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Cheltenham baker Dominic Salter of The Sandwich Box wins at Tiptree World Bread Awards

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Written by:   | Posted 14-October-2014 8:49

Stars of the bread baking world from across the UK gathered in London to see a baker from a Cheltenham business win a top award.

Dominic Salter of The Sandwich Box, in Imperial Square, won the trophy for the speciality bread category in the Tiptree World Bread Awards.

His Stroud Big Cat Sourdough loaf wowed the judges and made all the hard work of preparing for the awards worthwhile.

He said: “I baked all night here in Cheltenham and then I left at about 5am for London on the train.

“When I got it there it was 24 hours without going to bed so it was kind of heavy going.”

Even without getting any sleep, he said he had to keep going to showcase his loaf.

He added: “Baking is a real passion, a real vocation for me. And this bread is a bit different, there are smoked walnuts and beer in it – giving it an unusual and strong flavour.”

And Dominic wanted to give an unusual bread an unusual name, taking inspiration from rumours of a big black cat in the Gloucestershire countryside.

“Apparently a few people have seen it”, he said.

“The local brewery in Stroud does a dark stout called Big Cat and I used that in the dough.”

He said the Stroud Big Cat Sourdough is a complicated bread to make.

He said:“ It is quite tricky, it is a long process to bake it.

“It takes about a day to make the dough and then it sits in the fridge for about 12 to 24 hours.

“I think it is starting to become important to have quality bread in England.

“People, especially with TV programmes like the Fabulous Baker Brothers, are starting to realise it is important to eat good quality food.

“And lot of people with eating intolerances are starting to go back to decent well-baked bread.”

Stephen Hallam, master baker, managing director of Dickinson & Morris and chairman of the judges,” said: “The competition was exceptional. We had very exacting criteria for judging, and every loaf was judged anonymously.”

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