Famous Crouch End bakery set to debut on BBC baking show

A dedicated Crouch End baker still rises with the dawn, part of a proud tradition of five generations of one family who have served the craft.

Christopher Freeman, owner of Dunn’s Bakery on the Broadway, gets up each day at 4.30am.

The 63-year-old is joined by his son, Lewis, who learns the trade alongside him.

Dunn’s Bakery will feature in Victorian Bakers, a BBC reality TV show where four baking contestants learn nineteenth century techniques for bread making.

But Mr Freeman says that the most important techniques have not changed in 150 years.

“It’s still a work of love and very much a skill,” Mr Freeman said.

“Some things are quite similar - the ovens for long-time fermentations are not hugely different. Some ingredients are better quality. The back-breaking techniques have been taken out by new technology and machines.”

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The Freeman family, originally Wesleyan Methodists, have been bakers since 1820.

Opening a bakery in Highgate, Mr Freeman’s great-great grandfather passed on his passion.

Mr Freeman’s father then bought Dunn’s Bakery in 1946, after the Second World War.

While Christopher Freeman’s son, Lewis, studied finance at university, he came back to become a baker.

“It’s a start-to-end process; something tangible,” the 23-year-old explained.

“You start with this fine white powder and all this bread comes out.

“And somewhere in the middle, something magic happens.”

Dunn’s Bakery still stocks 30 to 40 different loaves of bread, with everything baked on the premises.

The bakers create everything from the most intricate wedding cake, to large crusty bloomer loaves.

“It’s what I know and love,” said Christopher Freeman. “You take the raw materials, see the dough rise, your prove your bread, you bake it. You see the whole process, then you sell it in the shop.”

- Victorian Bakers will be on Tuesday on January 12 and Dunn’s Bakery features on January 19.