High 5: Regional breads

February 6, 2014

We Brits love our bread. Baking programmes reign our television channels, sandwiches rule our lunches and you only have to step foot in a restaurant and see people tucking into bread, to see its popularity.

However, with bland supermarket loaves all too often the norm, it’s easy to forget about the UK’s many takes on a trusty loaf of bread. So, next time you’re after a loaf, why not opt for something more local? Here are five regional breads to help you get started:

Suffolk Trencher
Woodbridge’s popular Cake Shop Bakery is at the forefront of this ancient loaf which harks back to the Anglo-Saxons. A seedy loaf with lots of flavour, the Suffolk Trencher was developed with the West Stow Anglo-Saxon open-air museum and the actual word ‘trencher’ is Anglo Saxon for ‘plate’. The recipe’s hard to track down, but you can buy the bread from here.

Kentish huffkin
With a signature dimple in the centre (traditionally made by the baker’s thumb), these flat round loaves – sometimes rolls – are a Kentish tradition. Baked in farm kitchens across the county, the huffkins were handed out to farm workers, often with stewed cherries or apples in the indentation. Bake them yourself with this recipe.

Cornish splits
The precursor to the scone, splits are small – and slightly sweet – bread rolls, usually made with sugar or honey. Split open and served with clotted cream and jam is the usual way to eat them, but some opt for the Thunder and Lightening variation, where the jam is replaced with golden syrup or treacle. Bake them yourself with this recipe.

Stottie Cakes
Despite the name, Stotties are more bread than cake with a chewy texture and a taste not dissimilar to sourdough. Hailing from north-east England, these flat, disc-like loaves were revived by Greggs in the 1970s and continue to be sold in the chain’s north-eastern stores. Bake it yourself with this recipe.

Welsh Clay Pot Bread
Baked in a terracotta flower pot, these unusual-looking loaves are typically flavoured with chives, parsley, sage and garlic – although numerous other variations exist including feta, tomato and rosemary, wholemeal courgette flower pot bread and banana bread.

Helena Hamlyn