By Lauren Bravo

The great Italian packed lunch, and the great French packed lunch too, for that matter. Not to mention the great Japanese packed lunch – the precisely compartmentalised wonder that is the bento box – or the Indian tiffin tin, stuffed with rice, curry and chapattis to see you through the day.

In fact, compared to the rest of the world’s midday eating habits, British lunch boxes can look pretty lacklustre – a bit of limp lettuce here, a packet of crisps and a wrinkled apple there. But they don’t have to be.

When thoughts of lunch are sometimes (or always) the driving force behind your morning, it deserves to be a really good one; and that’s as true in a day of grown-up meetings as it is after PE and double geography.

Bready to go

Naturally at The Flour Station our lunches revolve around great bread, but that doesn’t have to mean the same old sandwiches.

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You could try English muffin pizzas – perfect lunchbox proportions, and quick to prepare the evening before. Slice open a muffin, top with tomato, peppers, chorizo and mozzarella then pop under the grill for a few minutes till golden.

If you’re looking for more low-maintenance lunches, take a tip from the hipster restaurant scene and try “deconstructing” your sandwich by boxing up half a crusty English stick, a hunk of good Cheddar, ham and some onion chutney… otherwise known as a ploughman’s. You’d be surprised how kids will relish the chance to put their own combinations together (no pun intended).

For fans of dippy egg and soldiers, try taking the troops on the road by packing sourdough toast fingers and mini pots of hummus or salsa. You can keep the toast crunchy by letting it cool in a rack after grilling, while those teeny hotel jam jars are great for carrying dips – so all the more excuse to slip them in your suitcase.

Or how about two-tone sandwiches to brighten up a dreary day? Use a cookie cutter to cut a shape from the centre of a slice of wholemeal bloomer and a slice of white bloomer, then swap the cutouts over and slot them into the gaps for a patterned effect that will make even the biggest kid coo.

Now then, what’s for dinner?

About the author

The Flour Station grew out of the basement of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant. We soon ran out of space and branched out to our own bakery premises. Not long after that, we set up our first stall at Borough Market and since then we’ve been baking our delicious sourdough breads for top notch café, delis and restaurants across London as well as our weekly market stalls. We’re firm believers in doing things the old fashioned slow way when it comes to making our breads. Each one has a natural yeast starter and the dough is given all the time it needs to develop its wonderful texture and flavour, which may mean the best part of a whole day. Once ready, the dough is divided and shaped by hand and baked in a stone based oven. This intricate process produces a sensational loaf with a good crust, a tasty crumb and a depth of flavour and texture unparalleled in conventional bread. We share our passion for real bread with top chefs and a loyal band of customers who return week after week to our market stalls. We draw inspiration from both when it comes to developing new breads, experimenting with new ingredients and new ideas as well as resurrecting forgotten classic British bakery favourites. Through this blog we hope to share with you the ups and downs, highs and lows, questions and answers that come our way whilst we continue to bake our lovely breads.

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