‘Da bara’, in Cornish, means ‘good bread’. (And dese are da brothers that make da good bread).
I can’t help it, my mind’s off on a tangent all of it’s own now. Perhaps it’s the smell of good bread all around that inspires almost poetic sentiment? There’s no refuting the wholesome fraternity between Ben, and his younger brother Tim. Only a few months ago they turned a long held hobby of bread making at home into a full-time bakery business.
Could it be that there’s some endearing nuttiness in such brotherly love? Or why would they opt for six nights a week together, smothered in yeast, flour and sticky dough, right through the small hours while most people sleep? Long, nocturnal hours are however proving their worth; brothers Tim and Ben now supply the likes of Fifteen Cornwall, Hotel Tresanton and an expanding number of farm shops with their good bread.
We earn dough, break bread before the daily grind, and spend crusts on food to eat. Bread litters our language as much as it fills our stomachs; it’s so ordinary, but so necessary, and it can lift the human spirit. The final irony, as we despondently advance upon the weekly supermarket shop, is that our nose should be arrested by the warm, wafting smells of baking buns pumped to the front door to draw us in. I’m drawn irresistibly to the shelves of fresh bakes. Each one full of squidgy pledges that never deliver the flavour promised when I get them home. Most bread, as we know it now, has lost its taste and goodness and it’s a bloomer of a shame.
Thank goodness for Ben and Tim Hawkins whose obsession and passion for bread has given my stomach new hope. Inspired by visits to family visits to France, Ben began to bake bread everyday at home for family and friends, even going as far as building a wood-fuelled bread oven from scratch in a field.
As Da Bara, they make a wide range of English, Italian and French recipes from classic baguettes and ciabbattas to a Sunflower Sourdough, a Malt Pain Rustique and a wholewheat loaf packed full of tasty rye, oats, millet and a touch of black molasses. Ben says they aim “to give everybody a reason to own a bread knife.” I can hear it now; the snap of hard crust, as the knife penetrates and the yeasty release on the nose, to the soft, yielding centre that I just want to sink my teeth into. It is easy to get carried away when bread is this good.
The plan is to grow the business slowly, (somehow that fits with 18 hour yeasted ferments) without compromising on quality, (we’re talking about 90% organic flour), and while I’m chewing it over, with a mouthful of Da Bara’s good bread, I’m thinking: “Man, this is good.”
There’s no denying, they are Da Brothers.
For Further information:
Da Bara Bara Bakery
01726 882096 07966 258040
Grampound Road, Cornwall TR2 4TB
- The perfect British loaf of bread (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)