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

BAKING TIPS MONDAY – REMOVING YOUR CAKE SAFELY…

On Baking Tips Monday this week I am writing about how to remove your cake without any problems.

To easily remove your cake from a loose-bottomed tin, place on a tin can or jar and press the side of the tin downwards.

To remove a cake from a solid tin, run a knife around the outside of the cake then place a plate over the tin and invert it.

If your cake is particularly rounded or uneven, then level it off with a sharp knife before decorating.

To prevent your cake from sticking to a plate or board, dust the surface with icing sugar.

When the cake is loose, turn the pan upside down and gently ease the cake out and onto the cooling rack or plate. The best type of knife to use is a non-serrated or palette knife. Or use a thin nylon spatula.

If the cake still won’t come out then when the cake is cool, preheat the oven again to about 250. Put the cake back into the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the pan over to rest on a cooling rack. The cake should slide nicely out of the pan.

BAKING TIPS MONDAY FROM AFTERNOON TEA4TWO…

Baking Tips Monday is a new post I am going to write every Monday with lots of tips for baking so make sure you subscribe to an email.

Avoid over mixing as it can cause a heavy texture, and this will cause the cake to crack, (see image below).

Bake your cake immediately once mixed as the baking process begins to act as soon as it is combined with liquid.

When mixing butter cream in a freestanding machine, cover the whole machine with a damp tea towel. This stops clouds of icing sugar dust going over the kitchen.

A TOWER OF TREATS…

This Tower of Treats from Watts Farms makes a fantastic Christmas gift for anyone with five box’s of treats. Starting from the top it has –

Allergens – (milk, may contain nuts, wheat, egg, soya)

Tower of Treats  – Each

5 luxury boxes filled with goodies.

8 x Milk Chocolates with Hazelnut cream filling

200g creamy vanilla fudge

175g traditional stem ginger biscuits

270g Chocolate covered Heart Palmiers

500g Classis Chocolate Chop Panettone

Available at a few places online but the best price I found was one at Watts Farm for £29.99

GORGEOUS BOOKS AS GORGEOUS CHRISTMAS GIFTS…

It’s that time of year again where we see lots of books and new releases up for sale and you are spoilt for choice as to which one to buy for yourself or as a gift. Well, I thought I would put my pennies worth in and have three of my favourite not entirely cooking books but books about cooking, the history of the biscuit and stuff every cook should know about.

My first choice is The Biscuit; The History of a Very British Indulgence by Lizzie Collingham£12.99

Did you know that British people eat more biscuits than any other nation; they are as embedded in our culture as fish and chips or the Sunday roast. But biscuits are not only tasty treats to go with a cup of tea, the sustenance they afford is often emotional, evoking nostalgic memories of childhood.

Lizzie Collingham begins in Roman times when biscuits – literally, ‘twice-baked’ bread – became the staple of the poor; she takes us to the Middle East, where the addition of sugar to the dough created the art of confectionery. Yet it was in Britain that bakers experimented to create the huge variety of biscuits which populate our world today. And when the Industrial Revolution led to their mass production, biscuits became integral to the British diet.

We follow the humble biscuit’s transformation from durable staple for sailors, explorers and colonists to sweet luxury for the middling classes to comfort food for an entire nation. Like an assorted tin of biscuits, this charming and beautifully illustrated book has something to offer for everyone, combining recipes for hardtack and macaroons, Shrewsbury biscuits and Garibaldis, with entertaining and eye-opening vignettes of social history.

I love reading about life in times gone by and this book is full of fascinating social insights and delicious recipes. If you are someone who is fascinated by the history of food, then this book is definitely worth having. As a blog writer on all things Hygge it was interesting to read that The Dutch word “koek” means cake / biscuit / wafer and the diminutive is koekje, another word which I am sure will soon become popular.

This book is one for the coffee table to pick up and learn something else you didn’t know about tea and biscuits.

Stuff Every Cook Should Know by Joy Manning £7.99

Stuff Every Cook Should Know is as indispensable to cooks as a good sturdy knife and just as sharp. Compact enough to fit on the smallest shelf or countertop, this sous-chef-in-a-book tells how to make a meal plan, how to use common ingredient substitutions, how to throw a dinner party, how to organize your kitchen, and much more. It s a pocket-sized problem solver that makes a great gift for seasoned culinary artists, novice chefs, and anyone who loves to cook.

I’ve still got my first cookery book which I was given at school and love to read through it with my pencil notes fading by the day, but this gives you a hint at everything you might want to know about in your kitchen and full of helpful tips and reminders.

It really is a book about stuff every cook should know. While it won’t make one a master cook, it is definitely most helpful for someone starting out. A great little stocking filler for the novice student about to embark on their first cooking venture.

My final one for the time being is a bit different as it has stories as well recipes and one I plan to keep this one for my granddaughter.

Fairytale Baking Recipes And Stories, by Christin Gewekes £14.23

Once upon a time, many moons ago, there was a little girl who discovered her love for baking … Thus begins author Christin Geweke’s culinary journey through magical bakes that make you dream of fairytale forests and are guaranteed to be liked by the fussiest of cake eaters, just like the princess of the Princess and the Pea fame. Here are recipes and exquisite photographs of forest berry ice cream cake, mini gingerbread kuglofs, marzipan chocolate rolls, dreamy peach rose cups.

Like old family recipes, fairytales and stories are also handed down from one generation to the next. And delicious baking can delight the senses and bring back memories just like a good story, for both old and young alike. Lose yourself in fairytales to while away the time until your goodies are ready to take out of the oven and devour.

I love this book and the beautiful images inside it. I can’t wait for my granddaughter who is only one to be old enough to enjoy baking with me with this book. It’s definitely one for the coffee table and a real conversation starter. The recipes are clear and very easy to follow with a choice of some unusual ones (for me anyway), and it makes a nice change.