The bread making blog

Opposites attract

Opposites attract

Still on the subject of brownies, some recent experiments have finally borne fruit. For no particular reason that I know of, it occurred to me that salted chocolate brownies might be a good idea. By now we’re all familiar with…

Brownie promise

Brownie promise

Years ago when I lived in London I used to frequent a small newsagent-cum-delicatessen run by a Turkish family. From under a glass counter at the front of the shop they sold freshly-made pastries and, as it was directly opposite…

The heat is on

The heat is on

You can reasonably expect most recipes to include directions on both the temperature that your oven should be at and the length of time it should take for the goods to be optimally baked. It wasn’t always so. The gas…

Voulez-vous façonner ma pâte?

Voulez-vous façonner ma pâte?

Working with soft, sticky bread doughs – those containing 70% or more water by weight of flour – can be tricky. When it comes to shaping the loaf, you need to flour your hands and worksurface to help prevent the…

Learning maltese

Learning maltese

Last night I went to see musician and composer Richard Skelton perform with the Elysian Quartet at Snape Maltings, the concert hall founded by composer Benjamin Britten in 1967. Skelton’s music, which is inspired by the landscape, flora and fauna…

Reckless Eccles

Reckless Eccles

Named after the town of Eccles, a few miles west of Manchester, Eccles cakes are thought to date back to the late 18th century when a gentleman by the name of James Birch began selling them to an enthusiastic public….

A Special Baking loaf

A Special Baking loaf

In my last post I talked about Sekowa ‘Special Baking Ferment’ and how to prepare a starter with it. Once the starter is established it can be stored in the fridge until required, and doesn’t need to be revived as…

Bread meets biodynamics

Bread meets biodynamics

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’ve been experimenting with an alternative form of yeast, Sekowa ‘Spezial-Backferment’ or ‘Special Baking Ferment’. Made from ground wheat, maize and peas and dried honey, it is a sort of dried starter culture,…

Book ahead

Book ahead

I have a thing about books. I have lots of them, and I acquire new ones far more quickly than I can read them. Mostly I buy secondhand for reasons of economy. Sometimes, when the target is obscure and out…

Ricciarelli

Ricciarelli

Everyone recognises the French macaron, the almond-and-meringue based confection sandwiched together with buttercream that looks so chic in a rainbow of different colours on the counters of shops such as the famous Ladurée. Like so much associated with French cuisine,…