain and pure spring water and all raw materials and microorganisms are non-GMO.
Our bread is made completely onsite, shaped by hand and baked in handmade ovens imported from a lovely family in Belgium. Each oven uses no more power than a household kettle and yet produces bread of a quality that matches any large conventional deck oven.
Our first batch of bakers have been trained from scratch by us to meet the standards and practices needed to create bread of distinctive flavour and texture. We have focused on recruiting a team of local people who mostly live in the roads surrounding the bakery. Some were keen home bakers but none came with habits or fixed ways of thinking that could have created a reluctance to try both old and novel techniques.
We often take time to make our bread in a way that others such as most supermarkets would not because of the costs involved and their need for speed; in contrast we will happily take 3 days to make a loaf because it produces a better flavour and texture.
We have a very simple basic principle – if it isn’t amazing don’t make it. We have spent years finding the recipes and techniques we use and are particularly indebted to Maurice Chaplais from Maison Chaplais, Wayne Caddy from the School of Artisan Food, the team at Le Cordon Bleu London and Christopher’s daughter Tiffanni who worked on developing many of our products including the ‘bloomer’ named after her.
We also use the finest ingredients we can source for example our flour (mostly organic) comes from Shipton Mill, the Bioreal organic yeast, fine sea salt and organic omega rich seeds – Sesame, Flax, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Millet and chopped Rye.
Because we often use slow fermentation processes that soak flour and grains overnight the natural flavours are released, more nutrients are available and they are more easily digested than bread which is forced to ferment and baked quickly.