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Britain's Best Loaf 2022

A Parmesan & Black Pepper Sourdough Loaf from Bakerman in Darlington has been crowned Britain’s Best Loaf 2022.

It fought off stiff competition from loaves across six categories – Gluten Free, Innovation, Plain Sourdough, Sourdough with Other Ingredients, White and Wholegrain – to secure the ultimate accolade.

The sourdough, which took the top spot in the Sourdough with Other Ingredients category, was praised by the judges for its bold flavours as well as punchy aroma and the technical expertise it displayed.

“Well done to all the winning and highly commended loaves,” said British Baker editor Amy North. “We were thrilled with the quality and quantity of the loaves entered. It was fantastic to see the passion, skill and innovation from Britain’s bakers shining through.

“I’d also like to extend a huge thank you to the judges and sponsors who made the day possible.”

Britain’s Best Loaf 2022 – sponsored by ADM, Bako, Lesaffre, Brook Food, Délice de France and Food Paper – took place on 25 April at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at NEC Birmingham. The judging line-up comprised:

  • Alexandra Vaughan, owner/head baker, The Crow’s Rest Bakehouse
  • Amy North, editor, British Baker magazine
  • Andrew Layte, technical sales manager, Lesaffre
  • Anna Perz, research and development manager, ADM Milling
  • Clare Barton, owner and head baker, Bakehouse at 124
  • Clare Powell, technical baker, Bako Group
  • James Maye, product manager/baker, Delice de France
  • Lee Smith, baker and owner, Poppyseed Bakery
  • Martin Hunt, owner, Joe’s Bakery
  • Mike Holling, retail sales director, Birds Bakery
  • Neil Woods, president, Craft Bakers Association
  • Steve Wells, managing director and owner, Brook Food
  • William Leet, bakery development technologist, David Wood Foods

Here’s the full list of winning and highly commended loaves:

Gluten Free

Winner: Smoked Beetroot & Sweet Chilli Loaf, Stir Cambridge

This lovely loaf triumphed in a diverse category. The judges described it as an “attractive looking loaf with a great taste”. It was praised for its innovative use of ingredients, which included smoked beetroot, as well as the even and plentiful distribution of that ingredient.

Highly Commended: Gluten Free Seeded Loaf, Two Magpies Bakery

Innovation

Winner: Turmeric, Red Onion & Nigella Seed Sourdough, Bakerman

This nicely baked loaf stood out thanks to its enticing aroma and vibrant colour, according to the judges, who also praised it for its beautful appearance. 

Highly Commended: Turmeric Sourdough with Cranberries and Walnuts, The Baking Room

Plain Sourdough

Winner: Everyday Sourdough, Bakehouse at Cakesmiths

This “ticked all the boxes for a wonderful plain sourdough”, according to the judging panel, who praised the loaf for its nice crust, attractive appearance and balanced flavour.

Highly Commended: White Sourdough, The Danish Bakery

Sourdough with Other Ingredients

Winner: Parmesan & Black Pepper Sourdough, Bakerman

The ultimate champion of Britain’s Best Loaf 2022 brought strong aroma and flavours to the competition. The pepper provides a punchy kick which complemented the parmesan, according to the judges, who were also impressed with the overall look of the loaf as well as the quality of the internal structure.

Highly Commended: Fruity Botanical Sourdough, Country Style

White

Winner: White Farmhouse Loaf, Elsie May’s Cafe, Bar & Bakery

A good prove and good bake resulted in a soft white loaf which pleased the judges who believe this, combined with its appearance, has strong consumer appeal.

Highly Commended: White Tin Loaf, Seasons Bakery

Wholegrain

Winner: Malted Barley Sourdough, Lovingly Artisan

The rustic look and delicious flavour made this loaf a standout in the wholegrain category, according to the judges.

Highly Commended: Watford Sour, Flourish Craft Bakery

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