As promised, here is a review of a few of my favourite treats from Gail's:
Sultana and Hazelnut Rye Bread
I’m currently working my way through a third loaf of Gail’s sultana and hazelnut rye bread, which is so delicious that I broke my rule of ‘trying something new every time’ not once, but twice.
A crusty, flavoursome loaf punctuated with sweet juicy sultanas and whole hazelnuts, this bread is about as far removed from the sliced ‘plastic’ variety as you could hope to find. I like it best toasted in thick slices, drowning in pools of salty melted butter and maybe dotted with strawberry jam…the sultanas hot from the toaster, the hazelnuts toasted golden brown, and the crust even crunchier than before.
TIP: If you struggle to get through a full loaf before it turns stale, slice and freeze any excess on the day of purchase. The just pop a (frozen) slice into the toaster as needed.
Cocoa-brown with a dense, almost peaty texture; Gail’s American pumpernickel has an intensely savoury flavour that is a perfect melding of earthy chocolate and fragrant caraway. The small dark loaf is topped with a generous sprinkling of sunflower and sesame seeds and studded with sultanas.
Egg muffin Florentine
An innovative (and considerably more portable) take on the traditional breakfast dish, this is fantastic cold, and could potentially be even better with a few minutes under the grill (for those with the patience – i.e. not me!) A thick base of dense, doughy English muffin, topped with a thin layer of wilted leeks, and a tangle of vibrant green spinach, cooked to perfection. Salty melted cheese adds another layer of flavour to the mix, while the crowning glory – a golden egg yolk – is magically held together until your first bite, upon which it oozes deliciously (and probably down your chin).
Here is a (very bad) photo – note the ooze in action:
CAKES & SWEET TREATS
Strawberry and rhubarb cake
A perfect ‘breakfast’ cake, this had an incredible texture – moist and dense without being overly rich - and was dotted with juicy morsels of strawberry and rhubarb. One of my favourite things from Gail's, and better than a muffin any day!
Reverse chocolate cookie
There are two varieties of chocolate cookie on display at Gail’s, both located temptingly in front of the till. The ‘reverse cookie’ is the chunkier of the two – generous, shortbread-like discs, thickly sliced from a log of biscuit dough, and studded with big chunks of white chocolate.
This was not a chewy cookie – firm and crumbly, it would be more accurately described as a giant biscuit – but it was delicious all the same. Dark and intensely chocolate-y, punctuated with the sweetness of the white chocolate, this is the perfect treat to share with a friend (or if you’re feeling especially greedy, it’s pretty good all to yourself too!!).
And on that note, I end my (excessively long...) review of Gail's Artisan Bakery!