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Featured Member: Pain de Famille

Date: 13/07/2014 | Posted by John Garton

Rich Howell is a graphic designer with a passion for making sourdough bread. His interest in baking began in Wales, but he is now based in Jersey and his sourdough bread is in constant demand at the two outlets in the island which stock his product. Rich shares some of his story about his interest in sourdough and why he started his small business, Pain de Famille.


I've been baking now for four years. In the summer of 2010 I had the pleasure of hanging out with some amazing folks in Wales, at the Do Lectures, where amongst other things I met Tom Herbert, a fifth generation baker. From there I attended one of his classes and discovered sourdough bread. 


The sourdough I make differs from the pre-packed loaf you can pick up from the supermarket in many ways. But I feel the most significant is the time taken to make and the lack of preservatives. My bread is just flour, water, salt and time. In an industrial loaf you might find a great list of unpronounceable ingredients that the manufacturers don't need to declare on their label if they deem them to be "processing aids". All the flour I use is organic and stoneground. From start to finish my loaves take at least 24hrs to make all by hand. A standard supermarket loaf takes around two hours from start to finish to make and isn't touched by human hand at all in the process! 


I decided to start my own small business as there was only so much space in the freezer for all the bread I was making so decided it was time I shared. Currently my sourdough bread is available Thursday to Saturday at The Fresh Fish Company, La Collette and Saturdays at La Belle Gourmand, St Aubin.