Peter Voshol Chemist, Bread Angel, Baker

So….who is Peter Voshal really:

“I started to bake Sourdough breads for fun and hobby. I received a ‘Andrew Whitley’ starter from a friend in Scotland in August 2010 and after my return home I started to experiment. Being a lab-based scientist I am not afraid to trial and error so my bakers’ path was developing. My ‘experience’ with British ‘bread’ and my Dutch-Background in a village with a real baker made my drive to back my own stronger. The taste was just divine and nothing like the ‘plastic-loaves’ in the supermarket. My first bake for other people was for my house warming BBQ on 3rd of October 2010 and my colleagues (a lot of them mainland Europe, especially the German-speaking country descent) were very enthusiastic, so much that the week after requests came if I would make them a loaf or two for the weekend. The next big bake was a charity sale at my department for Diabetes UK. I baked 15 loaves and they sold within 2h on the day. The success buss continued and during the weekend I send out an Email to all my colleagues that I would be baking a lot of bread for Monday morning to add to the charity sale. So I ended up baking 30 loaves and this was the start of a sequence of bakes for colleagues at work. Once a month I would hang an order list and I had orders for ~20-25 loaves every time. The most popular was and still is the seeded rye and Fruit and Nut. So after many enthusiastic responses from colleagues, friends and family and to my own enjoyment I applied for Home-Bakery status in December of 2011. Home Bakery ‘LOAF for LIVE’ started February 1st 2012 baking Real Bread and specializes in sourdough breads to sell locally. All of the loaves I bake are what the Campaign calls Real Bread and I use locally sourced flours from Organic Fosters Windmill in Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire.

Why Loaf for Life?

In many indigenous traditions Nature is central in the wholeness of Being as part of a living world surrounding them and therefore influencing them as they themselves are part of that same living whole. For me Nature and Wholeness extends into baking, cooking and eating. In the ‘modern’ view we nourish our bodies with ‘key’ nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. And these are laid down in guidelines and regulations. We are torn away from the connection where these nutrients come from! Not to be denigrating but a large part of our current Western world will answer that food (in general) comes from the supermarket/shop. But of course our nutrients, foods come from our living Nature and therefore Nature nourishes us with all the nutrients we need. We don’t have to add ‘dead’ chemicals to have bread (or any other food item for that matter) that stays fresh for weeks and months. We don’t have to synthesise ‘dead’ ingredients and add them, like vitamins, minerals, fibres, to our daily bread because Nature provides them for us, alive and well. For me Real Bread (and food) means using whole, alive and natural ingredients provided by Nature; Flour, Water, Salt and for me Sourdough. The rest is trust, love and surrender that Nature will guide me and provide me with the most adorable, tasteful and most pleasurable loaf of LIFE for nourishment.

Loaf for Life sampler

Since the start of Loaf for Life Bakery I did the Bread Angels course with Jane in February 2012 which was both for learning as well as connecting with like-minded bread lovers and bakers. I started to bake and do PR and now after there is a steady increase in people interested in my loaves. My website launched in June and coincided with an interview with Cambridge 105 for the program Flavour. The presenter made a great comment on my loaves he said: ‘It reminds me of Lord of the Rings, the lembas bread on which they can ride for hours’. A great complement for my loaves I would say. There is a link to the interview on my website. And since July I started to supply the Urban Larder in Cambridge with a variety of loaves for the weekend. Polly the owner is sourcing all here stock as local as possible and was keen to have Real Bread from local sourced flours in her shop. I introduced Loaf for Life bakery with a stand outside the shop using my Dutch cargo bike (see picture). This is an additional trade mark I would think? I will also start with Sourdough workshops in the Urban Larder spreading the Bread Angel wings to exchange and make people enthusiastic for home-made real bread. Most recently 2 local coffee houses asked me to supply them with loaves for lunch sandwiches and a due to the advertisement in the Urban Larder and the coffee-houses there has been a steady increase in requests and orders from new people. All wanted to eat a better quality, good tasting Real Loaf of bread. So great challenges will lie ahead but I am confident that all will lead to the right Path. And always ready to learn and experiment more and more. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, which is the only way you will truly learn!

Warm baking regards,

Peter Voshol
Loaf for Life Bakery
Email: [email protected]

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