Baker of the Week – Andrew Weston
2. What is your favourite Matthews Cotswold Flour and why?
Cotswold Crunch – It gives a lovely malty flavour to any bread, I’ve been using it for years now and would be lost without it!
3. Why do you buy Matthews Cotswold Flour?
Great consistent products and great customer service from a milling dynasty.
4. Where do you buy your Cotswold Flour from?
Large sacks I get direct from the company plus occasionally smaller bags; when stocked, I also get the smaller bags from Aldi.
5. Do you bake for a living or for a hobby (or both!)?
It’s a bit of both really, I bake around a full-time job as a Training Designer for an MOD Contractor but set up my own little micro bakery – Banjo’s Bread, to enhance my hobby and now supply a local artisan bakery with my sourdoughs as well as numerous locals who buy from me direct.
I made sure I was fully covered so have done my food hygiene training, have been inspected by the local council (Rated 5) and am fully insured.
6. Do you have a favourite recipe using Matthews Cotswold Flour, you’d like to share?
My signature bake – WWW by Banjo’s Bread is a simple sourdough that has become a firm favourite, for one small loaf here is my routine:
Andrew Weston’s WWW Bread Recipe
- 125g White Bread Flour
- 125g Stoneground Wholemeal
- 125g Cotswold Crunch
- 75g Wholemeal Rye Starter
- 270g Water
- 7g Fine Sea Salt
- Mix everything except the salt and autolyze for 1 hour
- Scrunch in salt and do a set of stretch n folds
- Repeat stretch n folds every hour for four hours
- Pre shape and bench rest for 20 minutes
- Final shape and into banneton and into fridge for at least 12 hours
- Oven to max – usually about 250C
- Dough into Dutch Oven and into oven
- Reduce oven to 220C and bake, lid on for 40 minutes then 10-15 minutes lid off
7. Why do you enjoy baking – what does it give you?
I enjoy the process, the mixing of such simple and humble ingredients that makes such tasty and nourishing food. The feedback from friends, family and customers is always pleasing as well; my brother in law can suffer with supermarket bread but devours my sourdoughs.
Everyone needs a passion in their life and bread making is one of mine.
I don’t go for all too many weird and whacky flavours that some have done although I was introduced to the delights of Carob flour which, used carefully and with mixed cherries and berries, makes for an amazing slightly sweet and savoury bread, a bit like an unsweetened malt loaf which is also popular.
8. Who’s your biggest fan in real life?
Hard to say really as the wife is not a big fan of sourdough! She is; however, a fan of the standard yeasted loaves I make for her.
9. What is your most triumphant bake and your biggest disaster? And why?
In 2019 I was named Hobbs House Bakeries ‘King of the Sourdough’ and also collected a Bronze Award at the Tiptree World Bread Awards for my signature WWW by Banjo’s Bread.
Like all serious hobby bakers, I have the occasional failure but thankfully they are few and far between and it’s been a long time since I experienced one.