Walking in the door of Hunter-Gatherer I expected to see a 50-year-old Italian there to greet me for my pasta class which I was going to be part of for the evening. I don’t know why I had this idea in my head! Spending a few weeks talking over Instagram gave me these preconceptions and I always think of someone who has such a passion for bread and pasta to be Italian but this is not true. Instead, Lorin from Antica who is smart, handsome and is only 29 years old stood before me with a whole world of knowledge and has crammed so much into his life already!
Being Romanian and growing up in his country Lorin explained how bread has strong values and traditions that date back over many generations and his family always had a wood oven baking bread the traditional way so his love and passion for old techniques allows him to bring old fashioned ways of making bread using fermentation and mixing by hand here to England and share his amazing talents with the local folk of Southsea.
Lorin says we live in a baking world of automated machinery with stainless steel and plastic which makes him want to show his customers and people of Southsea how baking bread by hand in a wooden trough is really worth every bit of hard work he puts in. Buying one of his loaves means it has gone through a 33-hour process to bring you a rustic bread that will delight your senses as well as your taste buds.
When you go and look at the day’s bakery delights you will see each loaf is slightly different either in shape or size and that is because it has been lovingly made for you, has had so much time added to bring you the best quality of bread. The flour is always organically made from British grown wheat and gets milled on traditional horizontal millstones. The supplier is Michael Stoate from Stoate & Sons and he is a fifth-generation miller who produces the most amazing flour. This slow process of milling results into a flour which has a more creamier looking colour due to the natural oils which are preserved as opposed to roller milled flour (machinery based), it is rich in nutrients and the flavour potentials are maximised.
Having a signature bread makes all the difference and by offering the oak smoked sourdough that entices all your senses and lasts for 7 days ( I beg you to try this) you can guarantee you are paying a good price for a good quality artisan bread. It has so much depth and can make the best sandwich or as a starter with oils and balsamic. From delicious olive and herbs ciabatta to bagels and fougasse, Antica offers a good range of artisan bread to choose from.
As I was sat chatting to Lorin about the techniques he uses, his regular customers kept popping in for their orders. You can contact him the day before and he will have your order ready for you from 8am the next day. To think the bread that has been lovingly made lasts so long you are paying a good price which is £3.90 for a medium sourdough loaf.
Lorin has worked with some of the best chefs in the world including Gordon Ramsay and has gained lots of skills to help him with his passion for bread. But why bread I asked him? Well, his girlfriend is French and he wanted to impress her one day and so made her some bread. Being a perfectionist he wasn’t happy with his results so went on a bread course and instantly fell in love with the whole process of making good bread.
Learning about using the best flour and finding a good miller with an excellent reputation was very important to Lorin. Buying the new bread oven means Lorin is baking every day and based at the Hunter-Gatherer so you can order bread from him anytime.
Pasta making it turns out is very rewarding and relaxing to do. I spent a whole evening with Lorin making fresh pasta literally from flour and eggs. It is very easy to make as long as you have time to put it through the pasta machine. Offering small classes means Lorin can concentrate on attention to detail with you. For me, I loved eating the ravioli we made, but when it came to the technical process of pasta making I loved the tagliatelle because it was a fun thing to do.
Look out for the pasta and bread courses from Antica they are so good and so much attention to detail is put into them that you will come away wanting to go on another!
The next sourdough hand mixing master class on the 8th June is sold out but please look out for more dates over the Summer months.
To order your bread contact Lorin through Social Media and he will arrange your bread order.
Photos by Antica
By Louise O’Brien