The Bakehouse Blog

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 […]

Bread Angels on the loose…

By |February 11th, 2015|

‘Snow?!’ Such was the cry as Bread Angels in Surrey rose early to a white frozen blanket and the prospect of a long drive ahead. Luckily, we’re a hardy lot and were soon on the road for an exciting day of bread making and Bread Angel catch up ahead.

Before I started The Epsom Bakehouse, […]

Loving those Lamingtons

By |February 2nd, 2015|

Lamingtons. Lammos. The Aussie classic that is possibly my new favourite cake. If you haven’t tried them before, a Lamington is a square of sponge cake, usually a vanilla Madeira or similar, coated in chocolate icing and then rolled in desiccated coconut. Reports differ on their origin, but the name is generally attributed to […]

Simple-but-fabulous shortbread

By |January 21st, 2015|

At last it seems like *proper* winter has arrived. And by that I mean I went out to put something in the bin the other night and it had frozen shut…

I have to admit to secretly loving this time of year. But only when beautiful frosty mornings can be balanced with cosy nights in. […]

Is it nap time yet?! (aka make your own energy bars)

By |January 8th, 2015|

Happy New Year to you all! How is everyone doing? Full of the joys? Whilst I’m missing the slow pace of the festive period, in particular afternoon nap time, I’m also really excited about many plans for 2015. So to keep me going through these grey rainy days, I’ve baked a batch of energy […]

Warm greengage and plum clafoutis

By |October 14th, 2014|

I tried out this recipe purely because I wanted to try out greengages! If you haven’t had them before, then they’re a type of plum, sweeter than their purple cousins and green in colour. Greengages are in season in early autumn, so this is a great time to try them at their best.

I considered […]

Nutty apple crumble

By |October 1st, 2014|

I’ve woken up to a true autumnal morning. After the dry, sunny, warm days of September, this morning has been cool, damp and gray. Russet leaves are rapidly collecting on the ground and I’m feeling a sudden urge to make every other drink a hot chocolate. So what better time to indulge in a […]

Bake Off 2014 Episode 7 – Pastry

By |September 20th, 2014|

Last week offered up yeasted cakes, a vibrant green Princess Cake that seemed too fiddly for words and a frisson of danger as the contestants played around with molten sugar. Despite all the drama, it was almost inevitable from the start that the judges would send no-one home after bin-gate, and this was indeed […]