The Evershot Bakery, deep in the heart of Hardy’s Dorset, is a British boulangerie steeped in history. It has been masterminding artisanal loaves and bakes long before they started trending in high-street bakers. The Evershot Bakery is a proud local partner of the Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant. Located just across the lane, its fresh, crusty loaves are a staple at our breakfast tables. Here, we chat to the bakery about what makes its bread so special.
Firstly, run us through your incredible history…
“The first evidence for a baker in the village dates back to 1857, but Evershot Bakery began in the 1930s-40s, with the Mullins Family converting what was likely the old girls’ school into a bakery. Since we took over in 1995, we’ve reorganised our wholesale customer base. We still supply to small local village and farm shops, but have since added restaurants, pubs, retirement homes, factory canteens and sandwich companies as our clients. We never have to look for new customers; the bakery always seems to carry on growing.”
Can you tell us about your unique baking process?
“It all starts with the ingredients. If you use the best ingredients, you stand a good chance of making something special. We’ve searched for years to compile a supplier list that can deliver consistently and to the standard that we expect. Oxford seems to be the centre of our flour world.
We then set about making the loaves that have become so famous. We start with the flour miller—we actually use two as we pick the best from each of them. Some of the flour is milled specially for us from a secret grist or blend, such as that used for our Cobber bread, which is a type very similar to a granary loaf. Each flour we use is unique, chosen specifically for each of our recipes; they have added malt flake and molasses to give a good shelf life and, most importantly, a great flavour.
We’re still a very hands-on business. The processes we use hardly differ from the ‘good old days,’ when time, tender love and care were all you needed to produce a quality product. Our signature flavour comes from the old-fashioned fermentation process we still use. This process is still the best way to produce bread with the unique textures and flavours that make our bakes ever popular.”
And what about Evershot? How does it factor into your baking?
“We’re very happy living and working from such an amazing village in the heart of rural Dorset. The size of our building does govern how big we can be, but we have people travel from miles to find the village bakery and we feel that what we have and where we are is very special. It may be old fashioned, but it really is exactly what people expect to find when they come to see us. To produce our breads in a brand-new industrial unit wouldn’t sit quite right.
We always tell visitors that living in Evershot is like turning back the clock to the 1960s. It’s a very friendly, helpful place with a great community. We’re lucky to have a busy village with a school, a great pub, an active village hall and plenty of employment, all of which make Evershot a great place to live.”
Guests staying at Red Carnation Hotels’ Summer Lodge Country House Hotel and Restaurant can sample Evershot Bakery’s traditional crusty loaves baked fresh daily.