During Year 1 of Bethesdabakers Professional the weekly format was a set number of regular breads – Pain de Campagne, Mick’s Classic Sourdough, Wholemeal Wheat, Wholemeal Spelt, Pain de Seigle sur Levain, Multigrain, 5 Seed, Baguette – plus a Special which changed every week.
At the start of Year 2 the best thing I did was to change this. So Spelt got the boot (probable just my lack of skill but I hated the stuff – more to the point it didn’t sell), the main Special continued but in came a weekly flatbread and, instead of churning out the Seigle every time, a weekly rye.
The flatbreads have been great. Space-wise, (a crucial factor in the smallest of micro-bakeries) I bake them on pizza tins which can be stacked 11 high on a wire stand plus, time-wise, proving can be pretty flexible. Not only that, they sell well and at a good price. On top of which devising (and stealing) new flavour combinations stops the brain from rotting.
So far this year we’ve done:
Santa Fe Corn Bread
Black Olive & Caramelised Focaccia
Apricot & Almond Fougasse
Red Grape & Fennel Seed Focaccia
Dewi Sant (Leek & Chile) Focaccia
Curry & Cardamom Flatbread
Big G’s Cherry Tomato Focaccia
Pear & Rosemary Focaccia
But this week was the best. Sometimes you make something so good it’s like it has nothing to do with you – its qualities are already there, fully formed and you just act as midwife.
Yr Ardd Fadarch Focaccia – focaccia made with local grown shiitake mushrooms.
I finally pinned down Cynan Jones at the Conwy Feast food festival a couple of weeks ago. It was so crowded he couldn’t escape – he was hedged in by the punters behind his stall. Cynan grows shiitake (and other mushrooms) in a container a few mountains from us in Beddgelert. Check out his new website –
He kindly donated samples of fresh and dried shiitakes – I made up the prototype focaccia.
On Tuesday 1 kilo of fresh & 325g of dried shiitakes arrived by courier (only two quid for delivery!) and I guarantee that by now my customers will not have a crumb left for the birdies.