What's it all about?
e5 Bakehouse began in the spring of 2010, after Ben had taken a short course in the essentials of sourdough bread- making at the School of Artisan Food. Returning to his home in Hackney, he re-invented himself as a baker and set about commissioning and building a clay oven in the corner of a railway arch, which he fuelled using off-cuts from local carpenters. This became home to a small group of bakers, all learning as they went along and sharing knowledge gleaned from books and the internet. Local chefs followed their noses and supported the Bakehouse by becoming wholesale customers, and the local community journeyed with us from our novice beginnings as we developed and refined what we offered. First bread, followed by lunches, then coffee, hot drinks and cakes, which were initially made and delivered to us by locals.
e5 Bakehouse strives to operate our business in as ethical a manner as possible and place great emphasis on our legacy to future generations. We source local ingredients that are grown in systems which benefit the ecological health of the planet, and we work with farmers who share our vision of an Agrarian Renaissance. Making food that is healthy, for ourselves and for the planet, and sharing this process in an open manner with as many people as possible are key aspirations of our company.
Top-quality flour is at the heart of what we do, and we’ve put a lot of thought into where ours come from. Our sourcing influences people and planet, from farmers’ livelihoods to soil health, genetic diversity, CO2 sequestration and biodiversity. Our commitment to sourcing organically grown wheat, and other grains, led us to discover heritage wheats. These are varieties that were grown before the agricultural revolution and thus were not bred for agricultural systems that make use of artificial fertilisers, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides.
We are now growing these varieties at Fellows Farm and stone-milling the grain using our French stone mill at e5 Bakehouse to create the freshest flour for our products and retain the nutritious germ and bran, which are largely lost through conventional roller-milling. We also work directly with other farmers to commission and source genetically diverse grains which are grown, as much as possible, with consideration of the principles we so believe in. We pre-purchase grains at secure prices and support the farmers’ R&D towards more agro-ecological farming practices.