Rebuilding the supply chain

When Real Bread Ireland was launched there was a lot of informed comment from the audience that the disintegration of the supply chain for Irish grains leading to Irish flours for Irish bakers could not be reversed.

It was hard to argue with that truth as it had been learned the hard way over decades of consolidation of bread manufacture in Ireland into a handful of large companies who demanded consistent bland flour in volume and that dictated importation.

Four years later and on the back of a massive amount of hard work and knowledge and passion the situation is changing in Ireland.

Watch the video below from the bunch of gals and guys in Cloughjordan who are slowly learning what it takes to bake Irish real bread from Irish organically grown wheat.

Joe Fitzmaurice and Bruce Darrell star 🙂

Final 2 members of 2016 – both NI

Cheating with this one as writing on 1st Jan – had a very lazy break :-). Also apologies to Jonny of Bread Line who messaged us in October and I missed it completely ;-(

Bread Line. Kilrea, Northern Ireland

Jonny McCloskey is one of the new bakers of 2016 who only started off in February. He’s a little shy on details so I don’t know where you can get his breads but contact details underneath so ask him!

His real breads include Sourdough, Pizza, Bloomers, Tin loaves & Brioche

Facebook Page here

Jilly Dougan, Yellow Door Deli, Northern Ireland

Great to have a second new member from NI, adds nicely to the emerging network in the North, across to Donegal and into the border counties.

“With the exception of our soda bread and scones which contain bicarbonate of soda, all of the bread we produce (over 45 varieties) are “Real”. This has been the case since for nearly 20 years. We make wheaten, crusty farmhouse, granary, sourdough, focaccia, ciabatta, brioche, and buttermilk rolls.”

“We use and/or sell our bread in all of our outlets which are: Yellow Door, Portadown Yellow Door, Lisburn, Yellow Door, Lisburn Rd, Belfast Yellow Door at Ulster Museum Native by Yellow Door at the MAC.

We also sell real bread to a host of restaurant, deli, café, hotel customers from Belfast to Dublin.”

Website here

Facebook here

Welcome both 🙂




New member backlog – welcome to 9 new baker members :-)

In the interests of pulling my finger out and getting these up on the site and into our member listings I am going to do a truncated version of my usual posts so no photos in this one.

Monika Rumpf, Monika’s Biscuits. Dublin

“All my breads are real breads! I was always interested in baking breads, but mostly sticked to white yeast breads. To perfect my bread I attended a sourdough bread course of Richard Bertinet in Bath, UK, and that was life-changing. My starter is 3 years old now. I try to use organic ingredients whenever I can, Irish sea salt, water, and nothing else. Recently started baking bread enriched with kelp and dillisk. Irish, of course! At the moment I am trying to source a more protein-rich flour as I find the Irish one not strong enough.”

Niamh Tait,  The Baker’s Table. Wicklow

“All of these breads are sourdough – Baguette Honey and walnut, Straight up white, Our brown, Roast potato Rye. We also have Buttermilk batch and wholemeal batch. All of our flours are organic.”

Tim and Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School. Cork

“We teach how to make a range of breads with different flours and grains. We also mill some of our own homegrown wheat and heirloom grains to make bread. Brown and white yeast bread, focaccia, ciabatta, a range of flatbreads……..and a completely natural sourdough bread.”

Niall Hill, The Butlers Pantry. Dublin

Our Sourdough is an award winning bread and the most healthy of all our breads, our sourdough starter took two months to develop and is eight years old. The dough is proved for a minimum of 8.5 hrs and is cook right on the stone. Our rustic french baguettes are the real thing ! with a great contrast between crust and chewy dough.”

Casandra Cosgrove & Marian Williams, Friendly Fermenistas. Galway

“Friendly Fermenistas are local sourdough bread producers with an ambition to introduce fresh sourdough bread prepared in a traditional manner using only organic flour, pinch of mineral salt & water. We are enthusiastic and confident that our sourdough bread is both nourishing and tasty. The slow process involved in preparing each loaf ensures that the gluten is broken down and therefore not contribute to any of the discomforts associated with other commercial breads on the market. Casandra & Marian are two qualified Nutritional Therapists passionate about achieving good health through nourishing foods. We are in the early stages of researching that there is a viable market for our bread and as part of this research we will provide a market stall one day a week locally.”

Veronika Rousalova. Sligo Sourdough Bakery. Sligo

“100% organic sourdough microbakery based in Gorteen, Sligo. All our ingredients are certified organic, we use heritage English flour from Shipton mill. No commercial yeast, soda or powder is used. You can find our bread at Rathcormack market, Sligo every Saturday. If you own a shop or a restaurant and are interested in selling or using our bread, please contact us through our FB page above”

PoppySeed Gourmet Cafes c/o The Bridge Centre. Galway

“PoppySeed gourmet cafes set up its offsite bakery in 2015 to centralise production of all breads and pastries for its cafes. Paolo is our Italian head baker who applies traditional methods and generational recipes for all his products. PoppySeed is committed to quality, fresh foods and premium ingredients. Breads are made using only natural ingredients.”

Damian and Florence Cusack, La Boulangerie Francaise. Dublin

“All our breads are freshly made and baked on our premise using a double fermentation process, no additive, no artificial ingredients, just flour, fresh yeast, water, salt…all natural! We also make sourdough bread from a natural starter. we use a high quality French flour and have a variety of 10/12 breads to satisfy every occasions!!”

Heritage Bakery, Wicklow

“We are small home bakery in Carnew and we bake to order. We bake selection of Yeast Breads (Flour, water, yeast, salt and seeds in some of them) Rye Sourdough Breads (Organic flour, sourdough starter, water, salt), other Sourdough Breads (flour, water, sourdough starter, salt).”

Email – heritage_bakery AT

Thats it, lovely to see so many in this update.








Welcome to new members from Oysterhaven and Bangor, NI

First this week is Courtyard Cafe & Bakery in Oysterhaven, Co Cork.

They are part of Walton Court, a mix of self catering accommodation and apartments and, apart from bread, they sell organically grown produce there.

From them: We use organic flour and natural ingredients to make bread for our courtyard cafe, for sale to the public and for our guests.

Website here:

Facebook here

The Frothy Whisk in Bangor, Co Down

Self proclaimed Bangor Bread Peddlers its lovely to have another NI based member especially as we will be having our 7th member gathering in Ursa Minor Bakehouse in November 🙂

From them: Local Bakery specialising in a range of real bread and sweet treats focusing on quality flavour!

They sell online and also to a number of restaurants around them. More on their Facebook page.

Their Facebook page here.

Twitter here.

Welcome to you both and looking forward to meeting up at some stage 😉







Northern Ireland, Athlone & Letterkenny bring us our new members in this update

Kim Close & Peter Moore, Fresh From The Kitchen. Bangor, Co Down

From Kim – My inspiration for making real bread was taking classes with Richard Bertinet in his cookery school in Bath and I have now passed this training on to my son who makes very mean baguettes, ficelle and fougasse. We focus on slow-proved doughs and sourdoughs. A current favourite is a slow-proved white dough with butternut squash and seeds. 

Right now Kim is focused on running bread baking courses – you can see full details on their Facebook Page.

Facebook: Fresh From the Kitchen


Shane Kelly, Mary’s Bakery. Supervalu Athlone

This one was interesting for us to receive as it is the first from a baker within a retail chain like this.

We exchanged emails with Shane and this is what he came back to us with: The bread I make is our white bloomer bread. I do not use any improver in it. It is approximately a 4 hour ferment based on our own starter that I have on the go for last 5 months. I do use some yeast in it also.

I also occasionally make an overnight rye bread which ferments in coldroom overnight. It also has starter and small amount of yeast in it .

Great to see this – thanks Shane 😉


Facebook Page: Supervalu Athlone

Christopher Molloy, The Lemon Tree Restaurant. Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Christopher owns and runs a small 40 seat restaurant and bakes small batches of breads for their menu.

From Chris: We bake sourdoughs mainly plain-rye and Kinnegar Amber ale…We use Irish produced flour and Donegal Seasalt… We bake them in a Dutch oven (casserole pot) here in the restaurant every other day.  All our sourdoughs uses a starter which is 4 years old.

Their Facebook page: Lemon Tree

Their Website:

Their Twitter:

Welcome to the three of you.





Latest members – Limerick, Dublin and Kilkenny

Margaret Ryan-Parish, Magnolia Bakery. Limerick

Margaret bakes both cakes and breads in Limerick and supplies Dargan Wholefoods in Castletroy in Limerick as well as selling direct.

From Margaret: My bread comprises: flour, salt, water organically driven, sustainable, clean food what I am about I use certified organic flour(s) where possible, and a natural leaven (sourdough).



Mags Morrissey, Hedgehog Bakery. Kilkenny

The second of the micro-bakers in this batch Mags has been baking bread for a long time and recently took the step of starting to sell it commercially on a small scale.

In her words: I inherited the baking gene from my grandparents who ran a family business in Tipperary many years ago. I specialise in traditional brown and white loaves, multi grain and seedy loaves, focaccia, stromboli, sourdoughs, sweet treats – cinammon swirls and chocolate rolls

You can buy her breads from The Little Green Grocer, Kilkenny and The Green Sheep in Thurles. You can also buy direct from Mags.



Gilles Gaillot, Emma Gray, Gaillot et Gray. Dublin

Sometimes real bread loving members of the public introduce us to new members and this is one of those. They kicked off as a Greystones pizza truck and now have a bakery by day/pizzeria by night place on Clanbrassil St in Dublin.

From Gilles and Emma: French rustic boule.. A blend of 9 flours from France including buckwheat and linseeds. Brioche. Both baked everyday.

Address: 59, Clanbrassil st Lwr, Dublin 8.



Welcome to all three (or four 🙂 of you.



Dublin and Kilkenny feature in our latest member update

Cakelicious Bakery, Dublin

Dave Murphy is a man known for his cakes. But bread is important to him too. In his words

We bake different types of bread from yeasted to soda. With our main focus on yeasted breads using only minimal ingredients we feel give the best tasting breads. From bloomer to crusty cobs, brown and white and tear and share too a big hit.

We trade with a extensive range every Sunday at Herbert Park in Dublin. Also currently working on extending that to a few small local shops too.



Hardy Foods, Kilkenny

Sile Hoey & Rosemarie Hardy are two friends who started up this oat based bread business in Kilkenny.

From them:

We bake an amazing wheat/salt/sugar/fat FREE bread, our oat bread is high fiber, low calorie, slow release energy. We have an oat bread & an oat & seed bread that we increase omegas by adding pumpkin, seasame, sunflower, chia seeds & goji berries. Wholesome, satisfying & ‘ bowl of porridge in a slice’. Delicious eaten fresh & toasts beautifully to make the very best Spanish toast you ever did taste!

We are selling at local country markets & Cillian Hill Sat market., food festivals around the SE & we were in Herbert Park Dublin on Sat 14th May’16.

Sadly we have no photos of their work – if they send them in we will include them here. Neither do we have a website or Facebook page right now…

Great to have you both on board 🙂


New members – Kilkenny, Waterford (twice)

Eoin Jenkinson, Rive Gauche, Kilkenny

Eoin is a chef and baker in this small restaurant in Kilkenny.

Some interesting details and background from Eoin:

I live to bake not bake to live :). I bake a few different varieties of bread including sourdough curry yeast , brown butter batch rolls and brioche, all of which go through a 48h proving. My signature bread recipe is our traditional brown soda bread without the soda which I call Irish Sour and have replaced the soda with ‘’an laibhín’’ in order to make it real bread. I also love incorporating my bread into desserts, brown bread parfait, sourdough biscuits and oat and seed crackers are among a bakers dozens of examples.

I can proudly say that baking runs in my blood as my grandfather and father were bakers. Their bakery was called ‘The Old Mill’ and it was located in Skerries, Co. Dublin where I am originally from. It was a very unique place back then as it had a two working mills attached to it and this is where the bread making journey was starting to be distributed to our local shops. I was going there myself as a child and I can still remember the smell of the freshly baked goods which as you know is an unforgettable experience. I was 5 at the time and I believe this is when my love for baking began.

Unfortunately in 1987 my family bakery burned down and my father decided to sell it to the local council. It was a significant and traumatic event in my life as to me it meant the end of my family tradition, however as I later discovered not the end of my passion for food and baking. After finishing school I decided to go travelling to discover and learn more about different foods and educate my palate. This was an amazing journey helping me to develop my passion for food and directed me to find the path to become the baker I am now.

I am currently a baker and pastry chef at Rive Gauche, Kilkenny and product developer at Kells Wholemeal, Bennettsbridge, Kilkenny. I am also researching and developing different varieties of breads, improving my baking techniques and educating my customers on the advantages of eating real breads. My ambition is to become one of the experts in real bread making, share my passion and knowledge and together with like minded Irish bakers bring this nearly forgotten method of authentic bread making back to life again.

Rive Gauche website

Eoin’s Twitter account

Source Restaurant, Tramore, Co Waterford

While Source do some real bread baking in house most of the time you will be having real bread from the oven of member Sarah Richards.

Source website

Source Twitter

Ardkeen Quality Food Store, Waterford

Great to have this store and their baker Ceara Dennison on board. They are specialists in Ireland’s artisan & locally produced foods and in existence for nearly 50 years.

From them:

Every morning Ceara will bake off our Classic Mixed Grain Sourdough using natural levain, our Honey and Walnut loaf sweetened with organic Irish honey, 2 types of focaccia using fresh herbs and of course our ever changing Bakers Choice which ranges from a Chocolate Rye Bread to our delicious Hokkaido Milk Loaf (It’s better than Brioche!)

Classic Sourdough:

Organic Wheat flour, Rye flour, Wholewheat flour, Sourdough culture, salt and water

Walnut and Honey loaf:

Wholewheat flour, Wheat flour, Walnuts, Irish Honey, Water, Salt

Hokkaido Milk Loaf

Wheat flour, Milk, Eggs, Sugar, Butter, Water, Salt

More on Ceara:

Ceara studied locally, in the Waterford Institute of Technology in Culinary Arts Department, she gained a Scholarship to Johnson and Wales University U.S.A for a Degree in Baking and Pastry. That experience gave her a love of everything Bread! As she worked as a Pastry Chef through the years, she played around with Breads in work and her own time, following the likes of Richard Bertinet and Justin Gellatly. She is also a member of Breadshare, who’s initiative to use Organic, Local ingredients and focusing on sharing the produce and the consumption of a more sustainable bread is of great interest to Ceara.

Ardkeen also stock real breads from members Arbutus and the Spelt Baker.

Ardkeen website

Ardkeen Twitter

Thats it, welcome to Eoin and Source and Ardkeen 🙂

Couple more on way soon.


Wheat To Eat In Cappoquin – guest post by Joe Barron, Barron’s Bakery


Protein content of Irish grown wheat

Wheat grown in Ireland is suitable for milling into flour for baking soda bread. Due to the protein content of Irish grown wheat and the Irish climate, the flour is not suitable for baking yeast bread.

However in recent years a biodynamic(type of organic) grain has been bred in Switzerland for climates and soils found in Ireland. A biodynamic farmer in Co Wicklow has grown this wheat successfully for the last few years.


Last year we got some of this flour and it baked beautiful brown yeast bread. The next obvious step was to grow some of this wheat in Cappoquin and let the Cappoquin Bakery bake Cappoquin bread!

Aszita is a biodynamic variety

This variety of wheat called Aszita is a biodynamic variety. In short, biodynamic agriculture and gardening is the oldest type of organic agriculture. It was founded by Dr Rudolf Steiner in Germany in the 1920s. One of the purposes of this type of agriculture is to produce food to best nourish the entire human being.

Biodynamic agriculture is practiced throughout the world and in recent years it has become very popular with wine growers because of the high quality wine that it produces. We have been gardening with these principles for many years and were excited and confident about growing this wheat.

This is a winter wheat variety and so ideally it should be sown in September/October, but the excessively wet conditions in 2012 meant that the ground could not be ploughed and tilled until the end of February and the crop was sown in early March. But after that, the weather could not have been more accommodating. After sowing, the weather got cold, the ideal replication of winter conditions for the wheat and the fantastic growing season after that was a great bonus.

Biodynamic agriculture, like organic agriculture, does not use any weedkillers, pesticides or fungicides. After sowing we spray a preparation based on cow manure to enhance root development and later in the growing season, a preparation based on silica is sprayed to enhance the effect of the sunlight. An organic form of potash was applied in early May and in July we sprayed nettle tea to deal with aphids.

Albion Mower Reaper

As the site was unsuitable for a combine, the crop was cut on 9th August with a 1913 Albion Mower Reaper, complete with table for cutting corn and pulled by a Massey Ferguson 35 (1962). Before combines, the crop was cut with a Reaper and Binder and the sheaves that it produced were gathered into stooks. In turn the stooks were piled into a larger heap called a stack in order to let the grain dry out. These were gathered into a barn or rick near the farm yard.

After a month or more of drying , the wheat was thrashed with a Threshing machine. For this small crop, a Barn Thresher – W Doyle, Wexford (1880) was used. Originally this was operated by four horses but has been converted to a tractor pto. The wheat was cleaned by a Perrott Winnowing machine – C Hive Iron Works, Cork (1880). This threshing took place on Larry Hallahans farm with the kind use of his premises and vintage machinery.


In times past the harvest and threshing was a major farm event and all the local farmers helped each other out using the “meitheal” approach. This spirit was still alive on 19 0ctober at Larry’s farm for this event, with a large turnout of local people and even the age old tradition of bringing refreshments out to the workers happened also!

The following figures are an analysis of this wheat –

  • Protein 12.6,
  • Moisture 18,
  • Starch DM 68.1,
  • KPH 77,
  • Zelany 36.8

Ballyminane Mills in Co Wexford

At this stage of the project, the farmer’s work is complete. Before a baker can bake bread, the grain has to be milled. We got it milled at Uncle Aidan’s , Ballyminane Mills in Co Wexford. This mill has been powered for nearly 200 years with water from a mill race. The French Burr milling stones do not overheat, thus retaining all the nutritional values of the wheat. Seeing this type of mill in action was a wonderful experience.

After all the work of growing and milling the grain, what quality flour did we end up with?

The miller had told us that in his opinion it was good quality flour and he proved to be right. The bread baked very well and the nutty, wholesome flavour of the bread was absolutely delicious.

This has been a most interesting and informative project for us. We wish to thank the following people for making it all happen : Charles Keane for providing the plot of land to grow the wheat, Blakeney Massey for his experience and crop management skills, Larry and Paul Hallahan and family members for the use of his machinery and helping hands, Noel Looby for his advice and Micheal Miklis for his advice and experience with these grains.

The taste of this bread is unique and superb

Finally, what was the point of all this effort? We are very well satisfied with our project. It is possible to grow wheat in Ireland that is fit to bake yeast bread when you use this biodynamic Aszita wheat variety. The taste of this bread is unique and superb and it is also highly nutritious.

We ended up growing, harvesting and milling the wheat using old time techniques , meaning the involvement of many people . In former times, there would have been a local mill, so everything from growing the wheat to baking the bread would have been carried out locally. That is a local economy working very successfully for the economic and social benefit of the local people.

Joe Barron, Barron’s Bakery

Our first member in Cavan :-) Picardie Bakery

Its lovely to fill in the counties one by one because real bread is always going to be a local thing so knowing there are bakers 60 or 70 km away generally doesn’t help someone wanting to buy good fresh bread.

So welcome to Richie Carroll of Picardie Bakery. In his own words

“We bake all our breads to traditional recipes and methods. We bulk fermentate and never use additives, preservatives or improvers. 

We are situated in Cavan Water Mill, which dates back to 1847 (fully restored in 1997 to its former working glory). We hope to resume tours of the mill later this year”

Their Facebook page is here.