Back in November I had a question regarding steam and the Maillard reaction in baking via the BREAD Magazine Newsletter Jarkko Laine (Editor of BREAD Magazine) and I produce every week – it’s free, so do subscribe to it. As you may or may not know, professional bakers inject steam into the oven during the baking process. Those who are aware of this often think they cannot accomplish a professional baker’s bread because they cannot replicate this process. Well, this isn’t exactly true, steam can be created in a domestic oven – the only thing you cannot replicate in a domestic oven are the bread volumes professional bakers bake in theirs.
Back to the initial question: “Why do we need steam when we bake bread?”
Continue reading Why do we need steam when we bake bread?
I like baking with spelt which is an ancient grain increasing in popularity around the world. Contrary to some popular belief, spelt is not “gluten free”, it simply has a different genetic makeup to normal wheat. However, it does appears to be a lot kinder to the gut. This is true especially when it is allowed to go through a proper long fermentation process using natural levain. It has a lovely nutty flavour when baked, the crust gets nicely caramelized with a chocolaty colour. So what else is there to know about spelt… Continue reading “S”spells Spelt
Happy New Year everyone! One of my New Year Bread Resolutions is to make & bake bread as sustainably as possible. So the article: “In search of a sustainable approach to artisanal bread” in the latest issue of Bread Magazine immediately caught my attention. This made me think: what is the true value in the artisan approach of baking bread?
YES, the latest issue of Bread Magazine published for this Christmas is hot off the digital press and the publisher has promised me a special discount coupon code for anyone who subscribes before January 31st, 2017. Just click here to obtain your special DISCOUNT CODE by dropping me a line I will personally email it to you.
The notion of artisan Continue reading In search of sustainable artisan bread
Back in October I spent an amazing night with an artisan baker who toils his trade 3x a week up in the Pyrenean mountains. Our rendez-vous was at midnight and I spent the night pretty much watching him perform his craft from beginning to end. Continue reading Spending the night with an Artisan Baker
Muratti – a bakery in Adelaide
Whenever I go or leave Adelaide I have to go via Muratti on Prospect Road.
– Why? –
There you can find one of the best bakeries in Adelaide.
They have a delightful array of French pastries and bread boulangerie in general ! This is not to mention that their coffee is a life saver when you are traveling on the road on a 3 hour trip to the Riverland.
When I yearn for a touch of Frenchy yum, this is where I just have to go!
There are certain times of the year when there are gluts of pumpkin supply and if you live in South Australia, like I do, they are in abundant supply virtually all year round!
Curiously, in terms of baking, pumpkin is more likely to be associated with quick breads, similar to banana bread, along with similar spices as well – such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. However, pumpkin bread recipes, as in with yeast do not appear to be that prominent. Thanks to the fact that I have pumpkins in such abundant supply I’ve been experimenting over the years a savoury bread version Continue reading Pumpkin Bread made with Sourdough
There really is no “one” particular type of starter in the production of natural leaven agents.
Every baker appears to have their own particular philosophy and way of creating one as I discovered during my artisan baking course adventure in Barcelona. In fact, each Master Baker there had their own special way of creating their natural leavening agent.
Levels of hydration and flour content were also totally variable between these Master Bakers! One favoured liquid levain, whereas another preferred a more firmer version and then there was what I would call the in between ones! What was even more fascinating, each baker had a different way of maintaining their starter. This is where in principle the fermentation idea is the same but different nationalities have their own preferred method of making/maintaining one. Whilst in Barcelona, I experienced Catalan, French, Italian and Finnish natural leavening agents, each different like night and day from each other! The one that was totally new to me was: Continue reading Baking Ruminations from Barcelona – Lievito Madre & Ezio Marinato
Now here is a pastry wizard to marvel at. After Josep Pascual’s introduction into the art of baking, we were treated to pastry baking insights by Mickaël Chesnouard, who is the director of Atelier M’Alice – Here some croissant tips I picked up during his master class in Barcelona. Continue reading Baking Ruminations from Barcelona – Mickael Chesnouard
Last month I had the fortunate opportunity and privilege to be able to attend the first International Artisan Baking Course hosted by the Gremi de Flequers Barcelona (Barcelona Guild of Bakers) which is situated on Pau Claris in the heart of Barcelona.
The course was spread over 4 days and it was extremely “intensive” with a fabulous line up of 7 international bakers – the Magnificent 7 – as I like to think of them. Their knowledge and handling of all baking guns was better than a wild west film.
The fist day kicked off with Josep Pascual, a charismatic Catalan baker passionately dedicated to artisan baking and sharing his knowledge with his growing tribe of followers through such courses as the one I attended. He is renowned for his “Metodo Pascual” (Pascual Method) of baking bread. His signature breads are beautifully designed breads with intricate motifs stencilled on them.
His opening of the course immediately set a very high bar to the standard that was to follow.
You can follow the Bakery School of Barcelona on their Facebook page if you like.
Now that I’m back home again, if you are interested in finding out more about these sublime ways of making bread, don’t hesitate to drop me a line via my contact page and I will email you my Newsletter and discuss either BreadCoaching or supply of handmade artisan bread designed to your needs.
Cheers, Tia – your Bread Coach
Designing bread is my passion, empowering you to do the same is my mission!
In the meantime, keep following the bread crumbs!