ADM Milling are proud to have sponsored Britain’s Best Loaf for the fourth year in a row, our passion is your passion, and we aim to support and help the artisan and craft bakery sector rise and rise.
This year was extra special as Britain’s Best Loaf was celebrating it is 10-year anniversary. The winners have been crowned and a great and inspiring day was had by all
The days itself…
The team of industry experts took to the arena to judge this year’s event. This year saw the biggest number of entries to date. Winning a Britain’s Best Loaf award is a fantastic way to promote your business, and help it grow to new heights
Our very own Gareth Edwards (Commercial Manager, ADM Milling Ltd) was representing Team ADM for 2023 as one of this year’s judges.
The day in a life of Britain’s Best Loaf judge Gareth Edwards.
Having accepted the invite to be a judge at Britain’s Best Loaf 2023 and knowing events like this can cause long delays for the surrounding areas, I stayed in Birmingham the night before.
After a great night’s sleep, I was eager and ready to get going, so, the morning of the competition I left my hotel very early to avoid any delays. This meant that I arrived in the car park at 8.15am, well ahead of the 10am start.
As I made my way towards the venue, I met with a commercial team member of one of ADM’s existing customers, who I had not met before. This was a great start to my day as it’s always great to meet and network.
On arrival at the stand, I spoke to the event organiser, who told me what to expect. It was great to meet all the other judges (customers and other event sponsors). It was then time to get our judging heads on, so we all put on our white coats and bread knives were drawn ready to commence judging. I was partnered with Katie-Joy Woods from the Jackson’s Bakery Technical team – she was great to work alongside and to share views and opinions with. We were given the wholegrain and the white categories, which also included some sourdough loaves too.
“When judging we were looking at external appearance, internal colour, structure, smell etc”
After four hours of cutting, smelling, looking, feeling, tasting, and marking, the winners were chosen. Overall, both Katie and I chose the same two loaves as the standout for each of our categories, alongside a highly commended for each of the two categories as well. All four products were placed alongside entries from other categories to allow the full judging team to gather and deliberate on which products won each category. The final decision to be made was who would be crowned the Britain’s Best Loaf Champion and who would win the highly commended of the whole contest. So, by then the excitement was really building.
“Great atmosphere with anticipation and excitement from the gathered crowd as the judging got underway” says Gareth
I always wondered how they arrived at an outright winner and now, having taken part in the process, I can say it was a very good process to arrive at the final decision. Once everyone agreed and everything was finalised, we went our separate ways for lunch and I had the chance to have a walk around the expo, look at the various exhibitor stands.
Returning at 2.45pm to gather for a drinks reception for everyone taking part I met up with the rest of the ADM team who had attended the day (Ben Windrow, Tina Glen, Laura Passingham and Laura Hensley). It was then time for British Baker editor Amy North to announce the winners, and I was “up next” to present the award to the winner and highly commended of the category that Katie and I judged. Both the winner and highly commended were extremely pleased to have been recognised. Presentations continued, and then came the announcement of the outright winner. The winner (Miyo Aoetsu) was very pleased, to say the least.
Entrants and judges then started to make their journeys home. Before doing so, I was able to catch up with some customers and the rest of the ADM Team; finally heading home”.
A very well done to all who entered. The awards are fantastic for our industry and, hopefully, entry levels continue to expand year after year. The standard of product was outstanding.
And the winners are………
Britain’s Best Loaf winner for 2023 was the Brioche Japonais, it fought off some stiff competition from more than 150 loaves across all seven categories – Flavoured Sourdough, Gluten Free, Innovation, International, Plain Sourdough, White, and Wholegrain.
Britain’s Best Loaf 2023
Winner: Brioche Japonais, Kuma-San Bakehouse
Winner: Cheddar, Wild Garlic & Walnut Sourdough, Blackbirds Micro Bakery
Highly Commended: Dark Chocolate Malt with Orange Sourdough, Lovingly Artisan
Winner: Gift Loaf, Hobbs House Bakery
Highly Commended: Gluten-Free Artisan Loaf, Two Magpies Bakery
Winner: Brioche Japanois, Kuma-San Bakehouse
Highly Commended: Breadcrumb Infinity Sourdough, Bread Source
Winner: Rosemary & Sea Salt Focaccia, Masa Bakery
Highly Commended: Baguette, Harvey & Co
Winner: Country Sourdough, Masa Bakery
Highly Commended: Charlecote Special, Corner Cottage Bakery
Winner: White Farmhouse Loaf, Stir Bakery
Highly Commended: Welsh Cob, Joe’s Bakery
Winner: Multiseed, Flourish Craft Bakery
Highly Commended: Sprouted Spelt & Grains, Bread Source
Representing the ADM Milling commercial team at the Food and Drink Expo, Ben Windrow – Account Manager from ADM got to watch the Britain’s Best Loaf event unfold.
It really was a great opportunity to meet new businesses, introduce myself and to talk about the added value that ADM can offer. The expo was incredibly busy, and the atmosphere was fantastic.
I enjoyed walking round the different stands, listening to the different conversations people were having, and most of all, understanding what businesses ADM could offer solutions too.
It was interesting to see the level of detail the judges go into when judging each loaf, reflecting on how much effort went into the making of each product.
I really enjoyed the day and I felt everybody attending Britain’s Best Loaf was proud to be there, and there was a real sense of excitement throughout.
When the judges announced the awards, it was great to see the faces of the winners, who were so pleased to be up on the stage, knowing how much time and effort they spent on their product. The number of people in attendance for the awards was great to see, as well as the variety of breads on offer, and I think Britain’s Best Loaf stage attracted a lot of attention.
A shout out to Joe’s Bakery ……
Long standing customer of ADM Joe’s Bakery not only won the crown in 2021 but was given a highly commended with their Welsh Cob in the white category. This year they entered several categories in the competition using our Vienna Springs, Special Wholemeal and Molina flours.
We caught up with Jenny and Wayne the Bakery Managers of Joe’s Bakery and here is what they had to say:
Tell us about what ADM flours you used in your entries and what loaves did you enter?
We entered 8 loaves of bread into the competition, 7 of which were made using ADM flour, our mild white sourdough, original sourdough, seeded sourdough and jalapeno and cheese sourdough were made using ADM Molina flour. The city bread and Welsh cob were made using the ADM Vienna Springs. And the wholemeal sourdough was made using ADM Special Wholemeal.
Do you sell the loaves in your bakeries, if so, is your Welsh Cob firm favourite?
The loaves we entered into Britain’s Best Loaf are some of our best sellers in our two retail shops, many of these loaves have been around in our shops for over 8 years and are firm favourites with customers and staff, whereas the jalapeno and cheese sourdough is still pretty new to the shelves but still a good seller.
The Welsh cob is something that we did many years ago and have recently re-introduced to our shops, so we thought it was time to enter in it to completion and see how it got on. I remember my grandad bringing me home one to try when I was young, and it is definitely one of my all-time favourites. The crust has the best flavour ever!
We have heard about your recent expansion, tell us about that?
We took the decision to install a new set of gas deck ovens, as our old gas rack oven had over time become inefficient. After the help and guidance of the manufacturers, these are now installed and being put to good use, baking all of our sourdough alongside many other products.
How will you be celebrating your highly commended?
We were very pleased to have received a highly commended on one of our entries. This year they had such a huge number of entries and feel very lucky to have one acknowledged. We always love to attend events like Britain’s Best Loaf and love to see that there is still a passion for baking.
What a fantastic day! The display of bread looked and smelled amazing! I loved watching the judging process, listening to the bakers’ stories of how they came to be there and sharing in the joy of those who were crowned winners. It really is such a remarkable accolade for all of those who walked away with a winning rosette or highly commended and can help propel a bakery business to new heights. We are very honoured to be involved and proud of all those who entered. I cannot wait to see what next year’s Britain’s Bets Loaf Competition brings. – Laura Passingham, Marketing Executive
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