This section is dedicated to a selection of BakeryBits media coverage. Please check back for more later. For media related enquiries click here.
In an age when you can buy an industrial loaf for £1, making bread that costs many times that and takes more than half a week might seem an anachronism. But real bread - the proper stuff made from just flour, water, salt and a rising agent - is enjoying a revival. The movement was started by pioneers including Dan Lepard, Richard Bertinet of the Bertinet Kitchen in Bath and Dan Schickentanz of Abingdon's De Gustibus. It has since been taken on by a young (overwhelmingly male) crew that includes the Thoughtful Bread Company's Duncan Glendinning and Patrick Ryan, and TV's Fabulous Baker Brothers from Hobbs House Bakery. Domestic baking appears to be growing, too - the online store Bakery Bits, the first stop for any serious baker, launched in 2008 and its turnover has increased by at least 50% each year.
Bread Peel From £22.79 (01404 565 656)
Top 10 kitchen gadgets to give this Christmas | La Cloche Baking dome This clever device gives you the crispest crust. Its bell design traps steam in the same way as a large wood fire oven. I like it as it is big enough to cook a homemade sourdough, (if you've the patience to make it in the first place!) £47.99, Bakery Bits, bakerybits.co.uk.
£47.99 from www.bakerybits.co.uk When it comes to improving homemade bread, it's all about the crust. If you can't afford a woodfired oven, you can now imitate one with the La Cloche Baking Dome. The dome shape traps steam and maintains an even baking temperature to give you an even, golden, delicious crust
1.5kg Vannerie handmade linen-lined proving basket £49.99, bakerybits.co.uk. Dan Lepard says: Nothing says 'I love you' to a bread geek more. Outrageously expensive and beautiful. Ideal for a slow-rise dough.
At last, for those with no garden, a wood-burning oven for the hob La Cloche Baking Dome, £47.99, www.bakerybits.co.uk
La Cloche Baking DomeMimics a woodfired oven in your conventional oven. The bell-shaped lid traps steam and maintains an even baking temperature. bakerybits.co.uk. £47.99.
Panettone essence containing fiori di sicilia is just one of the tempting ingredients being offered on a new website specialising in equipment for home-baking buffs, with products ranging from wood-fired ovens to lames for slashing dough, and proving and baking baskets to baking stones and domes. 'Aroma Panettone' costs £6.99 for 100ml, from www.bakerybits.co.uk
"Dan Lepard has the most sensible non-faffy bread recipe we've ever come across and the man can do things with a bag of flour that make us weak at the knees. His new book Short & Sweet: The Best Of Home Baking is the kind of comprehensive baking guide you can imagine pulling out year after year, steadily getting covered in more splotches. Which is why we're very pleased Dan is sharing this recipe with us, an Arabic-influenced twist on the classic carrot cake."
INGREDIENTS 75g tahini; 125 ml sunflower oil; 3 tsps pomegranate syrup or black treacle; zest of 3 oranges; 225g light soft brown sugar; 3 medium eggs, 2 separated; 200g carrot, grated; 100g pistachios; 100ml orange juice; 175g plain flour; 21⁄2 tsps baking powder; 2 tsps ground cinnamon; 1⁄2 tsp ground cloves; 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg METHOD Step one: Line three 20cm round Victoria sponge tins with a disc of non-stick baking paper. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the tahini, oil, syrup, orange zest and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in one whole egg plus yolks (reserving the whites) until combined and then stir in the grated carrot, pistachios and juice. Step two: Sift the flour, baking powder and spices then stir them through the mixture. Whisk the two egg whites until white and fluffy and stir through the mix. Step three: Divide the mixture evenly between the three tins and bake at 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 4 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few tiny moist crumbs stuck to it. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the tins, then layer with lemon cream cheese frosting. Short & Sweet: The Best Of Home Baking by Dan Lepard is published by Fourth Estate, price £25. Available for £19.99 from bakerybits.co.uk
The La Cloche Baking Dome, easy to use with superb results, makes an ideal gift for baking lovers.
Supplied by baking equipment specialists BakeryBits.co.uk, the fantastic La Cloche Baking Dome mimics a wood-fired oven in your conventional oven for a truly artisan baking treat.
The bell-shaped dish and lid traps the steam and maintains an even baking temperature to give you moist bread with a mouth-watering evenly golden and crackly crust. The easy to use La Cloche measures 30cm in diameter with an overall height of 17cm giving plenty of room for a 1kg loaf while fitting perfectly on your oven shelf. Based on ancient Greek and Roman baking traditions, the La Cloche is made from Superstone, a natural stoneware, fired over 1000°C. It is oven and freezer proof and easy to clean, requiring only to be soaked in warm water so that any baked on food can be scraped off.
Available from www.BakeryBits.co.uk, the La Cloche Baking Dome is priced at £42.99, plus a delivery charge of £2.95 + VAT.
Orders can be made online or next-day delivery. Delivery is available anywhere worldwide.
The artisan baker has never had it so good – television programmes, numerous books on the subject and now a website entitled bakerybits.co.uk (01404-565656), which will supply the enthusiastic baker with everything from beginner’s kits to bannetons and grignettes. Two new products are the Cloche Baking Dome (mimics a wood-fired oven, £47.99) and Aroma Panettone Essence (add to the dough, £6.99).
Online supplier Bakerybits.co.uk has launched an extensive new range of artisan stoneground flours, as part of its aim to expand its offering of hard-to-find ingredients sought by independent and domestic artisan bakers.
The new line has been specially selected from several acclaimed mills across the UK, including Redbournbury Mill, Foster's Mill, Mill Green and The Watermill at Little Salkeld. It includes white, wholemeal, rye, speciality and rare flours. "Our new flour range is an exciting venture and represents a key expansion of our online offering," said Patrick Thornberry, MD at Bakerybits.co.uk.
The new range is available in 1.5kg and 25kg bags.
Inspired (and aided!) by Celia, Brydie and Joanna, these are my bread rolls made with my new bread presses a spiral, a kaiser/vienna and a rosette/rosetta (I bought two of them from Bakery Bits, here you need to scroll down) but I need to play around some more with the recipe that I'm using. When I press the rolls they flatten a lot, and my dough doesn't seem to have much oven spring, resulting in rather flat rolls. It's just a straight yeasted dough, a little lower in hydration than my usual, and with a little olive oil added.
I suspect that this is partly to do with the fact that as they proove they seem to develop a bit of a skin, I ought to try prooving them in a moister environment to prevent this and try and get them to spring a bit more. I also think that the white rolls weren't aided by a further experiment in using some quite elderly '00' pasta flour I had hanging around. I don't think it was designed for bread really - not only did they not spring very well, they staled quite quickly too. I ought to try either Joanna's recipe or Celia's sourdough rather than just freestyling.
I also found that if I pressed them immediately before baking I got the patterns you see above
whereas if I pressed them and allowed them to proove a little further, the pattern all but disappeared on baking seen here at the front - I pressed the back one just before baking. All good fun but I do need some more practice before I can emulate the three bakers I linked to at the beginning of this post. If you want stunning pictures, hop through to their blogs!
This one is my best one!
Typically though, the bread rolls I made the morning I was expecting the presses to arrive in the post (and they didn't arrive until after the bread needed baking.... one of those days) sprang much better and were reasonably tasty if nothing special. Just goes to show though, that even if you don't have fancy presses, you can still make pretty bread rolls. I just used my small dough scraper, but any reasonably firm piece of plastic would probably do.