In a previous life Steven Rule was a lawyer. He used to enjoy cooking but, truth be told his bread-making wasn’t an instant success. His early loaves were like bricks! Undeterred, he bought some books, learned some new techniques and entered into a kind of ‘bread wars’ with his partner. His perseverance paid off and he eventually won ‘bread wars’. (Though he cheerfully admits he lost ‘chutney wars’.)
He started baking loaves for his family and friends, and they were so popular that he was persuaded to start selling bread from home at weekends in 2016. Trade grew and by January 2018 the business had outgrown Steven’s conservatory and he took over new premises in Stonehouse, from where he now devotes himself to baking full-time. His amazing loaves won the World Bread Awards in 2017 and 2019.
Steven runs a purely organic operation and takes great pride in making “real bread”. He has been awarded the Loaf Mark (a symbol of quality like the kite mark) by the Campaign For Real Bread – the spearhead group for high quality bread. Steven explains that his loaves contain only four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. His sourdough bread contains only three: flour, water and salt. All the ingredients are certified organic and contain no additives. Even the salt must be pure with no anti-caking agents. His organic flour comes from Shipton Mill in Frampton-on-Severn.
You can buy Steven’s wonderful, award-winning bread from World Foods on Russell Street, Stroud where it is delivered fresh six days a week; or from Farmers Markets at Nailsworth (4th Saturday of the month), Gloucester (Fridays), Swindon (Sundays) and Cirencester Charter Market (Mondays).
More details online thebillowingloaf.co.uk