Home > Eat > Recipe > Bread Ahead: where dreamy doughnuts are made

Bread Ahead: where dreamy doughnuts are made

Loading...

All it took was an appearance on Tom Kerridge’s show two years ago and Bread Ahead’s doughnuts were causing chaos at London’s Borough Market. “People were literally chasing the stall,” baker and Bread Ahead co-founder Justin Gellatly tells me.

Bread Ahead

The secret was out. All of the capital wanted a taste of this recipe from the Doughnut Godfather (unofficial Khoollect title), which took since 2003 to perfect during Justin’s tenure as Head Baker at London’s St John restaurant.

Dubbed ‘pillows of joy,’ Bread Ahead’s doughnuts were not some short-lived craze; more De La Soul than One Direction, the classic varieties like vanilla or caramel custard with honeycomb are still as popular and continue to sell out.

Tucked away on Cathedral Street round the corner are headquarters, which fellow baker Matt Jones opened in 2013 alongside Justin and his wife Louise Gellatly, and Chris Malec. The large windows allow people to come and watch the bakers work their magic, but I’m keen to go behind the scenes and Justin is happy to oblige.

Bread Ahead Bakery

Stood in the heart of the bakery, it’s like I’ve downed a ‘drink me’ potion, as I feel very miniscule next to a set of huge mixers that hold 250kg of dough each. And the oven is simply magnificent in size. Justin tells me that they had it installed because it’s easier to load and the bakers save their backs by not having to bend as much. This hit home just how much physical, hard work goes into this profession; a labour of love.

Bread Ahead Bakery

That’s exactly what’s shown to Bread Ahead’s bakes. The doughnuts all go through a 24-hour fermentation process and are rolled and piped by hand. “That’s why ours are the best,” says Justin, proudly. And he has reason to be – I want a mattress made of this stuff!

Bread Ahead Bakery

“And they’re all flipped individually, using this very special contraption,” he adds, laughing, before pulling out a large spoon. The thought is mind-boggling considering the scale of Bread Ahead’s daily output, which includes 2,000 doughnuts on a Saturday and anything from 500-1500kg of bread.

Justin experiments with his doughnut flavours, getting inspiration from seasonal produce and old cook books. You could be biting into cornflake and raspberry or favourites like the violet custard with sugared violets and Parma violet sprinkle. He launched the latter at Glastonbury 2013, frying until the early morning at the Beat Hotel. Who said baking wasn’t rock and roll?

Bread Ahead Bakery

As well as innovation, Bread Ahead is also about education and community. The purpose-built bakery puts on hands-on classes on the art of baking for adults and works with local schools to pass on key baking skills to children.

Bread Ahead Focaccia

Ingredients are seasonal and fresh produce is of course sourced from Borough Market – and there’s a lot of it. For some of their savoury bakes like focaccia, they get through a mighty 50kg of rosemary and 100 boxes of tomatoes a week.

Bread Ahead Bakery

Bread Ahead champions the notion that nothing should be thrown away. Unsold bakes are used in bread pudding and the bakery also works with waste charities. Justin even had a Christmas tree charring in the oven earlier this year, which he infused in milk – et voilà – pine custard doughnuts.

The next time you’re at Borough Market, pop over and dive into a doughnut – and don’t forget the napkin to wipe the sugar from your face. Marrying traditional skills with creative wit, you can’t help but impatiently wonder what this bakery comes up with next.

Find out more

Read Khoollect’s interview with head baker Justin Gellatly.

Visit Bread Ahead‘s website.

Find Bread Ahead on Instagram – Facebook – Twitter.

Loading...

Find out more

Read Khoollect’s interview with head baker Justin Gellatly.

Visit Bread Ahead‘s website.

Find Bread Ahead on Instagram – Facebook – Twitter.

Find out more

Read Khoollect’s interview with head baker Justin Gellatly.

Visit Bread Ahead‘s website.

Find Bread Ahead on Instagram – Facebook – Twitter.

All it took was an appearance on Tom Kerridge’s show two years ago and Bread Ahead’s doughnuts were causing chaos at London’s Borough Market. “People were literally chasing the stall,” baker and Bread Ahead co-founder Justin Gellatly tells me.

Bread Ahead

The secret was out. All of the capital wanted a taste of this recipe from the Doughnut Godfather (unofficial Khoollect title), which took since 2003 to perfect during Justin’s tenure as Head Baker at London’s St John restaurant.

Dubbed ‘pillows of joy,’ Bread Ahead’s doughnuts were not some short-lived craze; more De La Soul than One Direction, the classic varieties like vanilla or caramel custard with honeycomb are still as popular and continue to sell out.

Tucked away on Cathedral Street round the corner are headquarters, which fellow baker Matt Jones opened in 2013 alongside Justin and his wife Louise Gellatly, and Chris Malec. The large windows allow people to come and watch the bakers work their magic, but I’m keen to go behind the scenes and Justin is happy to oblige.

Bread Ahead Bakery

Stood in the heart of the bakery, it’s like I’ve downed a ‘drink me’ potion, as I feel very miniscule next to a set of huge mixers that hold 250kg of dough each. And the oven is simply magnificent in size. Justin tells me that they had it installed because it’s easier to load and the bakers save their backs by not having to bend as much. This hit home just how much physical, hard work goes into this profession; a labour of love.

Bread Ahead Bakery

That’s exactly what’s shown to Bread Ahead’s bakes. The doughnuts all go through a 24-hour fermentation process and are rolled and piped by hand. “That’s why ours are the best,” says Justin, proudly. And he has reason to be – I want a mattress made of this stuff!

Bread Ahead Bakery

“And they’re all flipped individually, using this very special contraption,” he adds, laughing, before pulling out a large spoon. The thought is mind-boggling considering the scale of Bread Ahead’s daily output, which includes 2,000 doughnuts on a Saturday and anything from 500-1500kg of bread.

Justin experiments with his doughnut flavours, getting inspiration from seasonal produce and old cook books. You could be biting into cornflake and raspberry or favourites like the violet custard with sugared violets and Parma violet sprinkle. He launched the latter at Glastonbury 2013, frying until the early morning at the Beat Hotel. Who said baking wasn’t rock and roll?

Bread Ahead Bakery

As well as innovation, Bread Ahead is also about education and community. The purpose-built bakery puts on hands-on classes on the art of baking for adults and works with local schools to pass on key baking skills to children.

Bread Ahead Focaccia

Ingredients are seasonal and fresh produce is of course sourced from Borough Market – and there’s a lot of it. For some of their savoury bakes like focaccia, they get through a mighty 50kg of rosemary and 100 boxes of tomatoes a week.

Bread Ahead Bakery

Bread Ahead champions the notion that nothing should be thrown away. Unsold bakes are used in bread pudding and the bakery also works with waste charities. Justin even had a Christmas tree charring in the oven earlier this year, which he infused in milk – et voilà – pine custard doughnuts.

The next time you’re at Borough Market, pop over and dive into a doughnut – and don’t forget the napkin to wipe the sugar from your face. Marrying traditional skills with creative wit, you can’t help but impatiently wonder what this bakery comes up with next.

Profile Photo
WRITTEN BY:
Rhia Chohan

Rhia is a digital-savvy, social media enthusiast. This Mancunian loves baking, cake decorating, home...

READ MORE BY Rhia Chohan

You decide

Your dream holiday destination

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Profile Photo
WRITTEN BY:
Rhia Chohan

Rhia is a digital-savvy, social media enthusiast. This Mancunian loves baking, cake decorating, home...

READ MORE BY Rhia Chohan

You decide

Your dream holiday destination

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Profile Photo
WRITTEN BY:
Rhia Chohan

Rhia is a digital-savvy, social media enthusiast. This Mancunian loves baking, cake decorating, home...

READ MORE BY Rhia Chohan

You decide

Your dream holiday destination

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
comments
Leave A Comment

DON'T BE SHY WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

instagram

join us on instagram

instagram

join us on instagram
Skip to toolbar