Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Harnessing wild yeast in the Surrey Hills

Shirlee Posner meets a true artisan baker, Dineke van den Bogerd of Crumbs of Capel.

I’m celebrating my sixth anniversary of championing the local food movement in Surrey. Eat Surrey captures the essence of my work, and whilst it started as a working title, it stuck! It’s been a really interesting journey, not only because of the sometimes quirky, creative and talented people I have met, but also because they are all so different.

This month my focus is on a micro-bakery based in Capel, a village in the Surrey Hills near Dorking, which produces small batch, handmade, ‘slow’ sourdough bread and utterly delicious savoury gluten-free biscuits.

Artisan baker Dineke van den Bogerd was born in Rotterdam and moved to the UK with her Dutch husband for work. In her own words, Dineke says she was an IT nerd for P&O containers. Both working in London, the couple commuted from Crawley, but in 2002, on moving to Capel, Dineke became part of the kitchen team at Tanhouse Farm Shop in Rusper. After a while it became clear that Dineke had a flair for breadmaking which then became her domain in the Tanhouse kitchen. Having made her first bread in her early twenties before moving to the UK, Dineke says it was a surprising career development.

In addition to baking, Dineke was busy rearing hens on four acres of land in Newdigate with the mixed flock providing a steady stream of green, blue and white eggs. Columbines and Faverolles are two of Dineke’s favoured breeds, with the latter famed for its good looks, friendly personality and high egg yield.
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Dineke had been talking to a local farm shop owner about supplying bread for the shop when, a few days later, she got a call to say that the existing bread supplier had let the shop down and would she be able to step in? Eight years later, Dineke is still selling bread to her first outlet, Village Greens in Ockley, but also to the community-based Dorking Food Float. Her other products travel further afield to Kingfisher Farm Shop in Abinger Hammer and Crossroads Stores, West Horsley.

I first met Dineke at a Village Greens’ food fair in 2012, not long after she had started. By this time she already had a strong local following and had established additional products to her bread. Three months later, I attended a sourdough breadmaking class, co-hosted with the Dampiers who run Village Greens in Ockley, where Dineke shared her enthusiasm for slow breadmaking and her expertise. At the time I wrote a review of the course for my blog, but never about her business, Crumbs of Capel, so this review is long overdue.

Recently Dineke launched a new range of freshly-made, gourmet savoury muffins. Whilst these are delicious, it was the sourdough bread she makes that I was really interested in. Dineke says she is a supporter of the slow food movement and the Real Bread Campaign, and it’s this ethos that forms the core of her baking. The criteria for bread to be called ‘real’ (by the Real Bread Campaign) means it should not have improvers added, be made with natural yeasts with a sourdough starter and should be proved for over four hours.
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Dineke van den Bogerd of Crumbs of Capel
Dineke’s bread meets all these criteria and because of this she is listed as an ‘approved producer’ on the Real Bread Campaign’s website. Sourdough bread sold in supermarkets labelled as sourdough often has improvers and yeast added to the final prove to speed up the process; Dineke’s bread, in stark contrast, takes twenty-four hours from start to finish and is made entirely by hand. Other requirements of the Real Bread Campaign include that the product is certified organic, with less than one per cent salt, and is made by small independent bakeries or at home.

All sourdough breads are slightly different, depending on the wild yeasts picked up to create the sourdough starter and from the flour used too. Dineke has captured wild yeasts from the heart of High Weald. Using just these cultures with those naturally present in organic flours gives her bread an unmatchable quality and flavour profile. Crumbs of Capel’s product list includes wholemeal, brown wheat and wholemeal spelt in 600g loaves, with rolls made to order.

In addition to her breads, this talented baker also makes small round, intensely flavoured cheese biscuits. These are gluten-free as they are made with organic gram (chickpea) flour normally associated with onion bhajis and other Indian dishes. New to the list are large American-style savoury muffins packed with cheese, olives and halloumi making a great addition to the product range.

It’s been a real treat to find out more about this hyper local small bakery. I read an article by food columnist Jay Rayner in 2017 that slated the use of the term artisan. What does that really mean? His criticism was that we all know most food labelled as ‘artisan’ is made in industrial units under strip lighting. I can put my hand on my heart and say with confidence that this baker works in her home kitchen with no desire to expand further than her garage. In this case, the term artisan can be applied in the knowledge that it is just that.
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We at the 1853 shop are excited about the year ahead and we are just putting together a full calendar of complimentary tastings at our shop in Weybridge to focus on the key wineries that our company owns.
Our main forthcoming events are as follows:

Early March – early spring wines, aromatic white wines
Mid March - Houghton, Western Australia. Jack Mann birthday celebration End of March - Easter chocolate and wine
End April – St George’s Day – port and fortified wines

The 1853 Wine Shop
The Coach House, 2 Heath Road, Weybridge KT13 8TB
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Photo copyright: Dan Edwards
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Smoky cauliflower soup with spicy pepita granola
Savoury granolas are all the rage right now and this one is a bit of a cheat using Crumbs of Capel chilli cheese biscuits. Top any luscious creamy vegetable soup with this and you’ll be hooked. Served here with a simple cauliflower soup, it's perfect for weekday suppers or lunches with a hunk of sourdough bread.

Serves six


For the granola:
One dessertspoon olive oil
100g pepita (pumpkin seeds)
One teaspoon of hot smoked paprika
Sprinkle of Smoked Maldon Sea Salt
Half pack of Crumbs of Capel’s chilli cheese biscuits, crumbled

For the soup:
One tablespoon olive oil
One large onion, peeled and chopped
Two cloves smoked garlic, crushed
One to two sticks of celery, roughly chopped
One handful of fresh thyme
One large cauliflower, broken into florets
One large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1.2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
Zest of one unwaxed lemon
Smoked Maldon Sea Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

• Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 5.
• Make the granola first by tossing the pumpkin seeds in a little salt, smoked paprika and olive oil. Lay a sheet of non-stick silicone paper on a baking tray and tip on the seeds. Bake for 10–15 minutes, remove from oven and cool.
• To make the soup, heat the oil in a large, heavy base saucepan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Sauté without colouring for five to eight minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Now add the thyme, cauliflower and potato. Stir to coat and then add the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, add the lemon zest and remove from heat. Purée until smooth and then season to taste.
• Mix the roasted pumpkin seeds with the crushed biscuits and place in a small serving dish.
• Serve the soup with a generous sprinkle of granola.

Shirlee Posner,
essence info
Crumbs of Capel
The Old Brickyard, Cole’s Lane, Capel, Surrey RH5 5HP

Shirlee Posner is a food writer and blogger at and provides social media management, web copywriting and food photography.

Her other products travel further afield to Kingfisher Farm Shop in Abinger Hammer and Crossroads Stores, West Horsley.