Baking classes at One Mile Bakery Tadcaster
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 April 2020
Copyright Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd
Baker-on-a-bike Phil Gostling invites you into his kitchen to learn the tricks of his bread-making trade
There are few things in the world nicer than the warmth of a toasted slice of newly-baked bread dripping with butter. Crisp crust, soft middle. Small pleasures.
Just an hour or so in to our baking day with Phil Gostling and we’ve stopped for coffee, jam and toast. It’s the shape of things to come on a most delicious and indulgent food adventure.
Within the walls of the handsome home he shares with his doctor wife Emily and children Monty, three and Evie, one, Phil has created a clever little micro bakery that enables him to combine his food passions with a new approach to family life.
Phil is a rugby-mad sports teacher, but also a food lover. Aware of an element of teacher ‘burn out’, he decided to cut back his hours and set the timer on a new life as a part-time baker in their home town of Tadcaster.
The tricks of his trade are cleverly thought out. Doors of a cupboard in the corner of the kitchen slide back to reveal a slick set up – a neat industrial oven beneath a ladder of proving shelves and all the kit needed for the new venture that is One Mile Bakery.
The kitchen table becomes a shiny prep area with the addition of a metal table top that can be popped in place for the baking, kneading and rolling part of the cookery lesson day.
Phil literally gets on his bike and delivers gorgeous fresh-as-it-gets bakes to people living within a mile who subscribe to his weekly deliveries. As well as bread you can order sweet bakes such as cinnamon buns, homemade jams and soups.
Remember that Hovis advert? Phil is your modern-day bakery boy – the trousers are longer but the concept isn’t so far away. He’s doing his bit to break down the food miles and taking the concept to a whole new level. One Mile Bakery Tadcaster, as the name suggests, is all about the mile – just the one.
He loves that he gets to deliver the food he makes to his customers in person, on two wheels, and with as little environmental impact as possible.
‘I really enjoy meeting subscribers in my local community each week, and chatting to them about what I’ve made,’ says Phil.
‘The deliveries are a surprise each week, and different each time, and the idea is that it’s a treat brought to your door at teatime,’ he says. ‘I go out delivering in all weathers – one of my customers insisted I popped in for a cup of tea on a really cold, wet night to dry off and warm up!’
Phil does his baking overnight so it doesn’t impact on family life – but of course the little ones are thoroughly encouraged to get their hands floured up.
Everything is pre-ordered so there’s no waste and delivered by bike in 100% plastic-free, compostable packaging. Phil uses homegrown produce, exchanging bread for gluts of fruit and vegetables locally, plus the very best seasonal produce from local suppliers.
The delivery service is proving hugely popular, so much so that Phil already has a waiting list. ‘There’s definitely a demand in Tadcaster for real food - knowing where it comes from, meeting the person who made it, and appreciating that it doesn’t cost the planet. I’m opening new delivery slots each week to try and meet the demand,’ he says.
Phil is a great teacher and his classes are as much about taking some time out as they are about honing a bread-making skill.
The small groups encourage chat, laughter, creativity and experimentation. There’s something very mindful about smearing a huge square of Babka dough with runny chocolate and spreading it with a knife before rolling, plaiting and nurturing it to the baking tin. When it emerges from the oven, well, just wow.
We make beer bread – after all, this is the land of the brewery, so Sam Smiths’ Yorkshire Stinger finds its way to the dough in a process called ‘autolyse’ – the ingredients are mixed together but not all the liquid is added, so you can do it in advance then leave it to do the hard work itself. When the time comes to bake, add liquid, knead and pop in the oven.
In his classes, Phil does some of the prep beforehand – weighing out flour, that kind of thing, so that you’re straight in there, adding the yeast and kneading your dough in no time. You’ve got a loaf in the oven in time to stop for the first bread and jam feast of the day.
While another bake happens, Phil serves up a fresh and lovely lunch – fresh mackerel, celeriac soup, more bread – and the loaf of dreams; filled with leeks, cheese and potatoes.
When the third bake of the day is in the oven we have afternoon ‘snacks’ of cinnamon buns as we await our clever bakes’ emergence from the oven. We are chuffed to bits with our baking booty.
No wonder Phil’s addicted.
‘I used to just bake at weekends, and then it grew into baking a few times a week,’ he explains.
‘I think I knew I had to turn this into part of my working life when I found myself volunteering to work early morning shifts at the village boulangerie during our summer holiday in France last summer! I love teaching people this fantastic skill.
‘Complete beginners leave the classes with bags full of bread and the confidence to bake at home, and bakers with a bit of experience can extend their repertoire. That’s such a satisfying day’s work for me.
‘It’s a great way for fans of Bake Off to get their bake on,’ he laughs, and nothing smells better in the kitchen than a loaf of bread baking when you’ve made it yourself.
‘It’s all about gorgeous handmade, homemade food to share with people you love.’
Due to the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, and following government guidelines, all One Mile Bakery baking classes are postponed until further notice.
Visit the website for further updates www.onemilebakery.com/tadcaster/