10 of the best bakeries in East Anglia
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Sample some of the best bread in the east of England this Real Bread Week.
Real Bread Week begins on Saturday (February 24) so let's celebrate – and eat!
Pump Street Bakery, Orford
This cute village bakery makes bread, patisserie and even chocolate from scratch. A member of the Real Bread Campaign, you can be assured there are no additives, softeners or preservatives used here – just proper ingredients. Try the walnut and cherry sourdough with a smidge of cream cheese. And don't deny yourself one of the Canadian butter tarts!
The Penny Bun Bakehouse, The Box Southwold
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Norfolk baker Johnny Spillings comes from a Michelin kitchen background – and you can see this quality in all his baked goods. As well as supplying pubs and restaurants in the county, last year he became a regular fixture at The Box in Southwold (a pop-up space behind the bus stop on the high street) where you can find his wares on Saturdays. Think North Sea sourdough, curry and onion seed baguettes and apple butter croissants. Need we say more?
The Cake Shop Bakery, Woodbridge
This multi-award-winning bakery is in good hands with David Wright at the helm, who's grown the profile of the business exponentially – so much it had to expand its baking operation to a site at Bentwaters last year. The bakery is rammed with traditional, rustic and elegant artisan loaves. It's actually so hard to decide what you want you'll come away with a bagful.
Tudor Bakehouse, Diss, Eye, Harleston and Long Stratton
These bakeries are much-loved by their communities, bringing hand mixed, hand shaped, freshly baked bread from the oven every morning. As well as classic loaves they like to do a few things a bit differently too. There's cornbread with a touch of spice and sunflower seeds. And a beautifully textured 100% spelt and rye. The bakeries are known for their brownies and luxury all butter caramel slices too.
Palmers Bakery, Haughley
Palmers is all about tradition. The bakery has passed through several generations of the Palmer family, and those values instilled at the very beginning still stick. All bread, pastries and cakes are finished by hand, with bread cooked in the site's ancient brick ovens. Perhaps the most famous exports from here are the bakery's hot cross buns. They still nail a hot cross bun up in the bakery every year for good luck.
Dozen Bakery, Norwich
A previous winner and finalist in the Norfolk Food and Drink Awards, there's no compromise on quality here. Bread is crafted from organic, stoneground East Anglian flour, natural yeast, salt and water –that's it. Each loaf enjoys a longer fermentation period for the best flavour, and is then hand shaped and baked on stone. We rather like their pesto and cheese scroll bread with a bowl of soup. And Albert Roux loved their apple, red onion and rosemary sausage rolls.
Wooster's Bakery, Bardwell
A winner in the 2017 Suffolk Food and Drink Awards, this bakery is headed up by talented young baker Will Wooster, and can be found in a sweet little windmill. Absolutely everything is stunning, and the recipes unique, from the impossibly soft and fluffy white Scotch loaves, to the most divine, dark, sticky malt loaf you'll ever try. As well as at the bakery you'll find Wooster's at Hadleigh market on Fridays, Bury St Edmunds market on Wednesdays, and Wyken Farmers' Market on Saturdays.
Bircham Windmill, Great Bircham
This is a bit of a curve ball. It doesn't reopen until March 28, but we think it's worth seeking out. It's one of the finest remaining examples of a working windmill in the east, and there's something rather magical about buying bread from a bakery at a windmill that mills its own flour. For a few pounds you can even have a go at shaping your own dough, which will be proved and baked for you to take home!
Two Magpies Bakery, Southwold
They really do take bread seriously here - and you can watch how seriously through the viewing window in the café. Dough is made with Marriage's flour, water, salt and a 200-year-old sourdough culture. The counter bursts with gorgeous baked goods, be that the World Bread Award-winning fig and fennel sourdough, chocolate double Broadside cake or, on Saturdays, cinnamon swirls and gruyere, red onion and black pepper sourdough.
Timberhill Bakery, Norwich
The bakers here celebrate the true essence of bread. Every loaf is made with all-natural, organic ingredients and fermented for 40 hours before being baked in an artisan French stone bread oven. Check out the bakery's unique sourdough with unusual seeds and grains (einkorn, Khorasan, spelt, quinoa and sesame), and try the selection of cakes and pastries, which are now all dairy-free or vegan.