Blog

Thomas the Baker Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies Awarded 3 Star Great Taste Award

We are absolutely thrilled today to announce that our Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies have received the prestigious 3-star Great Taste Award – the first ever 3-star award given to a sweet mince pie in the 25 years the awards have been running! We launched this new luxury version of our customer favourite sweet mince pies, which have their own 1-star Great Taste Award from previous years, in 2019 after two years of careful development in our bakery. The filling of our Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies is a winning combination of sweet mince with apricots and brandy and a couple of secret ingredients. The all butter pastry shell has the addition of finely ground almonds for added taste and texture and the pie is finished off with a tender Viennese Biscuit topping. In the 8 week lead up to Christmas each year, we usually sell in excess of 200,000 mince pies – that’s 3000 extra man hours needed to meet high…

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How to bake focaccia at home

Focaccia recipe with rosemary and parmesan

As our last baking at home video went so well, we’ve decided to share another! Today we’re guiding you through the process and recipe to make focaccia, a traditional flat Italian bread that’s beautifully crisp on the outside and soft and pillowy inside. Focaccia makes an excellent side dish to any Italian dish – pasta, charcuterie meats, good cheese and olives, and it can be even be used to make a sandwich too. And of course, it’s always best with a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio! The beauty of focaccia is that it can be finished with toppings of your choice – similar to pizza, but looks much fancier to impress your friends at dinner parties! Our recipe here uses sprigs of rosemary, fresh from the garden, and grated parmesan, but below is a list of other ideas you can use by themselves or combine for a super tasty bread: Olives Cherry tomatoes Sun dried tomatoes Parma ham Dried Tuscan…

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How to use dried yeast at home

How to use dried yeast at home

A couple of weeks ago, we shared our “secret” recipe for baking our popular Country Crunch loaf at home. At that time, we were just selling 1kg bags of flour in our stores, but, by popular request, we’re now also selling little pots of dried yeast in our stores too! So we wanted to share a short video and blog post on how you can best use dried yeast at home in order to get a loaf of bread to be proud of. When you’re using dried yeast at home for baking bread, it’s important to activate the yeast first. Sian from Thomas the Baker guides us through the process of how to activate yeast for baking. Add 1 heaped teaspoon of dried yeast to around a cup of warm (just above body temperature water) along with a half a teaspoon of sugar, a splash of milk or even a dash of honey, and stir. Leave covered with a damp…

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How to bake our Country Crunch bread at home

Thomas the Baker homemade Country Crunch bread

While you’re stuck at home, why not take up a new hobby like baking? Not only will this give you something fun to do, you also have the satisfaction of something tasty to enjoy at the end of the day and an impressive new skill you can try out on your friends after using this time wisely to perfect it! Since bread is our “bread and butter” as such, today we’re sharing a homemade bread recipe using our Country Crunch flour, currently available in 1kg bags in our stores. This recipe has been designed to be as straightforward as possible for home bakers without the need for large scale bakery equipment. To take you through the recipe, Sian Thomas, who manages our social media and marketing, has been enlisted. Sian, despite coming from generations of bakers, describes herself firmly as “not a baker”! Our Country Crunch bread (fondly known as “Crunchy Crunch” by my husband since he was young, long…

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Call to Collect at Thomas the Baker Shops

Thomas of Helmsley Grand Opening - artisan breads

Did you know we offer a call to collect service at Thomas the Baker? You can call to speak directly to a team member at any of our open shops to place an order to collect the very next day! This is a service we’ve offered for a long time now, but during these difficult times, it’s even more important. Placing an order via phone to collect in store means that you can ensure the items you need will be available for you, meaning you won’t make a wasted journey or miss out on your daily bread. Our call to collect offering is perfect if you’re needing to shop on behalf of vulnerable neighbours, friends and family members, particularly those in rural areas which many of our shops serve. Customers have commented recently on how easy and convenient this has been for them during these uncertain times, knowing that they’re able to get what they need for not only their…

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Temporary Closure of 6 Thomas the Baker Shops

Thomas the Baker Acomb

Covid-19 Update 14th July 2020 Recent Shop Openings We are pleased to advise that a number of the shops that we needed to close at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic are now open again. The following shops have re-opened: Wakefield Skipton Marton Road (Middlesbrough) Market Street (York city centre) Both Goole and Captain Cook Square (Middlesbrough) remain closed at the moment but hope to open again in the near future. 3rd April 2020 We have made the difficult decision to temporarily close six of our 30 branches as of Monday 6th April due to the current coronavirus pandemic. During this difficult time, the other 24 shops will be remaining open in order to provide customers with a range of bakery goods, focusing on the essentials that are most important, particularly in smaller and rural communities, areas which many of our shops service. The shops which will be closing until further notice are: Goole Wakefield Skipton Captain Cook Square, Middlesbrough Marton Road,…

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Dear Thomas the Baker Customers

Dear Thomas the Baker Customers, During these difficult times we want to assure you we are playing our part in ensuring that the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus is as low as possible. Our Senior Management team are meeting daily to talk through developments and ensure we are following advice from Public Health England and spreading this information to all of our teams. We already have in place laid down daily cleaning schedules for our Helmsley Bakery our shops and delivery vehicles. In addition to these existing controls we have significantly raised the level of hand washing and sanitising and all hand contact points such as till screens, credit card machines, light switches, door handles etc. on a regular basis throughout the day. We have asked our staff not to attend work if they have any symptoms and to follow current medical guidance. As the situation develops we may experience difficulty in running our business normally. We will do…

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Video: Launching our new High Fibre Multi Seed Loaf

Video: Launching our new High Fibre Multi Seed Loaf

Did you know that more than 1 in 4 people (28%, to be precise) would say bread is their favourite food? That’s definitely no surprise to us, but to celebrate this fact, this week we’re launching a tasty new product to add to our artisan bread range: the High Fibre Multi Seed loaf. This new healthy bread launch coincides with Real Bread Week which runs from 22nd February to 1st March, and as part of this, we’ll be offering free tastings to anyone visiting our stores. We’ve been expanding our selection of options available for vegan and vegetarian diets, with the recipe for our vegetarian pasty being redeveloped recently to make it vegan-friendly, and the new High Fibre Multi Seed loaf is the latest offering in this range. This recipe has been perfected over the past 9 months by our very own Chris Chapman using a sourdough starter all the way from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. This starter was fed…

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We’re On A Roll!

Thomas the Baker award winning deli black pudding sausage rolls

Have you heard the news? We’ve been awarded yet another Gold Star at the Great Taste Awards! This time, the award-winning product is our Deli Black Pudding Sausage Roll. Now we’ve always known that our deli sausage rolls are a stand out product thanks to their excellent quality locally reared pork sausage meat, a secret blend of herbs and spices, and a touch of rich black pudding, all made in Helmsley by Thomas’ master butchers and bakers. But the proof is really “in the pudding”. The judges at this year’s Great Taste Awards have proclaimed that our deli sausage rolls are “hearty” and “truly appealing looking” with a “crisp and buttery, flaky pastry with a moist well-seasoned sweet porky inside”. Our Deli Black Pudding Sausage Roll was originally only available in our Thomas of Helmsley deli, which is based in our hometown, Great British High Street’s award winning market town in 2015. Once we realised how much our customers loved…

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Vote For Us: Farm Shop & Deli Awards

Thomas of Helmsley Grand Opening

We’re very proud of all of stores in and around Yorkshire, but right now, we’re especially proud of our Helmsley deli, Thomas of Helmsley, as it’s been nominated in the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2019! The Farm Shop & Deli Awards have been running for over five years now, with a goal of supporting and celebrating excellence within the independent, specialist retail market. Organised by William Reed and judged by an expert panel, these awards are looking for small businesses that have a high level of customer service, product knowledge, innovation and community involvement. We’re so proud to hear that our customers have recognised these factors in our Thomas of Helmsley deli so well that they’ve nominated us for this award, but now we need your help! If you agree with us that Thomas of Helmsley is the best in their category, you can vote for us here. Our success all depends on our customers sharing their opinions on…

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