Without water, there is no loaf! Water is responsible for the natural chemical reactions that occur in a dough system. Two of these reactions are enzyme and fermentation activity. Water acts as a conduit for dough development, and without it the baking process would be impossible.
Our bakery has one of the best tasting sources of water right on its doorstep. Our sourdough thrives with spring water, which is "famous for containing just nothing at all...!" William Heberden also noted the purity of Malvern water, stating "the Malvern water is purer than that of any other springs in England, which I ever examined or heard of". The 600 million year old Malvern hills are composed of sedimentary rocks. Over time, these have shattered and now act as a giant sponge, soaking up rain water, purifying it naturally, then surfacing it through the springs. The Evendine spout consists of a low-lying trough with running water. The water flows from what was probably an old quarry called The Dell on the East of Jubilee Drive and passes under the road, before reaching the spout.
Local legend has it that the curative benefit of the spring water was known in mediaeval times, and records that date as far back as 1622 show the UK’s use of Malverns spring. In the 17 century the monks at Great Malvern Priory would collect the water and distribute it to the elderly and infirm; tales had spread that the water held medicinal powers. In 1842 the hydropathic water cure doctors, Dr James Wilson and Dr James Gully arrived and set up their practices. Water cure establishments were set up along Belle Vue. This attracted Victorian “celebrities”, including the likes of Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale and Charles Dickens, who believed the purity of Malvern water promoted future health.
"Of over 100 recorded spring water sites around the Malvern Hills, today only six accessible public sources still flow with spring water that is usually pure enough to drink. These are St. Ann`s Well, Holy Well, Evendine Spring, Hayslad, Westminster Bank Spring, and Malvhina. With a National Lottery Fund grant the Malvern Spa Association in partnership with the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are planning to reconnect spring water to six more sites if possible in 2007 and restore the structures of further twelve sites as part of the Malvern Heritage Project." Rose Gerrard
We are thankful to live in such a wonderful corner of the world, where the Malvern Hills provide us with such amazing history, views and water. Our priority is always to be a sustainable and local bakery. It brings us so much joy to source such beautiful ingredients and work closely with great people and their businesses, proudly promoting our region.