Baking and the future!

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.


Weekend baking is great!

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…








Baking mad!!

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

Bake your way through 2012!

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…