Local bakery gets chance to rise
Sourdough made in a Ha¯ wera at-home micro-bakery is part of the Taste of Taranaki pop-up. Baked by Blanche has been operating for around two years, and owner Andrew Blanche says being part of the Taste of Taranaki pop-up is beneficial. “It gives businesses the chance to have their products in a location and see how they sell. The Taste of Taranaki popup has been a great experience.” Blanche says starting the business was something he’d always wanted to do. “It’s been an interesting journey. Leaving school I followed in my older brother’s footsteps and became a qualified baker. I spent an entertaining 15 years working in the hospitality scene in Wellington. I then followed a dream I had when I was 8.” He pursued a funeral directing career, moving to Auckland and then Ha¯wera. After 15 years as a funeral director, Andrew says he was ready for a change. “I was unsure of what I wanted to do. My wife Jo was keen on some homemade bread. She brought me a gift of a sourdough starter and some books.” Soon he was making bread the old way, by hand and with passion. “The most important ingredient in bread is time. Bread should be made over 32 hours, not quickly in six hours. If it’s properly made it’s better for you. “We take an artisanal approach by respecting the process of bread making. We aim to use quality seasonal ingredients and local flours. Our goal is for the eater to enjoy the difference this makes to your bread. To savour the flavour and the passion that we put into each and every loaf.” He says the beauty of handcrafted loaves and the use of wild yeasts produce a product that changes with variances in weather. “The colour and size may be different from day-to-day.” ■ His sourdough is sold at markets and is available at the pop-up in Eltham. The pop-up runs through until the end of January on High Street in Eltham. See next week’s Stratford Press for more profiles on some of the producers featured at the pop-up.