When done right, baking can be an incredibly calming and gratifying process, yielding mounds of fresh, hard-earned baked goods. However, when the …Common Baking Mistakes Part 1
Following on from my post on Real Bread Week 20th – 28th February, here are ten tips on making bread.
- 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.
- 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.
- Warm up your utensils before starting the process.
- Always warm your milk, only slightly but just enough so that the yeast isn’t slowed down by the fat in the milk.
- Make sure you check and double check your salt quantity.
- 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.
- 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.
- There are a number of different flours out there so try different ones.
- Throughout the process the dough should be kept warm ie at approximately blood heat, but it must NOT be overheated.
- 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
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.
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.
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
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:
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:
Scouts, Guides or other local youth organisation
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
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.
forage/ˈfɒrɪdʒ/Learn to pronounceverbgerund or present participle: foraging
- (of a person or animal) search widely for food or provisions.”the birds forage for aquatic invertebrates, insects, and seeds”
- obtain (food or provisions) by searching.”a girl foraging grass for oxen”
- search (a place) so as to obtain food.”units that were foraging a particular area”
Foraging has become quite a popular word or late and no more than by the coast and countryside. In fact, you can go on numerous Foraging Courses where with this particular one Bushcraft and Celtic folklore specialist, Jonathon Huet, will take you on a guided walk to forage for wild food and impart his knowledge on different native trees in each season. The walk ends with a primitive fire-lighting demonstration and you will experience a Celtic Fire Ceremony around the glowing embers of the fire and learn the folklore of native trees.
There are short breaks when life gets back to normal or study your local district coastal foraging information. The UK coastline is one of the largest in Europe and is host to a wide range of habitats. From machair to cliffs to salt marsh, providing homes for everything from plants to birds.
Low Impact write how coastal foraging covers a wide variety of wild food available at the coast – plants, seaweeds, shellfish and crustaceans etc. Coastal foraging can be done everywhere from sea cliffs and dunes, out to the low tide point in the rocks, gullies and pools, as well as mudflats and estuaries. Coastlines offer a particularly abundant and one of the most dependable habitats for foragers. For these reasons, throughout our history humans have often chosen to live by the sea. Midden piles of discarded shells from ancient coastal foragers are the evidence that remains, and attest to the importance of the seashore as a plentiful food resource.
Some coastal food remains common in our diets today, such as prawns and crabs, and even carragheen seaweed hidden as a thickener in anything from toothpaste to desserts; whilst others, still delicious and nutritious, like winkles have fallen off the radar somewhat.
Coastal foraging can provide you with an abundance of truly nutritious food. In particular, shellfish offer a very high energy return with little input, and other than some low-cost (or even home made) equipment, it is free! Seaweed can be easily harvested and is high in vitamins and minerals.
Some coastal areas are now protected, either because of birds, flowers, insects, grasses and even due to the importance of the marine ecology under the waves, so its worth browsing your local councils website for more details of the type of areas you can forage.
You can find some great recipes from cookery books like The Seaweed Cookbook : A guide to edible seaweeds and how to cook by by Caroline Warwick-Evans and Tim van Berkel (Author), The Cornish Seaweed Company
There are 100 deliciously creative recipes from simple and wholesome dishes to chef-inspired specials. Often overlooked during rock pool scrambles and beach walks, seaweed is one of the most nutritious, versatile, sustainable and intriguing natural products.
Another brilliant book is Eat The Beach : A Guide to Edible Seashore by Fraser Christian (Author)
Eat the Beach is a uniquely informative, practical guide to coastal foraging, essential for anyone interested in survival skills or just wanting to get more out of messing about in rock pools. Fraser Christian runs the UK’s only specialist Coastal Survival School. This book teaches anyone how to collect it, catch it, prepare it, cook it and enjoy it.
The website Low Impact go on to remind you that it’s worth taking the sea, and it’s changeable weather seriously, but don’t let it put you off. Check the weather before you go and particularly avoid disorientating sea mists or storms. It’s very important to be aware of the tide times, and the speed of the incoming tide. Because of the risks, it’s generally best to go with someone, and take a phone. It’s good practice to tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to be back.