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ADM Milling UK

From then to now… Britain’s Best Loaf

ADM Milling wheat flour mills UK

ADM Milling UK are proud to sponsor Britain’s Best Loaf for the fourth year in a row, our passion is your passion and our aim is to support and help the artisan and craft bakery sector rise and rise.

We cannot wait to see the fantastic and innovative loafs from this year’s competition.

The story so far...

We asked Amy North, Editor of British Baker to tell us about the background of Britain’s Best Loaf and here’s what she has to say:

“Britain’s Best Loaf is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2023. It was established in 2013 with four categories: Innovation, Sourdough, White and Wholegrain. It originally formed part of the Bakers and Butchers Fair and has since moved to the Farm Shop & Deli Show, which takes place at the Birmingham NEC.

The first loaf crowned the ultimate champion was a Cumin & Chickpea Sourdough made by Lee Smith of Poppyseed Bakery (which was known as Bexhill Farm Kitchen at the time). Smith went on to secure four Britain’s Best Loaf trophies over the year and, for the past few years, has joined our expert judging panel.

We’ve had all sorts of loaves take home the title over the years including a Parmesan & Black Pepper Sourdough from Bakerman, a Beetroot Multiseed Sourdough from Seasons Bakery and a Prune & Cardamom Loaf from Joe’s Bakery and a White Tin Loaf from Poppyseed Bakery.

Since it was founded, Britain’s Best Loaf has grown dramatically, and the increasing popularity of sourdough means we split it into two categories – Plain Sourdough and Flavoured Sourdough. We now have seven categories, including a new addition for 2023 in the form of the international category.”

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The competition is now held biennially at Foodex in Birmingham. Foodex Birmingham 2023 will once again welcome over 350 leading processing, packaging, and logistics suppliers to the halls of the National Exhibition Centre, with a supporting programme that includes a variety of cooking and baking competitions, as well as a schedule of insightful talks and lectures.

Every year a panel of experts gather to judge an incredible selection of breads across several categories. This year’s categories are gluten free, innovation, international (new for 2023) plain sourdough, flavoured sourdough, white and wholegrain.

2021 winner: Joe’s Bakery with a Prune & Cardamom Sourdough


In 2021 ADM were proud of our long-standing customer, Joe’s Bakery, for being crowned winner of Britain’s Best Loaf 2021 with the Prune & Cardamom Sourdough.






After the event we caught up with Martin Hunt of Joe’s Bakery. Bristol born and bred Hunt, originally  bought the bakery some 35 years ago, having no background in the baking world. Hunt says, “I chose to invest in the bakery because it looked like a good well-established business that had a bright future.”

“Quality, consistency, service and price are the most important things I look for in a supplier” says Hunt.

Hunts thoughts on his winning sourdough:

“We started doing sourdough very early on, way before the trend had even started to really take off about 12 or 13 years ago. We worked and worked it to make sure we had a consistent sourdough and now we have a very substantial range including original sourdough, mild white sourdough, 50/50 wheat and rye, brown sourdough and 100% rye sourdough” says Hunt

He continues by telling us the winning breads were very much a team result and praised the huge effort of his 35 staff, which includes his wife Jane and company directors Wayne Thick and Jenny Rogers. Wayne has been bakery manager for several years now and along with his partner Jenny (shop manager) they hope to take the business over in the coming years.

Read the full interview here:

The rising experts

Not only do we sponsor the event but we also have our very own experts on the judging panel.

Let’s meet the judges…

2020 and 2021 Keith Wooller, National Technical Support Manager

About Keith

Keith’s vast knowledge and experience over the past 52 years within the baking industry, has seen him start from a small craft bakery in Essex to heading a team of technical specialists as the National Technical Support Manager at ADM Milling. His diverse role sees him involved with NPD, recipe formulations and creations alongside troubleshooting advise to both internal and external colleagues.

Keith was our first judge to take part, with his wealth of knowledge in the baking industry here’s what he had to say about his time as a judge:

“Having judged many Bread and Confectionary competitions over the years, it was interesting to be involved with Britain`s Best Loaf especially during continued strange times (the pandemic), which meant that unfortunately judging took placed behind closed doors in 2021.

The Britain`s Best Loaf competition did not differ too much from any I have judged previously, you are always looking for visual, crumb structure, aroma, taste, and overall quality.”

Even with the restrictions in place, it was a fantastic day and there the winners were well deserved.

Read all about Keith’s day here

2022 Anna Perz, Product Development, and application Manager

About Anna

Anna’s enthusiasm and extensive experience in development and gristing drives her passion for quality and taking new ideas to the result. She believes that behind every success is a good team and good quality detail orientated work. In her current role at ADM Milling, she is leading product development and application and is involved in all technical aspects of wheat and flour quality.

We spoke to Anna’s about her thoughts and experiences from her time at Britain’s Best Loaf

Having judged BBL in 2022, tell us about your career and how that has given you an understanding of what Britain’s best loaf should be?

  • “I am Product Development and Application manager, leading ADM’s activity in products innovation not only for ADM, but also for our customers. The experience in judging BBL last year was a very positive one. It enabled me to meet fellow judges as well as see and taste a whole range of baked goods. This has showcase how innovative our bakers are and how important it is to have an opportunity to display this in a wider arena, not just at individual bakeries”.

When judging; the competition gave you its own parameters for what to look out for, but did you have your own personal attributes that you kept an eye out for when judging?


  • “For judging I was teamed up with an excellent pair, one was Alexandra Vaughan, a baker and previous BBL title holder for one of the categories, and the other was the president of Craft Bakers Association – Neil Woods. Together with my experience gained in the milling industry we made a good team, being able to combine industry standards with innovative thinking. We were judging gluten free and wholemeal categories. When judging it was key for me to make sure the winning loaves combined creative ideas with an excellent loaf structure and external appearance”.

What was the feeling like being surrounded by great bakers putting their life experiences and own cultural spins into loafs that represent themselves and their bakeries, was it an exciting atmosphere?

  • “The judging was an excellent experience. Seeing all these wonderful loaves of bread was so uplifting, especially as we all were just starting to join back in with the social gathering and trade shows after Covid. The loaves looked fantastic, and the smell of freshly baked loaves was so powerful. To top it all the BB has created an excellent display, showcasing all the baked goods. The bakers have done a great job showing their skills and innovative side, using a wide range of ingredients and techniques. The day was a great opportunity to see the passion, talent, and skills that British bakers have”.

Read all about Anna’s experiences of the day here


And new for 2023 this year’s judge is

2023 Gareth Edwards, Commercial Manager

About Gareth

Gareth’s passion and extensive experience in the industry began at Cardiff Bakery College. Throughout his early career he worked in artisan bakeries and multiple retailers across the UK before joining ADM.

Gareth has held several sales roles at ADM spanning a 27-year career to date. Today he is responsible for the Bakery Division and collaborates with his Technical and Marketing colleagues to develop and take new ideas to market. He believes success comes from a good team prepared to go the extra mile with quality ingredients.




In the lead up to the event, we wanted to get Gareth’s thoughts and feelings about this year’s event

  • Having come from a baking background yourself, how do you feel Judging Britain’s Best Loaf, and do you wish you were able to enter this competition when you were baking?
    • Yes, but there were others to enter which I did.
  • When judging the competition what will you be looking out for?
    • Good shape, colour, smell, texture, and all-round appearance.
  • Do you feel as if you have an appreciation for the process the bakers are going through, putting their all learning and experience in these loafs to be judged?
    • Oh yes, they will be going to some lengths to make bread to be entered into such a competition.

Let us give your bakery business an edge by supporting you with product guidance, technical advice and support, inhouse point of sale and much much more.

Our Ingredients Bake All the Difference

ADM offers a very comprehensive portfolio of tried-and-tested flours, on-trend specialty milled ingredients, baking mixes and complementary ingredients—all backed by over a century of milling experience. Our bakers, millers and technical experts are at the ready to help you select the right ingredients for better baking results and to achieve your business goals faster.

The Right Products – ADM offers a variety of flours and specialty milled products and continues to develop more—to meet the functional and quality needs of our customers and their customers.

Excellence That’s Baked Right In – ADM provides the highest-grade flours and blends to help your baking business succeed, batch after batch and loaf after loaf. We offer the best flours and blends available and deliver the reliability and trust you need to ensure higher quality, better performance, and more consistent yields.

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