Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information
Apparently Ali in Coffee Cake is not a boulanger but a traiteur. He actually serves the things he has cooked to his customers.
I would just like to correct you in your opinion of Dunns Bakery, I work there so am fully able to correct you on this. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is made fresh every single day in the bakeries which are at the back of the shop. All of our bakers are fully trained craft bakers, they do not stand there pushing buttons like you see if you go to the bakeries of Sainsbury's and Waitrose, would even say Gail's bakery. We have bakers that have been in the trade their whole working life, working for us for the majority of it. We do not buy things in, our recipes which are used are mainly ones passed from generation to generation (apart from the more modern things like GI bread) as the owner is a fifth generation baker with his son being trained up to take over. Two of our bread ovens are original, from the shop was opened in the 1800's two were put in about 1946, all of the ways we bake and produce our wonderful food is simple, yes we have larger fridges than the ones at home, same with our ovens but there is nothing that you would find in our products that isn't in your cupboard right now. The Beggining secquence of this show with Michel Roux is our bakery. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00zf9vd/Great_British_Food_Re...
For you to see it as a factory is a insult to our bakers and our food. We use locally sourced flour, the only products we use that are imported are Californian raisins and Belgian chocolate.
For a baker to be an artisan baker in my personal opinion needs to be someone with a passion for bread, someone who doesn't need to be surrounded with supermarket cheats to make a loaf of bread. Who can make a loaf of bread from scratch and by hand, neither Sable D'Or or Coffee Cake do this, so in my opinion they cannot be considered artisan bakers. Standards do not need to be driven up in Crouch End, we have an old fashioned bakers (Dunns) with new and very old customers and we have these new "bakeries" which have their products all made in one big factory, then delivered over in the morning but put out in baking tins and an extra pound added to the price, so where are the standards?
Gail's certainly isn't doing anything to drive up standards - see the results from my Danish Pastry Test
This survey also shows up a huge blind spot in my outlook on Crouch End - I did not buy a pastry from Dunn's
I have lived in Crouch End for very nearly 30 years and have shopped in Dunn's perhaps once a decade on average. Because everyone goes there, I don't. Search twitter for #crouchend right now and Dunn's comes out as number 2 of the top three places in Crouch End. You won't be surprised to hear that I have been to Hot Pepper Jelly (number 1) once (it's OK) and Banners (3) once (it was a bad experience - probably my fault).
I just wanted to add my praise of Dunn's bakery. The bread is wonderful and so obviously freshly baked on the premises. If you haven't tried their amazing rhubarb (danish) pastries, you haven't lived. To call it factory produced is so off the mark it's laughable but as you've only been in three times in 30 years I won't take your review too seriously!
I only "guess"-ed that Dunn's might be more "sort of" like a factory. The elements that I think of as defining a factory are that it employs a lot of people, uses industrial scale tools and produces a lot of output. If Dunn's employs as many staff baking as it does serving in the shop, if the picture below clipped from the BBC iplayer link Roxannah included is a Dunn's oven and all those (interesting) loaves in Budgen's come from Dunn's then I do have some justification. What it clearly does not do is use the Chorleywood Process for baking bread something I'd never even heard of until Michel Roux mentioned it. Michel seems a bit late jumping on the artisan bandwagon certainly as far as Crouch End is concerned.
I did go into Dunn's again today. It was not as intimidating as usual, few customers and not too many staff wearing funny hats so I did actually manage to complete the purchase of a rhubarb danish and a pain au chocolat. The p au c is reviewed here, the rhubarb danish went down a treat.
Hooray for the rhubarb danish and well done for giving them a try! I was wondering today whether you had confused Dunn's with Greggs.
Anyway, no matter, I like a bit of controversy particularly on subjects as pleasing as bread and pastries. I bought a chocolate torsade from Waitrose today and it was very good.