Bread of Heaven: part 1

On the Isles of Scilly, the fly in for the summer, you can picnic on rocks accompanied only by seals, and you go about not by bus but by boat. It's a long way from the traffic- choked streets of London, and it's not difficult to see why Toby Tobin-Dougan swapped one for the other. Now when he's working he looks out on a field of flowers rather than a road full of taxis. Toby and his wife Louise live on one of the larger islands, St Martin's, and run a bakery of the same name, supplying bread to their own island and delivering by boat to their neighbors on the other inhabited islands of Tresco, Bryher, St Agnes, and St Mary's. It sounds idyllic, and in many ways it is. But it's also, hard work, although Toby and Louise are now helped by a night baker who produces most of the basic breads overnight. They bake on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the winter, and every day including VES Sunday during the summer. On baking days they have to be up at four in the morning to make the dough. They shape all their loaves by hand, finishing the baking by mid-morning when they prepare the deliveries and work in the shop, where the queues often stretch out of the door.


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