Pico 2

Week Two with the Pico – continuing the search for serious results. Nina’s Bread with Dark Beer (940g dough weight, strong bread 63%, rye 31%, spelt 6%, hydration 66% (Guinness 52%/Water 14%)) – the rye and spelt %’s are swapped in the original formula. At last, a loaf that’s starting to look like my […]

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Howdy, Howdy New Oven

Eight weeks after I paid the dosh to Tom Chandley, a loaded pallet fell to earth on the road beside the gate. Either the pallet wasn’t made for the gate or the gate wasn’t made for the pallet. Quite apart from which I’m no longer fit for lifting heavy and awkward weights. It started to […]

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Bye Bye Oven

The baker’s decline. A few week’s back it was the mixer moving off to a new life in Sarah Thornber’s bakery in the West Midlands. But this is the big one – the oven. The much maligned Turbofan (you can’t bake sourdough in a convection oven) has relentlessly churned out thousands and thousands of loaves […]

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Bara Planc 2006/2011/2021

Someone called Ben in Llanberis emailed me asking if I had any tips for making sourdough Bara Planc (sounded like he was doing all right without my help already). Bara Planc is a traditional Welsh yeasted griddle bread, “planc” meaning bakestone in some parts of the country. Just to confuse you further, a bakestone is […]

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Bread Matters

Back in 2000 I did a weekend Bread Matters course with Andrew Whitley at the Village Bakery in Melmerby, Cumbria. Funny things courses. You often don’t get what you wanted but you get something you hadn’t thought about. What I got was the opportunity to compare where I was at with the other people baking […]

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Tecs-Mex II

Rosca de Camarones en Escabeche – Prawns & Rice Ring with Red Chile Sauce. Not bad for a Tuesday lunch. Great thing about this is you can serve it hot with Salsa Adobada (dried chile sauce) or cold with a Salsa Tipica (fresh tomato sauce). Handy to have a choice in a British summer.

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Been getting back into making tortillas – wheat ones that is. Sometimes it seems like a real drag but, like bread, shop-bought tortillas are disgusting. So get your sleeves rolled up and stop whinging! This is how I did it this time. It was warm and the butter was very soft. I’m not a pastry […]

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Strange experience the period after you tell yourself you’ve retired. The baptism of fire when you start baking for sale and the intensity of the work completely changes your approach to bread. Retiring doesn’t reverse the process but after a few weeks thoughts and memories from the previous era start to plop to the surface. […]

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Drinkies VIII – Sangria

Gor Blimey, Wot a Scorcher! How to while away the hours in this heat? Prepare your crab backs and prawn tacos whilst sipping a refreshing sangria. This is a simple, refreshing drink not a brandy-laden Balearic party-stoker; just red wine and lemonade. It’s been in the repertoire more than 35 years but only comes out […]

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