10 TIPS ON BREAD MAKING FOR “REAL BREAD WEEK “…

Following on from my post on Real Bread Week 20th – 28th February, here are ten tips on making bread.

  1. When baking bread, put the empty baking tin upside down in the oven beforehand to heat up. Then when you drop the dough in it, it puffs up and creates a lighter bread.
  2. Always use the right yeast, the easiest type to use in home baking is the fast acting/easy-blend dried yeast which most bread machines use.
  3. Warm up your utensils before starting the process.
  4. Always warm your milk, only slightly but just enough so that the yeast isn’t slowed down by the fat in the milk.
  5. Make sure you check and double check your salt quantity.
  6. Store your yeast at the correct temperature. Dried can be kept for a few months. Fresh yeast can be kept in the fridge for a week or two or could be frozen for up to 3 months.
  7. Make sure you measure everything correctly. Use digital scales. The smallest difference in just the amount of water or yeast can make a big difference to your bread.
  8. There are a number of different flours out there so try different ones.
  9. Throughout the process the dough should be kept warm ie at approximately blood heat, but it must NOT be overheated.
  10. Check rising time with each recipes as they can vary quite a bit and do not leave dough to just rise. Make a note of the time you left it and set an alarm to check it at the correct time.

And, enjoy with lashings of butter on…

Source : BHF

REAL BREAD WEEK FEBRUARY 20th-28th…

What is Real Bread Week?
Launched by the Real Bread Campaign in 2009*, this is the annual, international celebration of Real Bread and people who make it.

Each year, the Campaign encourages bakeries and baking schools in its supporter network around the world to organise hold classes, feasts and other events and activities.

Meanwhile, everyone else is encouraged to get along to a local, independent Real Bread bakery and support a business that helps to create more jobs per loaf at the heart of your local community and to keep your high street alive.
Doughy digits
One of the two main aims of the week has always been to encourage more people to bake their own Real Bread. We’re particularly keen to see more children learning to bake it, whether at home, in a bakery, baking school or in the classroom.

Not only is this great fun, but it’s a way helping them to avoid all of the artificial additives that turn up in industrial loaves. It can also be a way of steering them towards healthier food – you’d be amazed at the number of children who ‘don’t like wholemeal’ but love it when it was lovingly made by their own mitts.

Home baking
Recipes
Real Bread classes/courses
Discounts on ingredients, equipment, classes

NB loaves raised with baking powder / soda fall outside our definition of Real Bread
Bigging up little bakeries
It’s time to kick the additive-laden industrial loaf habit and support YOUR local Real Bread baker!

Small, independent, locally-owned bakeries help to:

support more jobs per loaf for people in your local community – skilled jobs at that
keep more money circulating in your local economy, helping to keep your high street alive

They may also offer social benefits, from being a place where older people at risk of isolation can see a friendly face and stop for a chat, to those that are set up to offer training and employment opportunities for people facing one of a range of challenges.

Don’t be fooled by so-called ‘artisan’ loaves turning up on supermarket shelves: insist on the real deal.

Look for The Real Bread Loaf Mark
Discover a local Real Bread bakery
Why support a local Real Bread bakery

Get involved!
How are YOU celebrating Real Bread Week this year?

Whether you’re a teacher, professional or amateur baker (or even a non-baker), there are plenty of ways to help people in your local community enjoy Real Bread…and maybe even raise dough for the Campaign at the same time.

Even better if you team up with local good food organisations and/or other small-batch food and drink producers to make a real party of it.

Here are a few more ideas of events and activities. You could organise a Real Bread:

beginners‚baking workshop
tasting dinner or pizza night perhaps in association with a local pub or eatery
lunchbox masterclass to share all the great Real Bread alternatives to soggy factory loaf sarnies with parents at a local school
club event to bring friends colleagues and neighbours together to bake
networking event for fellow breadheads

The more the merrier
Perhaps you could involve a community group such as your local:

School
Youth club
Scouts, Guides or other local youth organisation
WI group
Farmers’ market
Country Market
Slow Food group

Support the Charity

he best way to support our charity’s work is to join the Real Bread Campaign

You don’t have to be a baker to join us – in fact, the majority of our supporters aren’t.

Rates (unchanged since 2009) start from £22.50 a year, the equivalent of LESS THAN £2 A MONTH. 

Supporter benefits you’ll get to enjoy include our exclusive True Loaf magazine; and special offers on Real Bread ingredients, equipment, baking classes and more. Read more about why and how to join us.

Make a doughnation

If you’d like to make a one-off doughnation as well as / instead of joining us, you can do so here.

Help us to raise dough

Can your business make a special donation, or collect from your customers, during the week? Maybe you could send a percentage of your total sales, or just from a Real Bread Week loaf/class.

You can send what you raise to us by debit/credit card or PayPal payment via our doughnations page

Source: Awareness Days, Real Bread Campaign

HOW TO ENJOY OLD RECIPES FROM SOME OLD RECIPE BOOKS…

I don’t know about you but I have been baking lots more during lockdown, but it has given me the chance to be quite choosy and really study recipes. I had boxes of old recipe books so I decided I would go through them all and try out some of my old recipes. But then you end up with a load of books around you and some recipes that need the weights changing.

So, I bought this lovely new recipe book to put my new found recipes in (see below) which is a great size. You can write down any recipes you love in it. Prompts will also help you do that easier – areas for ingredients, directions, times for preparation and cook, and it is only £6.97 from Amazon so what’s not to like about it.

As I was going through all my books I found my original GCSE Cookery Book, which fascinated me as one of my courses was a salad !!!! I guess it was all about the timing back then as you had to do a starter, main course and a sweet. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a GCSE in cooking but it definitely put me in good stead for the future. One section that made me smile was about the storage of milk – It is important to store milk carefully to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria and to prevent scouring so never leave your milk in the sunlight, keep in cool dark place, always use clean jugs, keep it covered, and boil suspected milk!

If old cookbooks once belonged to family, then the connection is particularly strong, as I remember my grandmother and mother using the same books for special meals and I have a few written out that are falling apart that were my Mums. I have stuck that together and popped it into the recipe book. I think it’s going to take me a while to sort through them all and I am sure I will need another recipe book to put them in.

I guess I have really loved baking more than anything else and I have been doing quite a bit of that for my family recently. My son and his wife only moved down to where we live in January and with Covid-19 we have not even seen the inside of the house yet. So, I decided I would bake a few things for them then at least we can see them outside there house for a few minutes standing at a safe distance of course. I have also been baking for my 18 month old granddaughter who is going through that faze of not liking many things that are put in front of her but she will always eat my muffins and my fishcakes. I know she loves cheese so I just make sure there is a lot in both of them and make her vegetable muffins and the fishcakes have sweet potato and broccoli in so she is getting her vegetables down her.

I also bought Mary Berry’s Fast Cakes : Easy Bakes in Minutes, it’s a fantastic baking book with lots of recipes that only need one bowl to work with. Mary has incorporated her ‘all-in-one’ method of preparation into as many recipes as possible, so her recipes are faster to make than ever. Nearly 100 of the bakes take only 10 minutes to make and Mary has included small bake variations for fruit cakes, which traditionally take a long time in the oven, so you can make one even when you are pushed for time.

There are scones, buns and biscuits that you can whip up for tea, traybakes and fruit loaves perfect for a school or village fete and of course foolproof cakes for every occasion from everyday recipes such as a Honey and Almond Cake to Mary’s First-Rate Chocolate Cake. Not forgetting recipes you can make with your kids from Happy Face Biscuits to Traffic Lights and Jammy Buns. Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes is available from Amazon and other good book shops from £17.39 for the Hardcover or the Kindle Edition which is the one I bought is just £7.99 and worth every penny.

SHROVE TUESDAY/PANCAKE DAY FOLLOWED BY ASH WEDNESDAY…

Straight after Valentines Day comes Shrove Tuesday/ Pancake Day on Tuesday 16th February.

The day always falls on the seventh week before Easter.

It is also the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the the period known as Lent.

The tradition of eating pancakes stems from the time when people were trying to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk and sugar before the fasting season of Lent. It is traditionally a period where you stop eating certain foods i.e. sugar, fats, flour and eggs. They would empty their cupboards of these products and make lots of pancakes before lent started.

It takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday and pancake races have been going around for years. London has a number of famous ones.The Parliamentary Pancake Race starts from the Victoria Tower Gardens but due to Covid-19 has been cancelled this year as have many other well known pancake races in the UK. . The Parliamentary Pancake Race has has probably the most high-profile participants which feature three teams made up of MP’s, Lords and members of the press to help raise funds for the charity ‘Rehab’.

Some original fillings for your pancakes start with chocolate (yum, yum) fruits, syrups, fudge, sugar and ice cream, or of course, flamed with brandy (crepe Suzette).

My favourite site for recipes is the BBC Good Food Pancake Day Selection with 56 to choose from including Red Velvet Pancakes and G & T Pancakes and yet G & T as in gin and tonic. What more could you ask…

The following day is Ash Wednesday.

It marks the first day of fasting, repentance, prayer and self-control. Luxury or rich foods such as meat and dairy are often avoided by those taking part in Lent. Also abstention from personal ‘bad habit’s such as watching television or eating too much sugar is also commonly practised. It is a day in which Christians go through a period of 40 days of fasting, designed to help them remember the same amount of time Jesus spent fasting in the Wilderness. 

Valentine’s Day Crafts and Activities — Saturday Club

Valentine’s Day is coming up! Here are some links to fun and easy crafts and activities you can do with your kids: The Vivify Stem website has some fun science and math oriented valentine’s projects including sampling strawberry DNA, sending a coded message, making a candy grabber, and stacking candy hearts: https://www.vivifystem.com/blog/2020/2/4/12-valentines-day-stem-activities CRAFTS SewYeah from […]

Valentine’s Day Crafts and Activities — Saturday Club