The Rise and Rise of a Good Bake

Happy Monday peeps!  Just musing over the weeks that have slipped by since my last update.  I continue to be busy in and out of the bakery and enjoying all the bread challenges, not so much the other worky stuff…   My latest additions to my Brotfollio (see what I did there?  Brot is German for bread – biggest eaters of bread in Europe, incidentally) are my 100% Spelt sourdough and my Rye with Caraway seeded loaves. (second picture).  Spelt has a lovely flavour to it, but it can be really tricky to perfect; I think the one in this top picture was a bit of a fluke as it managed to keep a perfect structure.  Subsequent loaves have over-proved a little but I can only learn by keeping at it.

Every bakery is different, all flour is different, the weather temperature is fluctuating greatly at the moment and all these factors are difficult to control when you don’t have expensive bakery equipment to regulate the whole process. My Rye-bread – the brick looking example in the second picture I thought was a wrong’un (shape-wise) only until I saw more-or-less the same loaf being sold on a Farmers Market in Harpenden yesterday, so thrilled and relieved that there’s nothing wrong with my baked off-spring.

I also took a couple of inner pictures of the loaves so you can see that they are far from bricks:

Inside my Rye Bread

So onto this week’s new products, that are hopefully going to be successful and possibly born out of error; I had the misfortune to temporarily remove my brain whilst I was shopping for desperately needed loaf tins.  I have ended up with 10 whoppa tins, which would mean a whole new overhaul  of my recipes, so instead I am trying out some DOUBLERS.  These will be two smaller loaves baked side by side in the one tin, making one big loaf that can be split in half  – one for eating now, one to give away/freeze for a soup day or something.  Not sure on the name yet, my they might just end up looking like a giant chest…

Inside my Wholemeal Spelt

I am also now offering SMALL Foccacias, perfect for the twosey picky tea, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dunk it into to. hmm hmm.

Although I am always baking for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I still need 48 hours notice as this is when I need to refresh my sourdough levain from the fridge.  If I do too much, I’ll end up having to throw some, or if I do too little, disappointed customers.

Or why not do a standing weekly order, as many of my customers do?

TUESDAYs (Order by Sunday 10am)
THURSDAY only MALTED (Order by Tuesday 10am) – delivery to Stopsley Baptist Church, Term-time.
SATURDAY’s (Order by Thursday 10am)

Rye oh Rye oh RYE!

An apology to everyone for my lack of blogging and baking since Christmas Eve.  I thought I’d give myself a little break from the mixing and the kneading and the tinning up and spend a little more time with my family over Christmas and New Year (that is allowed, right??).   I have also used the time to question just why I put myself through the stress and sometimes physical pain of single-handedly producing around 36 loaves a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Not to say that I reached a crossroads, but I am reaching a point where I am starting to wonder if all this hard work is worthwhile; I certainly make no money from this venture and there seems to be so few people out there who care about what they put into their bodies that I might aswell have decided to sell drugs instead.

I am currently reading ‘Bread Matters- Why and How to Make Your Own Bread.’ by Andrew Whitely.  It has injected a new determination in me to continue my quest to put Real Bread on the map in Luton.  Whether I do this single-handedly, or launch something a bit bigger in the community I know I want to continue making Real Bread. So I have been experimenting with rye and spelt sourdough starters and learning a great deal more about the bread we eat.  There are some shocking facts and these are my favourites below, however if you want to know more, ask me and I’ll bore the pants of you, or read the book:

FACT: Roller-milling to produce white flour for 80% of breads sold in this country removes a massive proportion of vitamins and nutrients that are naturally occurring in the grain.  The flour I use is all organic and stone-milled, which means it retains the maximum amount of nutrients.

FACT: Industrial loaves have very little proving time and therefore, artificial flavourings are added to cover up the taste of the chemical cocktail that is added to assist with the rise and loaf structure!  None of this is needed in my bread, as the slow development gives a far superior flavour.

FACT: Celiac disease and intolerance to wheat has increased since industrial bread processes introduced in 1961 and Ireland have a high incidence of Celiac -(coincidence that they eat a lot of soda-bread which is chemically risen with Bicarb of Soda??).

FACT: Lactic acids that are allowed to develop in slow fermented dough help to neutralise the harmful gliadins in the gluten that are harmful to celiacs.

FACT: You’ll pay around £1 something for a white Bloomer baked at Asda (although the dough might have been brought in frozen) which has very little nutritious value and a cocktail of chemicals.  My loaves will cost nearly double but will have three times the nutritional value.  Therefore, to get the same amount of sustenance    from industrial bread as my bread, you’d have to eat three times as much.  (Is this why I have lost weight in the last 6 months???)

3 slices of industrial bread, v 1 slice of a Jo’s Loaf.

Now whose bread is better value……


Thursday, 12th January, Hullaballo, 10am. orders by midnight on Monday,
Saturday, 14th January, Collection from Tameton Close between 9.45 and 10.30am, orders by midnight on Wednesday,
Tuesday, 17th January, Collection from Tameton Close between 10 and 12pm, orders by midnight on Saturday.