Well I hope you all had a good weekend.
We baked a German friendship cake at the weekend. It is one of these cakes where you feed it for 7 days (a bit like producing a sourdough starter) with flour, sugar and water. After the 7 days are up you split it into equal quantities, keep one portion for yourself and pass the others on . You then add apples and raisins to the cake mix and bake. It was quite nice, a cross between a fruit cake and a fruit bread – it looked like a sponge but had the smell of bread!
A colleague asked me about bread baking the other day with regards to gluten and kneading. I explained it to her and pointed her to my article post here. I think it does a good job in explaining the role gluten plays in the bread making process.
I have been evaluating my life lately. I have a good well paid job but I REALLY want to open up my own small family run bakery where everything is hand baked on site. There is a bakery already in my village but it is not a “real” bakery – the bread is baked off site and is the same boring white tin loaf you find everywhere.
My family is very supportive and I think they like the idea of us all working together but it is a big step to take and the current financial climate makes it quite risky but it is what I want to do. Perhaps it is just a dream at this stage but you never know – watch this space!
I also write information products and ebooks as I love to help people. In fact I have pretty much finished my bread baking e-book. It is a step by step guide to baking bread at home, showing you how to be a successful home baker. If you would like to know more just put your name down here. I will be giving a few copies away to my newsletter subscribers before I release it so if you haven’t signed up to my newsletter you can do it here (and remember you get a free report).
Have any of you followed your dreams? I would love to know as I need some inspiration and maybe that gentle nudge to just do it. If I was a single person I wouldn’t hesitate but things get more complicated when you have a family!
I hope you have a great week and get baking.
Well today is Chinese New Year so: “Kung Hei Fat Choy and Xin Nian Kuai Le!”
I have had quite a productive weekend. I have been quite busy in the kitchen baking a variety of good things. I baked an apple and ginger pie for our Sunday lunch. Can you believe that it was the first apple pie I have ever made!!!! And it was sooooo good, the ginger really gave it a nice bit of heat. I also baked some delicious (and quite frankly huge) Yorkshire puddings to go with our roast beef. I would’ve taken a picture of them but they were so big I would’ve needed a wide-angle lens to fit them in!!
My favourite baking of the weekend still revolved around bread. I always bake some crusty rolls at the weekend but this time I also baked some ciabatta and we had some delicious Panini’s. I love ciabatta but it takes a good few hours from start to finish but is so worth it. This is a recipe which I will be putting in a future issue of my newsletter. Last weeks issue had a recipe for the classic French sweet bread Brioche. If you would like the recipe just sign up here and I will send you my FREE guide and this weeks issue.
Although my first love is bread I am getting more interested in pastry baking. I think it is the tactile part of making your own pastry that I enjoy and I just can’t resist a good pie whether it is sweet or savoury.
Before I go here is a picture of a couple of my ciabatta loaves.
Have a great week…
Well here we are nearly 2 weeks into the new year and I have gone baking (not barking!!) mad. My sourdough starter has taken on a life of its own so I have baked a plethora of sourdough loaves and rolls.
If you haven’t tried sourdough yet I highly recommend it. It does take a while to get your starter going and the baking process is a bit longer, but the results are so worth it. I have placed instructions for creating your starter here and a basic sourdough recipe here.
I will be baking some sweet rolls tonight filled with nuts and raisins.
For some reason I am really enjoying my baking at the moment which is great. What treats have you been baking so far this year? Please let me know as it may give me a few new ideas and if you haven’t started yet – give it a go. The small effort involved is well worth it and your family and friends will certainly appreciate it.
Just a quick update on my new guide to baking. It is pretty much finished now. I am just putting the final touches to it and adding some of my favourite recipes. This has been a labour of love and if you are interested in getting a copy, keep an eye out as I will be releasing it pretty soon. If you want to make sure you don’t miss it you can opt in to be notified here
Well here we are in 2012. I hope you all had a fantastic break and are ready to make 2012 YOUR year.
I have numerous projects up my sleeve for this year. I am writing several more information products, one of which will be a detailed guide to baking your own bread at home, so if you are at all interested in baking keep an eye out for it.
Did you bake a lot over the festive period? I certainly did. I baked some lovely pfeffernusse (which is a sweet German treat laced with traditional christmas spices) and a delicious christmas loaf. I shared both these recipes with readers of my newsletter so if you want to give them a go sign up here
I have been watching a lot of tv too!! I was watching a programme about France and was drooling over the boulangerie and it strikes me as strange that you just don’t see proper bakeries like this in the UK. We eat a lot of bread (probably too much!) but over here we seem content to pay for the insipid commercial loaves mass-produced in large plants and I cannot understand why! Perhaps it is the same in your countries. I bake a lot for family and friends and they ALL tell me that my bread is so much better. Perhaps I should open my own style of boulangerie in my village. Not a bad idea as the only “bakery” sells the same ubiquitous white tin loaf as the supermarket but at grossly inflated prices. Perhaps I will canvas opinion in my local community and if there is a niche, fill it!
I hope to give you more tips and recipes over the coming year so let’s make this a year to remember and if you haven’t done so before, try baking your own bread at home – just promise that you let me know how you get on…