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Gradz - puts the Artizan in Artizan Bread



One of the things I really love as a food writer is the opportunity I have to try new things.  Its a perk that I never get tired of.  I was recently contacted and asked if I would like to try out some bread from GRADZ Bakery, finely crafted artisanal breads, crafted in London by Master Bakers. 

Master bakers Agnes Gabriel and Romuald Damaz have always been passionate about making healthy, delicious bread. When they discovered a treasure of family recipes hand-written by Agnes’s Great Grandfather, they were inspired to establish the GRADZ (Gabriel Romuald Agnes DamaZ) bakery and share their tradition of continental-style baking with Britain.

By adding their knowledge, skill and expertise, the GRADZ master bakers have developed traditional bread with today’s tastes and health benefits.

Their wish is for you to enjoy their family heritage of continental-style baking when you take time to savour their authentic bakery products. 

I love bread so they didn't have to ask me twice.  I love bread and I was really keen to try these breads.


A week or so later a large box filled with all sorts of fabulous breads came to our door.  I wish there was such a thing as Smellivision because you can't imagine how very good it all smelled when I opened the box!  They had sent me one of each of their loaves.  I was in bread heaven!

This bakery specialises in Artisanal Sour Dough breads, Wheat and Rye breads as well as a Gluten Free range of breads. 

I had tried Gluten Free breads in the past.  There was a time early last year when I thought I might have to go gluten free and I have to say at the outset, gluten free bread does not excite me. The ones I bought at the shop were lacklustre and left a really odd texture/feeling in my mouth that I did not enjoy in the least.   





These were the first breads I tried.  On the left, Gluten Free Sour Dough White, and on the right, Gluten Free Sour Dough Dark Bread with Seeds



They each had a very nice texture and appearance, both with a nice chewy crust. Here is what I thought.

GF Sour Dough White - crusty, nice flavour somewhat of a gummy texture in the mouth, but not unpleasant.

GF Sour Dough Dark with Seeds- crusty, nice flavour, seeded, not as much of a gummy texture. I I could  happily eat this and enjoy!



GF Dark with Sunflower Seeds - This was my favourite of the GF breads. It had a beautiful  texture and flavour, with lots of lovely sunflower seeds. I loved the taste.  

Overall I was quite impressed with their Gluten Free Range of Breads.  I could quite happily enjoy these if I had a problem with wheat.  I highly recommend. 

Next up their Wheat and Rye Range.


Recipe # 12 Sour Dough Chia Seed Bread.  

A flavoursome white sourdough bread with a dark crust and a generous peppering of chia seeds throughout the loaf. The natural sourdough bread is easier on your digestive system and gut than other loaves, and the chia seeds add extra benefits because they are rich in fibre, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals and so can be a powerhouse for your body. This loaf has very quickly established itself in our range as a firm favourite.

Recipe #21 Sour Dough Chia Seed - chewy with nice flavour and texture. Liked the seeds on the crust.  I can easily see why this is a favourite from their range of breads.  I enjoyed this very much.  It was great on its own, but really came alive toasted.  I had two slices of this every night in the evening, simply toasted and spread with some butter.  YUMMY!


Recipe #12, Spirulina & Pumpkin Seed Bread 

Our Spirulina and Pumpkin Seed Loaf has a delicious nutty flavour from the generous coating of pumpkin seeds on the outside of the loaf  which toast as the loaf bakes. Pumpkin seeds are known to be a source of minerals including magnesium, zinc and  manganese and a good source of antioxidants. Spirulina, often referred to as a superfood because of the high levels of nutrients it contains, is of huge benefit to the body as both a protein source, it contains all the essential amino acids as well as B Vitamins, iron and copper. Most of all though people love the wonderful texture and flavour of this loaf and that's what makes it so easy to eat

Recipe #12, Spirulina & Pumpkin Seed Bread - This had a slight green tinge, with a nice texture and a lovely coating of pumpkin seeds on the surface and then scattered throughout the dough.  I found it to be somewhat earthy in flavour, chewy, nutty. Not at all unpleasant, although the "green" earthy flavour was a bit of a surprise.


Recipe #19 Rye 100% with Honey 

 If you like rye breads this will be the loaf for you. Our 100% rye sourdough is a far cry from the solid texture that we often associate with rye breads.  Using our sourdough starter which has matured over several years helps give us a lighter less dense texture whilst not compromising on the delicious rye flavour and high fibre content. This bread has no wheat added to it so is suitable for those avoiding wheat in their diets.    The addition of honey gives it a natural sweetness. This bread also
has excellent keeping qualities
.

Rye 100% and Honey - I LOVE LOVED THIS, slightly tangy, chewy, robust. Lovely rye flavour.  This was an excellent rye bread.



Recipe #14 Oat and Flax 

We love our Oat and Flax bread served with soup or sliced more thinly it makes a a great sandwich too and is the perfect partner to smoked meat and fish, cheeses or even honey and banana. The oats lend a great texture to the crust and through the bread as do the flax seeds. Flax seeds are rich in omega 3 fats, the healthy fats we need to keep skin and hair healthy and are also a source of plantestrogen which are believed to naturally help balance and stabilise female hormones.

Recipe #14 Oats and Flax - I loved the nubbly bits of oats on the crust.  It had a wonderfully chew texture and a lovely nutty flavour.



Yeast Free White Sour Dough.

This is their basic white sour dough. Using natural ingredients is not enough; GRADZ master bakers are also patient. Agnes’s treasured family recipes require a slow fermentation process in which the dough rises gradually for up to 24 hours. During this time, flour and other ingredients are broken down, eventually making the bread gentler to the digestive system. 

Yeast Free Sour Dough -  This was chewy, and had a lovely light texture, with a beautiful flavour and slight tang that was not at all unpleasant.  I thoroughly enjoyed this. 


Overall, I was really pleased and impressed with the Gradz range of  breads.  Their attention to detail was evident and the quality was excellent.  It was lovely just as it and delicious toasted. I made some very tasty sandwiches with the white loaf.  I have to say in all honesty if I was a Coeliac I would definitely buy their Gluten Free Range as it was clearly the best I have ever eaten.

You can read more about their process and range on their website, here.   They are available to purchase online via Ocado

e-mail: hi@gradzbakery.co.uk

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Thanks very much to Gradz for sending me these tasty breads to try.   

Note - Although I was sent a selection of breads to try for free, I was not required to do a positive review in exchange.

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Marie Rayner
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