Thursday, February 28, 2008

London Bloomer Bread

Having mentioned eating "Bloomer" bread in my previous posting, I went out shopping today to pick up a loaf of the stuff (see photo). The loaves have a long oblong shape, with a decorative slashed pattern on the top, which I think rather looks a bit like a fern. The texture of the interior is quite soft, with a satisfyingly chewy and very slightly crisp crust. The exterior is covered with a whitish powdery dusting all over the surface. This dusty looking substance reminds me of the bloom you would see on a ripe cheese, so perhaps this is one reason for the name "Bloomer."

I did hunt around quite a bit for a recipe, but although these loaves are quite common in most bakeries and markets around town, recipes for this bread seem hard to come by. I finally did track down a recipe on the Shipton Mill website for Traditional English Overnight Dough, which they describe on their site as the "classic recipe used for traditional favourites such as the London Bloomer with its characteristic diagonal slashes to the top as well as the distinctively shaped Cottage Loaf."