Seem to have settled down to 250C top, 220C bottom for loaves in the Pico. Cleaned the oven window to appease the Pico gods after they bit my arm a few days back. Didn’t have any more aggravation from them with yesterday’s Butternut Squash. No sunflower seeds or chile flakes this time just a good […]

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Smoked Salmon Pizza

This new oven is really good for me – might have a nervous breakdown relearning everything but I ain’t going to get bored. Fortunately Sue rebounds pretty quickly when I get snappy when the baking isn’t going the right way for me. Nice simple pizza for recovery day after yesterday’s celebrations. Except I’m using a […]

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Barbue Valée d’Auge

Today is the first day of our 46th year of living together. So yesterday we had a bit of a bang-up lunch. Started with Loire Valley sparkle and José Pizarro’s Citrus Prawn Fritters click here. The fritters were so filling we couldn’t think of a main course for a long time (and another bottle of […]

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First Foc

Pear & Rosemary Focaccia – first bread not baked directly on the sole of the Pico. My usual 80% hydration dough ( about 72 hours old. 340g dough within a sandwich tin ring on a pizza tin. 330C top & bottom. Have to learn to be braver. Baking is about charred bits and uncharred bits […]

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Commander Cody

The phone call didn’t help. Just before I caught the London coach and just after Sue bought a chicken I called to say I’d become vegetarian. It was early days and the course of true love was lost in the rocks which is why she was in London and I was in Manchester. The chicken […]

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Pico 3

We are starting to get somewhere. First 2 kilo miche in the new oven. I sort of feel that 2K is the proper size for a loaf and anything less is a bit puny. You get the right ratio of crust to crumb, it keeps for ever with the flavours developing, it has gravitas. Of […]

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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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