A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on Hoxton North Espresso and Brew Bar in Harrogate and raved on about the stunning brioche slice with raspberry and almond called Bostock, made by Dumouchel bakery. Well I was soon contacted by them about visiting, to meet the team behind this heavenly delight, and as I couldn’t let this opportunity slip I arranged a look around the earliest opportunity I could.
After a little bit of research I found out that Dumouchel opened in 1998 in the Garforth area of Leeds, and now produces artisan breads, cakes and pastries for weddings, coffee shops and also cater for events. Thierry Dumouchel their master baker has a wealth of experience, having trained at the renowned food college in Rouen, France, and worked all around the world, e.g. in Paris, London, Sydney and Tokyo before opening the patisserie.
When I arrived at the bakery shop the very first thing that happened, once I opened the door, was my jaw dropping and it felt like I was in bakery heaven! A number of my senses were completely heightened, the smell was something else, and I couldn’t get over it for a couple of minutes! If I could bottle it I would!! In front of me was a multitude of breads and patisserie galore for customers to buy, drool over, or both!! It really was a feast for the eyes.
I was greeted by Rebecca who runs the Bakery with husband Thierry Dumouchel. I like to think I’m pretty good at reading people and you could tell this was a couple completely immersed in producing the highest quality products! Rebecca spoke very passionately about what they do and talked me through the process of their bread making. That they use a 15 year old natural rye mother dough starter which had an incredibly intense smell; this is used with some dough from the previous batch of bread in every new batch. Using chemicals of any sort is definitely not an option when it comes to making their bread, and they rely only on using the basic ingredients of flour (French and English), yeast and salt. They allow the dough to ferment for HOURS, depending on the type of bread it can range between 12-18 hours, even up to 36 hours. Such as the Pain-tradition bread which uses the Camp Remy wheat and a fermentation process of 36 hours, allowing the wheat to gradually break down and the richness in flavour and texture to develop.
This is results in the production in some fabulous breads:
Rebecca showed me a selection of the sweet treats they are making, including some of the seasonal delights which they were starting to sell in the shop.
I was introduced to a selection of their gorgeous bakes and pastries which were on sale in the shop and I just wanted to wolf them down, Left to my own devices I would have!!!
I sampled a slice of their Millefeuille at the bakery and it was gorgeous. The word Millefeuille means ‘thousand leaves’, and traditionally a mille-feuille consists of three layers of puff pastry, and two layers of crème pâtissière. With powdered sugar sprinkled over the top layer. The one at Dumouchel is Vanilla and Almond, it was heavenly. The pastry was perfect with all the layers clearly on show, the crème pâtissière filling was silky smooth and with the perfect balance with vanilla. It was a complete winner. I later demolished the rest at home with a cup of tea.
They make wonderful chocolates too including the Median, a white chocolate square with candied orange, French pistachio and almond. I’m not normally a chocolate lover, and it can take me literally minutes to eat the smallest piece of chocolate because I find it too rich and sickly. This on the other hand was a million miles away from that, it was lovely. Creamy white chocolate, the candied orange gave a sweet/sourness, delicate almond and the lovely pistachio from Normandy.
Rebecca very kindly gave me a loaf of their Pain-tradition for my gluten intolerant other half to try, I can thankfully report that the other half didn’t have an adverse reaction to it and enjoyed the bread very much. It may be one we have to eat more often!!
I’m a bit jealous of the people who live in Garforth because they have this luxury on their doorstep!! All those amazing breads, cakes and pastries. They are very lucky people! Even though the bakery itself is in Garforth, you can eat the lovely breads and cakes in and around Leeds. They supply well known coffee shop Laynes Espresso in the City Centre, and Haley and Clifford Delicatessen in Roundhay with some of their yummy wares. They also have an online shop where bread can be purchased and delivered to your home, the breads are lightly baked so they can either be eaten immediately, frozen or finished in a hot oven. They even give the full baking instructions.
It was fantastic to meet the team at Dumouchel, and not just Rebecca and Thierry, they have a real sense of teamwork and family here. They all share the aim of making something wonderful and it really shows in the quality of their produce.
Dumouchel1 Ninelands Lane
LS25 1NX 0113 287 0055 http://www.dumouchel.co.uk