Use your loaf

Jason Geary discusses how the Geary Family has been baking a variety of loaves for many years, and how the business has developed along with the bakery sector

For many years we’ve been developing some really interesting products for supermarkets, but in the last couple of years started to think again about the different types of products we could take out to the market under our own name.

Demand for sourdough and artisanal breads has risen dramatically over the last few years, so we came up with Jason’s Sourdough, a brand that embraced both the heritage of my family’s 120-year-old bakery and the modernity I bring as a twenty-first century baker with a passion for real sourdough breads.

Britain has always been a huge lover of bread and baked goods with new varieties emerging all the time. However, the standard wrapped breads from big brands have fallen out of favour, with consumers instead opting for artisanal and traditionally baked breads with their additive free offerings – which is where we come in.

Jason’s Sourdough is unique because it upholds the quality and heritage of the bread that we have been making for years but with a modern and innovative twist. I felt that there was a gap in the market for a sliced quality artisanal sourdough bread that can be produced in the traditional way but delivered at a scale that can satisfy the demand through the supermarket channel.

Each of Jason’s Sourdough Ciabattin’s are baked using a 24 hour fermentation process typical of small batch sourdough bread, ensuring it has a rich flavour with no need for added sugars, preservatives or additives. We also don’t use yeast, creating traditional sourdough loaves.

Demand drives innovation, leading us to create the classic white loaf, the healthier grains & seeds and the innovative Craft Beer variants.

Our White loaf is the real ‘staple’ classic bread. It’s been nicknamed ‘crumpet bread’ because when its toasted its like a toasted crumpet with a nice mellow sour flavour.

The Grains & Seeds loaf is our healthier alternative for consumers. It is a sprouted spelt seeded loaf. We soak the seeds, which means they are digested better and provides more nutrients than normal seeded bread.

We wanted our final flavour to stand out from the crowd and find its own. I spent a long time trying artisanal craft beers and finally settled on Vixen Copper Ale from our local craft brewery, Charnwood Brewery to create this lovely malty hoppy bread.

Coming up with new recipes and continuing the craftsmanship of my grandfather is a huge part of why I love the industry so much.

Baking is in my DNA and introducing new products is definitely on the cards for us, as we’d like to move more into more unique flavours with sourdough and capture the lunchtime market as things across the UK begin to return to normal.

The sandwich is still the nations go-to lunch and we want to have many options for shoppers to create their ideal lunch with their ideal loaf. Jason’s Sourdough is perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinners with ease and all the flavour of a real bakery loaf.

The sourdough market has had a huge boost in the last ten years and remains a hugely hot topic as more and more shoppers become aware of the benefits of sourdough, from its prebiotic gut health credentials to its overall nutritional value.

Naturally, sourdough is more digestible than your typical loaf, and due to the fermentation process it can help to reduce blood sugar level spikes.

‘Sour-faux’ is also a big talking point in the sector as many bakeries have been adding sour flavours or dried sour into their products to try and get this sought after flavour, speeding up the process, as opposed to using tried and 13tested traditional methods to lovingly craft loaves.

At Jason’s we don’t use yeast in our breads, instead using our 50-year-old mother sour and the very best flours to create true sourdough with the much-loved tangy flavour.

Another hot topic in the sector is fibre, of which our grain & seeds loaf is rich. Like gut health, fibre is an important part of nutritional health, with more awareness around increasing intake over the last few years. Fibre is associated with a healthy balanced diet, as it feeds our good gut bacteria, with some studies suggesting it could even help us to live longer.

In recent years, the amount of publicity around the benefits of healthy and balanced diet has risen, meaning a lot more shoppers are aware of their body’s nutritional needs and how foods are a key element in maintaining our general health.

This and awareness of additives, preservative and sugars in foods have been real drivers in how we developed Jason’s Sourdough. It’s the perfect bread option for those looking to lead a healthier and more natural lifestyle but not looking to sacrifice good taste.

Jason Geary is Managing Director, Geary’s Bakery.
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