Local bakeries we love, in honour of GBBO
Bake Off is back, so time to drag out the food mixer. Can't be bothered? Fair enough! Put down that spatula and support these local drool-worthy bakeries instead.
It’s Bake Off season and boy are we ready for it this year – the reliability of great bakes (now common parlance thanks to GBBO!), good humour and pure simple TV-shaped joy. And this year, there’s a Dorset competitor in the mix, too. Go Maggie!
GBBO is the televisual equivalent of an open fire and hearty bowl of stew on a freezing February day. It warms the cockles, so it does. Now it’s back on the box, I’ve got a hankering for pastries and cakes with ‘a good crumb’. Here’s Muddy’s pick of the best bakeries in Somerset and Dorset.
M’s Bakery, Bournemouth
Cube croissant anyone? Flakey, buttery, topped with choc ganache, filled with choc creme patisserie and flavoured with tonka bean. Also on the menu: the croissant/muffin hybrid cruffin with strawberry and vanilla creme; pistachio and strawberry tarts; fig and blackberry Danish; plus different artisan breads every day of the week. PS. Their French country sourdough was deemed best in show at the World Bread Awards 2018.
Market Bakery, Somerton and Ilminster
One of Somerset’s best restaurants 28 Market Place in Somerton has its own bakery, serving up freshly baked bread, sweet and savoury pastries, cakes, all sorts of filled sourdough doughnuts (that’s salted caramel with honeycomb above) and their number one seller – and my personal fave – pastel de nata. Got your elasticated trousers on? They do ice cream too. Market Bakery is also at Alice Temperley’s place the Phoenix Studios in Ilminster from Thurs to Sat.
Leaker’s Bakery, Bridport
They’ve been baking on these premises since the 1830s, the shop has fittings from the 1950s and the bread is still baked in original brick-floored ovens. Most of the loaves – spelt, rye and sourdough – are vegan friendly. We like the sound of the cheese and cider loaf; cheese, chilli and beer bread and the floored cobbler ! Nowhere near you? Never fear, their bread, cakes and pastries can all be ordered online, with next day delivery.
At the Chapel, Bruton
At the Chapel is famed for its restaurant and bar but did you realise there’s also an artisan bakery with a wood-fired oven and renowned baker Tom Hitchmough at the helm? Dropping the kids off at school in Bruton every day gave me an excuse to work my way through their full bakery menu, which includes all kinds of traditionally baked breads, croissants, savouries (the Westcombe leek and potato quiche is awesome), biscuits and cakes (I love the Valrhona chocolate and beetroot cake and my daughter adores their iced buns). The coffee to go is great too.
Rye Bakery, Frome
Bread art! Beautiful bread and pastries made with organic flour– some of which they mill themselves from local and ancient grains – from their bakery next to Frome station. Or head over to Rise (formerly the HUBnub Centre) on Wittox Lane, to enjoy in their cafe in a restored 19th century church with contemporary art gallery.
Patisserie Mark Bennett, Poole and Christchurch
Luckily for us, the award-winning baker, who started working at the family business at 16 and trained at the Richemont Centre of Excellence in Switzerland, has lots of bakeries in and around Poole (Penn Hill, Lilliput, Ashley Cross, Broadstone, Fleetsbridge) and Christchurch. Each one sells freshly baked artisan bread, gourmet sandwiches, savouries, cakes, cronuts and Mark’s trademark pâtisserie. This little beauty is re-imagined 70s throwback, Black Forest Gateaux.
The Bertinet Bakery, Bath
The Bath institution, tucked away on New Bond Street (with another branch by the station), sells award-winning, daily-baked sourdough breads, Viennoiserie, cloud meringues, triple layer cakes, sausage rolls and sarnies to eat in or takeaway. Their most popular bake? The one that leaves you with a snowy moustache: the awesome almond croissant.
Le Petit Prince, Wimborne, Ferndown and Westbourne
Formerly of The Lanesborough, The Ivy, The Berkeley, chef owner Micheal and his team of bakers produce over 16 different types of artisan bread including poppy or sesame challah (Fridays only), sweet potato and paprika sourdough and German rye; French patisserie macaroons, eclairs, tortes and tarts (like this lemon meringue tarts above), pastries and savouries. Scoff in their cafe, take away or order for collection the next day.
The Barley Sugar Bakehouse, Crewkerne
Hidden down a back lane in sleepy Crewkerne, this bakery is only open to the public on a Saturday morning (the rest of the time Nigel and Sarah are baking for farmers’ markets and festivals around the South West). Get there early for sourdough breads – seeded, malt, rye and spelt loaves, baguettes, whole meal granaries – and doughnuts, cinnamon buns, sweet and savoury tarts and assorted croissants. Don’t leave without at least one raspberry creme brûlée tart.
Little Bakery, Langport
It may be small but the artisan breads, pastries and cakes it bakes are big on taste. If the weather’s good, slope over to enjoy with a cup of their excellent coffee on the banks of the nearby river Parrett.
Town Mill Bakery, Lyme Regis
Fab bakery and cafe (finalist in the Best Cafe category in the Muddy Awards 2021) in the heart of Lyme Regis, just a stone’s throw from the beach. Brilliant breads, pastries and cakes to eat in or take away. Click and collect online
Lovington Bakery, Wincanton
This is the retail branch of the Lievito Bakery, which supplies artisan breads and pastries to delis and cafes around Somerset. We love what they do with doughnuts: glazed, topped with icing and almonds, filled with chocolate and creme brûlée…