Scotland's best artisan bakers

  • The Larder
  • 17 September 2010
Everything you need to know about Scotland's best artisan bakers

Photo: Wojtek Kutyla

Featuring The Steamie Bakehouse, Different Breid, Patisserie Jacob, Tunstall's Organic Bakery and more

Everyone loves to have a small, charming bakery just around the corner, yet in Britain 95 per cent of the bread sold is made in factories. John Cooke spoke to some artisan bakers around Scotland who have started their businesses from scratch in the last few years.

Matthew Roberts, The Steamie Bakehouse, Dunfermline

Inspiration for setting up?
Enjoyment of baking, and a desire to contribute to a healthier, more sustainable, and above all, delicious food culture.

How did you go about it?
We started supplying the local deli/café out of our kitchen and as we grew we moved the baking into a garden shed.

Who is involved?
My wife, Zillah Scott, bakes scones and soda bread, takes photos of our produce, writes most of the blog and does the paperwork, while I bake and deliver the bread and write the website.

Where do you sell?
We supply two deli/cafés: Reuben’s in Dunfermline, and Food For Thought in Burntisland. We also run a bread club, whereby groups of neighbours order from us then we deliver the whole order to one of their houses.

Your range?
All of our breads are naturally leavened, with an emphasis on wholegrains for nutrition and taste. Each week we bake three regular breads and a special.

What are you most proud of?
Our Hearth Haggerty – a flatbread made with wheat and rye dough sandwiching cheese, onions and fresh sage – represents many of our aims: it uses local ingredients (such as Anster cheese), it links to traditional food culture (it’s inspired by Northumbria’s Pan Haggerty), and it is a substantial, sustaining, healthy and delicious bread.

Plans for the future?
Building our wood-fired oven, which will increase our capacity. In the long term, a larger bakery will allow us to become a hub for community baking and encourage more people to make great bread.

Scottish baking heroes?
Falko’s bakes some of the best bread and pastries I have ever eaten. The Engine Shed provides fantastic social value as well as fantastic food.

Andrew Wilson, Different Breid, Glasgow

Inspiration for setting up?
I was fed up with not being able to get decent bread in this country so I decided to make it myself. Very importantly, Fi Buchanan (founder of Heart Buchanan) lent me space in her deli kitchen to get started.

Who is involved?
Just myself, which is great because I love baking and have complete control. Heart Buchanan also provide invaluable support and resources.

Where do you sell?
Always available at Heart Buchanan, and I also supply IJ Mellis Cheesemongers and Woodwinters. At the weekends I bake for Stravaigin restaurant, and sell at Stirling farmers’ market every month.

Your range?
All my breads are sourdoughs/naturally fermented using different blends of stoneground organic flour.

What are you most proud of?
I do lots of bread-making classes to encourage passion about real bread, so it is rewarding to be told by a past pupil that they’ve stopped buying bread and are enjoying making their own.

Plans for the future?
Building my own unit for the space and resources to improve what I am doing.

Jacob Philip, Patisserie Jacob, Edinburgh

Inspiration for setting up?
I love this profession and I would do it with God’s grace, even if I just got a minimum wage.

How did you go about it?
My girlfriend Erika and I set up in late 2009. I trained at Maison Blanc in Oxford and I was working as a pastry chef for the Members’ Restaurant at the Scottish Parliament.

Where do you sell?
From our bakery in Gorgie Road, and we are hoping to do farmers’ markets.

Your range?
All our breads are slow fermented for 12–14 hours to allow full flavour development. We do sourdough breads, plus focaccia, rolls, pizzas, croissants and pastries. We also make tarts and cakes, and our savouries include our signature pork and black pudding pie.

Plans for the future?
The immediate plan is to have a larger bakery/café in another Edinburgh suburb, and create finer patisserie/boulangerie.

Scottish baking heroes?
I really like Falko at Bruntsfield and Mhor Bread in Perthshire.

Justin Tunstall, Tunstall’s Organic Bakery, Dunkeld

Inspiration for setting up?
My wife and I believe in organic and sustainable principles and don’t agree that food needs to be produced using petro chemicals that are bad for the environment. Also, we couldn’t find a good-quality local bakery so we decided to set one up.

How did you go about it?
I attended bakery courses and took inspiration from the likes of Andrew Whitley, Dan Lepard and Richard Bertinet. And then, with very little practical experience, opened the bakery four years ago.

Who is involved?
We’re a very small, family-run bakery.

Where do you sell?
Local delis, restaurants and coffee shops and you’ll find us at most of the local farmers’ and community markets.

Your range?
Everything in our range – including classic whites, ciabatta, pagnotta, pain au levain, wholemeal – is made from scratch so we know exactly what goes into every product.

Plans for the future?
To set up our own retail outlet.

Scottish baking heroes?
Tapa Bakehouse in Glasgow. They produce a fantastic range.

David Hoyle, Findhorn Bakery, Findhorn

Inspiration for setting up?
The Village Bakery in Penrith.

How did you go about it?
We were originally part of Phoenix wholefood shop in Findhorn ecovillage. Fresh bread was a natural extension.

Who is involved?

We have two trained bakers plus a support team. Jan Boultbee and I are the working co-owners.

Where do you sell?
Our adjacent Bakehouse Café is the main customer. We also sell to a number of specialist shops and attend farmers’ markets.

Your range?
We bake seven days a week, using a range of fresh organic doughs – wheat, rye, spelt and gluten free. We make sourdough and yeasted breads.

What are you most proud of?
Surviving as a traditional small village bakery, maintaining a high standard of baking and being blessed by great local suppliers.

Plans for the future?
Our very rural location is a limiting factor, so the future is probably in cakes and healthy snacks.

Scottish baking heroes?
While not artisan, we have a lot of respect for Maclean’s Bakery, a small, local bakery that has developed into a regional brand.

Carlien Dujardin, Patisserie Dujardin, Linlithgow

Inspiration for setting up?
We wanted to produce some bread using organic ingredients, without any additives or shelf-life extenders – a clean product suitable for people with wheat sensitivities and intolerances.

How did you go about it?
After sourcing our ingredients and experimenting with recipes, we set up in a local industrial unit. Now, our products are 99% organic and 25% wheatfree.

Who is involved?
Myself and Michael Bennett, owner of Epulum restaurant in Linlithgow.

Where do you sell?
Linlithgow farmer’s market and on Saturdays from Epulum restaurant. We also supply cafés, delis and restaurants, such as Grassroots and Biblocafe in Glasgow and Earthy in Edinburgh.

Your range?
Spelt and sesame loaves, light rye bread and special-recipe sourdough (using spelt and rye starters). Wheat-free cakes, puddings and desserts.

Plans for the future?
To supply Scotland with quality artisan, wheat-free breads and cakes.

Scottish baking heroes?
Falko in Morningside, Edinburgh.


1. Wojtek23 Sep 2010, 12:37pm Report

Nice article. It would be even nicer if the editor would remember about crediting the photographer for the picture used. I have sent The List an email explaining the issue, but got no response so far - and I am not surprised. It isn't the first time a situation like that happens with modern publishers. A shame.

2. andrew differentbreid1 Oct 2010, 10:28am Report

i was more than happy to respond to the list when they emailed me with a few questions
the answers i gave seem to have been pretty badly edited/dumbed down - "it isn't the first time a situation happens like that with modern publishers" seems apt...
makes me sound a bit semi-literate

so here are my actual answers

> What was your inspiration for setting up?
fed up with not being able to get decent bread in this country, so i decided to make it myself.

> How did you go about it?
Lots of experimentation with different flours, techniques and plenty of practice
Very importantly, Fi Buchanan (founder of Heart Buchanan) was happy to lend me space in her deli kitchen to get started

> Who are the people/personalities involved?
i am just a one-man operation, which is great because i love making bread and i have complete control over every other aspect.
Heart Buchanan also provide invaluable support and resources.

> Where do you sell?
always available at Heart Buchanan deli
i also supply Mellis ( and Woodwinters (
and i do the bread for stravaigin (,
also do stirling farmers market every month and provide a bespoke bread delivery service to private
individuals in the west end of glasgow, where i am based.

> A summary of your range?
all my breads are sourdoughs/naturally fermented using stoneground organic flour
the different types are created using different blends of flour
rustic whites, wholemeal, rye, spelt and semolina

> What are you most proud of?
i do lots of bread making classes to try and make more people passionate about real bread
so it is always nice to bump into someone, who has been to a class, when they tell you that they have now stopped buying bread and really enjoy making their own.
crap for business, but good in so many other ways

> Your main plans for the future?
in the process of planning to build my own unit
this will give me the space and resources to improve what i am doing already

> The Scottish baker/y you most admire?

3. Paul James25 Nov 2010, 2:19pm Report

Andrew, you have actually made yourself sound like a bit of an idiot, should have left it to the professionals. Oh dear dear dear!

4. Alan Bell2 Nov 2015, 11:54am Report

The baking may be up to scratch, but the customer service certainly isn't. I've been trying to contact Andrew by telephone, text and email for three weeks now, and not a single response to any of these.

I plan to try for another week, then look elsewhere to find a supplier for my new coffee shop.

What a shame.

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