The Bakehouse Blog

How watching Bake Off Bread Week can help you bake better bread

By |September 13th, 2017|

It’s my absolute favourite week of GBBO (unsurprisingly!) – it’s Bake Off Bread Week! From the plentiful double innuendos to a stunning showcase of bread sculptures, there was plenty to love. And this week, the bakers showed us some of the common pitfalls that can stop you getting a great bake on your bread. […]

5 things I loved about the start of Bake Off 2017 (and one thing I didn’t)

By |August 29th, 2017|

It’s back, and more anticipated than ever before. With a shock move to Channel 4, Great British Bake Off fans were eager to watch Series 8 in its new home, hoping that it wouldn’t disappoint. Luckily, from the opening bars of the jaunty theme tune to the comfortingly familiar tent and the three challenges […]

How to store bread

By |August 27th, 2017|

If you’re regularly baking great fresh bread, you’ll know it can go stale quickly after bake day. So how to store your bread? Here are three ways you should store bread so it keeps fresher for longer, and one way you definitely shouldn’t.
1. Keep your loaf cut side down
The longer your loaf […]

Vegetable glut bread recipe: Courgette and carrot bread

By |August 13th, 2017|

It’s that time of year when, if you grow your own, you might be struggling to think up new ways to use up the produce from your garden. It was this that prompted me to come up with some tasty ways to use up vegetables when making bread. In this second recipe (see the […]

Hidden vegetable bread recipe: Roasted red pepper, tomato and chilli bread rolls

By |August 12th, 2017|

This recipe, and the next to be published, came about through two routes. Firstly, a blog reader question asking for a hidden vegetable bread recipe, possibly to encourage a little one to eat more vegetables! And secondly, with the summer vegetable glut in full swing, it seemed a good time to work on some […]

Why not kneading your dough can result in great bread

By |July 30th, 2017|

I was recently invited to Epsom Age Concern’s Golden Days Festival to give a talk on baking in World War Two. If you missed it, here’s what I talked about!

Unlike foods such as meat, sugar, butter and eggs, flour and bread were not rationed during World War Two. Despite this, the bread that was […]

How to get a great bake

By |June 1st, 2017|

So you’ve carefully mixed and kneaded your dough, left it long enough to prove well and shaped it into your chosen loaf. Now the only thing left to do is to bake your loaf! Here are my top five tips on how to get a great bake on your loaf.

1. Know your oven
Stating […]

How to shape dough for a tin loaf

By |May 7th, 2017|

Before you can bake your dough, you’ll need to shape it into whatever loaf you want to bake. Watch this video, or read on, for tips on how to shape dough for a tin loaf.

Why shape bread dough before baking?
Firstly, shaping builds structure within your dough. Gluten strands in the dough act like […]

Chocolate orange cardamom hot cross bun recipe

By |April 7th, 2017|

I can’t deny it, I’m a complete chocoholic! If that sounds like you, or someone you know, why not try out my delicious take on the classic hot cross bun recipe this Easter? A warning though – the smell of these fresh from the oven can make them completely irresistable!

Ingredients

250ml full fat milk

50 […]

How to knead bread dough

By |April 1st, 2017|

Are you getting started with bread making and not sure how to knead? Or perhaps you just want to brush up your kneading technique. This video demonstrates how to knead bread dough, with a technique suitable for a firmer dough. Not flouring your surface when kneading is important – it just dries your dough […]

What is yeast?

By |March 23rd, 2017|

Microscopically small. Related to mushrooms. Lovers of sugar. Producers of moulds. Yeast are multi-talented little organisms! But what is yeast and why is it in your bread?

Yeast is the name for a whole range of single-celled organisms that are part of the fungi family, which also includes edible mushrooms and moulds such as those […]

What is gluten? Watch this video to find out!

By |March 18th, 2017|

It’s a hot topic of dietary conversation – you probably know someone who’s avoiding it, and you’ll definitely have seen gluten-free foods in the shops. But I often get quiet stares and a bit of shuffling when I ask ‘what is gluten?’ in my bread making classes!

 

What is gluten? Watch this video to find […]

Four great bread making books for World Book Day

By |March 2nd, 2017|

World Book Day 2017 – my students’ favourite bread making books

Do you love to browse a new recipe book? During all my bread making classes, students have time to look through some of my bread making book collection, a great way to get inspiration. On World Book Day, here are four of my […]

Buttermilk pancakes for Pancake Day!

By |February 26th, 2017|

I’m not a fan of food waste and I really love pancakes. So it seemed fitting to combat one with the other in these soft, fluffy, buttermilk pancakes. These are a Sunday morning staple in our house, a great way of using up leftover buttermilk from my Introduction to bread making class. Topped with […]

By |February 16th, 2017|

Don’t mix salt and yeast!
You’ll usually start making bread by weighing out the ingredients and mixing them together. No problem there you may think. However, this is a crucial stage in your bread making where a simple mistake could waste your efforts and result in a disappointing brick.

 

Recipes may describe this stage in many […]

Bread Angels gather to bake, chat and share!

By |February 13th, 2017|

On a bitterly cold February morning, a dozen or so Bread Angels (including me!) from across the UK gathered at Cann Mills, Dorset to bake, chat and share all things about great bread.

As a collective, the Bread Angels run microbakeries in their communities, baking and selling bread to local customers and/or teaching bread making […]

Why bake your own bread?

By |February 8th, 2017|

Why bake your own bread?

‘I don’t have time’, ‘I’ve no idea how to’. ‘I did once and it was a disaster!’.

There are many (very valid!) reasons why you might not bake your own bread at home. It’s very easy to pop a sliced loaf in your basket as you rush between work, the […]

The Epsom Bakehouse: 2016 in review

By |January 5th, 2017|

As 2016 drew to a close, I took time to review a busy and fabulous year of teaching great bread making to all my wonderful students. From teaching over 60 people to being made a finalist in two business awards, there have been many highlights. Have a look here…

 

I have plenty of exciting plans […]

Gift guide for bread bakers

By |December 7th, 2016|

It’s no secret that I’ve got a passion for all things bread making. And family and friends have very generously supported that passion over the years, buying me everything from equipment to books. So I thought it was timely to share my gift guide: suggestions of what to buy for the budding, and indeed […]

Stir up Sunday – handy hints

By |November 19th, 2016|

My birthday is over and that can only mean one thing – the run-up to Christmas can officially begin! In our house, that means filling the house with the warming, spiced scent of a Christmas cake baking. Yes, I know, for some it’s a little bit late to start making the cake, let alone […]

Sweet pumpkin bread rolls

By |October 22nd, 2016|

Love baking? Learn to bake great bread on a fun, relaxed class! See dates and book here.

I have to confess, this is my favourite time of year. Trees turning russet colours, misty cool mornings and cosy nights in. Oh, and my birthday is on the horizon! Each year, it seems that Halloween gets bigger and […]

WOW – I can’t believe this happened!

By |September 28th, 2016|

It’s been an exciting week here at the Bakehouse – last Wednesday I was chosen as a WOW winner! This competition is run by Jacqueline Gold, CEO of Ann Summers. WOW, or Women on Wednesday, celebrates women in business and especially those starting up their own business. The competition is run on Twitter – […]

Top tips for great bread

By |May 17th, 2016|

It’s Real Bread Week, so why not get baking great, homemade fresh bread? Here are some top tips to get you started.

1. Don’t kill your yeast!

Take care when measuring out the ingredients. Salt can kill yeast when they come in direct contact. If this happens, your yeast cannot activate and produce the gas […]

Hands-off tomato and basil focaccia

By |May 12th, 2016|

Think you don’t have time to make tasty homemade bread for lunch this weekend? Think again. This hands-off focaccia requires minimal effort but produces great results for a lunchtime showstopper.

Ingredients
500g strong white bread flour
450ml water
50ml olive oil
½ teaspoon (3g) dried active yeast
2 teaspoons (10g) salt

Topping
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt
Handful of basil leaves, […]

Food for Thought

By |June 4th, 2015|

The weekend didn’t start too well. Already slightly delayed, a closure on the M1 cemented my late arrival for a weekend at the School of Artisan Food. I was grateful therefore for the warmest of welcomes, and in particular the generous spread of fresh artisan breads, baked on site, paired with honey straight from […]

Not bread-related at all! But I’m off to BritMums Live…

By |June 1st, 2015|

Ok, ok this isn’t at all bread-making or baking related. But it could be – I’m attending my first bloggers conference and hoping to learn many more ways to bring you recipes, tips, news, views, write-ups and more! In the spirit of meeting up with as many other inspiring bloggers as possible, this short […]

Six top tips for brilliant bread

By |May 13th, 2015|

It’s Real Bread Week, so why not get baking great, homemade fresh bread? Here are my top tips to help you along the way. Try them out with my malthouse loaf recipe. 

1. Does the water need to be warm?

No! Temperature is the main way to control how fast your dough rises. So, if it’s […]

How to bake real bread!

By |May 8th, 2015|

Real Bread Week celebrates those who bake real bread, that is, bread without any artificial additives and preservatives and made using traditional techniques. The week also encourages more people to get baking their own bread at home. This year, the week runs 9 – 16 May, and there are plenty of activities going on.

What […]

Brilliant banoffee bread

By |March 2nd, 2015|

Banana bread (ok, technically it’s a cake…) is one of my favourite ways to use up food leftovers. In fact, the squidgier and blacker the bananas are, the better they are in banana bread. You’ll need really ripe bananas for this recipe, but don’t worry if you have ones that are only just on […]

Food guilty pleasure – mine’s a bowl of cereal!

By |February 11th, 2015|

I love to check out other foodie blogs, finding wonderful recipes and tips.  I’ve found many great new blogs to follow by chatting online to other bloggers – in particular through the weekly Thursday evening Twitter chat for food bloggers.

It was during one such chat that I got into a conversation about how a […]