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Baking Recipes and Advice

  • Beauty and Utility in our Handmade Lame

    Having baked as an amateur for over 20 years, I am still surprised at how much there is still to learn and how many new ingredients and pieces of equipment are out there waiting for us to discover them. We’ve a healthy list of things to research and evaluate for adding to our range over the coming year – I am constantly surprised that some overseas manufacturers need to be persuaded to export their products with some refusing to sell outside their home turf. We’ve a few tricks up our sleeves to overcome most cases though. Other times, like this...

  • New in – Best British Chapatti Flour

    I’ve known Charles and David Howell of Offley Mill for some years and was most intrigued that a traditional watermill in Shropshire should specialise in chapatti flour rather than the more typical mix of flours. The Howell family has been milling since 1740 at one time owning several mills. Now at Offley Mill, in 1998 they decided to specialise in serving the Asian community in the Midlands with chapatti flour. Delivered directly to customers’ kitchens in 25kg sacks, this has kept them busy for almost 20 years. We’ve wanted to be able to offer a...

  • Why the Fuss About Stoneground Flour?

    Why the Fuss About Stoneground Flour? When I make my bread at home I know as we all do that wholegrain flour is the way to go for health with all its fibre and nutritional qualities. Luckily I like the flavour too so my loaves are rarely made with only white flour. There is more to it than this though: I often hear that stoneground flour is be better for you than roller-milled, but wondered how true this is? At recent conference we were told that only 0.05...

  • A SLICE OF THINGS TO COME in 2017

    Happy New Year to all our lovely BakeryBits customers. 2016 was a pretty tumultuous year for most and for us it was no exception. Moving to a new warehouse was pretty hectic but now that we are nicely settled the benefits are clear with plenty of space for more sensible quantities of stock and the Dispatch team is very much more efficient – and no longer tripping over boxes. What’s coming in 2017? If the events of 2016 are anything to go by then predictions need to be treated with caution – but – ours are based to...

  • Vanessa Kimbell answers our Sourdough Questions

    Sourdough Special Many of you know Vanessa as our in house baker for Bakerybits, but she is often referred to as The Queen of Sourdough because day-to-day she teaches domestic bakers to make sourdough at the Sourdough School in Northamptonshire. She has a special interest in bread in relation to health, and is also a regular contributor to the BBC Radio 4 food Programme, and an award-winning author, and writing her third book .. this time on Sourdough! ( at last!) What do you love about sourdough? I have a particular interest in sourdough for health. Research...

  • How get a Sourdough starter

    How do I get a starter? This is a question I get asked often, and there are many different ways to get a starter going. You could make your own.  It can take from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the flour you use and the temperature. It’s uniquely satisfying and fun, but many people loose patience and give up, or do not recognise when it is ready.   A reputable and supported sourdough starter such as the one sold by Bakerybits is a fast way to get going because it has a...

  • Vanessa Kimbell's Friday Night Sourdough

     This is my standard overnight loaf that I teach beginners. It has the same 68% hydration we use in the village bakery, but has the long slow prove that is classically from San Francisco.  Feel free to add another 20g of water to get a bigger crumb if you are confident in handling a wetter dough. As any Frenchman will tell you, nothing gets you off to a better start at the weekend that a  large sourdough loaf fresh from the oven.  There is no mystery to this -  it’s all about the timing. This method allows you...

  • Orange blossom brioche bread

      The brioche are still pride of place on the counter in the bakery where Vanessa did her apprenticeship. Orange blossom brioche bread Heaven is lightly toasted brioche,  marmalade and a pot of tea. The very first job I was given when I started my apprenticeship the bakery in the south of France was to break the eggs for the brioche.  We had an order and I had to break 360 eggs to make about 80 brioches for an order and for market day. The smell in the bakery was what I imagine heaven to...

  • Festive ingredients for a fruit-free Christmas cake

    It's the run up to Christmas and we are using all sorts of delicious festive ingredients in our baking. In this weeks Bakery Bits newsletter Vanessa has used orange essence, chestnut flour and cocoa powder to make a delicious dry fruit-free Christmas cake. You can sign up to receive our newsletter and get this, and other delicious recipes, straight into your inbox every week by joining Our Club Have a wonderful Christmas! Delicious whisky-soaked, dry fruit-free, chestnut, orange and cocoa Christmas cake

  • Ndali Vanilla Powder

    Vanilla is often one of the forgotten about spices at Christmas. I often combine vanilla with cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and cloves. Vanilla has this extraordinary ability to pair with any of those spices and provide a lighter, sweeter, top note. A classic example of combining these spices would be using vanilla and cinnamon in cinnamon buns or adding a teaspoon of nutmeg and a teaspoon of vanilla powder into some buttermilk muffins. I have a particular affinity to this Ndali vanilla powder, simply because I met the farmers who grow it and harvest it and know the workers and...

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