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Newletters

  • The Perfect Gadget for Father’s Day

    Gadgets are great. Woodworking, cheese making, bread making, I like them all. When my builder does a job I struggled with in a few minutes because he has the right tool (and knows what he is doing), I go a bit green-eyed and put the tool on my wish-list. This happened with the walnut lame that Vanessa found being made by a tiny business in US. Lovingly made, these have proven to be extremely popular, especially as gifts for those with an eye for craftsmanship. But, a gadget, no matter how nicely made, is of little use unless you know...

  • Get ahead in time for Father’s Day

    Father’s day is almost here again and for the very organised we’ve looked through our range for the best Dad products. Something here for the beginners and advanced alike, gadgets and of course something for the curry lover. Sunmix Spiral Dough Mixer from £733.76 A great gift for any father who is serious about his bread making, these have proven to be very popular since their introduction earlier this year. The spiral mixers come in a range of sizes. So whether your dad is a serious home baker who regularly dazzles the whole family with stunning...

  • Essentials for new bakers

    I get excited when we get a new bit of equipment in. We’ve just had some fermenting jars arrive – lots on these in a week or two although mine will keep me busy this weekend. Sometimes it is good to remember that many of you are quite new to baking bread and, faced with the huge array of baking equipment available, it can be somewhat daunting for a new baker to work out what is really essential to get started. After years of baking in my own kitchen, I’ve learned from experience which equipment I use on a regular...

  • An International flavour?

    Following a recent photo shoot, we’ve lots of new products to share with you over the next weeks. This week, there are 4 new flours from Mulino Marino, from their Italian stone-ground organic rice flour to their 7-grain flour which is one I am keen to try this weekend. With a long weekend coming up I became a little reflective. We’ve been flat out since before Christmas and we have noticed a big increase in our exports (over 60 countries from Brazil to Bhutan). There are several reasons for this, some are quite prosaic such as the fall in the...

  • Naturally Sweet Hot Cross Buns

    The run-up to Easter is a good time to bake those indulgent treats and this year, we’ve had to wait quite a while as Easter falls late (the first Sunday following the first full moon that follows the Spring equinox, for those that are interested). Anyway, the bakes marking Easter originate from many sources including Christian, Pagan and Jewish among others, and from lots of countries. There should be something for everyone. In previous years, Vanessa has devised a Russian Kulich and Italian Colomba Pasquale. This year, I asked Vanessa to come up with a hot-cross bun variation that, perhaps...

  • If you can’t beat nettles, eat them.

    There are some oil seed rape flowers just starting to open in the field opposite me. In a week or two, the field will be that fluorescent yellow, quite different from anything else growing in the British countryside. My internal monologue battles itself with contradictory feelings about early spring: elation at the signs of sunshine and warmth, the countryside coming back to life, and downheartedness at the prospect of all those jobs that need to be done that could be ignored over winter, like preparing my beekeeping equipment. I suppose it is the same for most people, but one small...

  • …and why eating your crust is good for you

    We talk a lot about flour and bread ingredients then how to combine and prove them to get the dough ready to bake, and that is very important to making the perfect loaf. Much less attention is given to what happens next: “bake for 40 minutes until done” is typical – but what is actually going on to change a billowy dough into a golden crusty loaf? Let’s find out. I’ve loved writing about this...the secret life of dough as it bakes and there is lots going on...

  • Who are our bakers?

    I’m conscious that week after week I write about something I find interesting, but I don’t know enough about you! We have such a broad range of customers from keen amateurs to Michelin starred restaurants that it seems high time we ask about you and your interests. Hopefully this will let us better focus what we do to suit you. If you are happy to, would you complete the anonymous survey by clicking on the button? It is really quick and easy to do and would be really helpful to us. It’s our first in almost 10 years so I...

  • Our Favourite Norwegian Baker

    I have a new favourite sourdough book. I spent Saturday with an amazing group of bakers, food writers and Martin Fjeld, half of the Norwegian baking duo Ille Brød and authors of their book “Sourdough” (originally Surdeig). The baking duo describe themselves as “two guys baking organic sourdough bread at home and in a micro bakery”. I am not sure that Martin could be much more laid back if he was lying down except when it comes to bread and sustainability when he springs to life bubbling with enthusiasm. Absolutely in...

  • Raise Your Spirits With a Tea Loaf

    I’m tired of winter now. More gales today flapping roof panels of our warehouse making quite a racket, although I did notice, one afternoon this week while chatting to a delivery driver, the hint of warmth from a fleeting burst of milky sunshine. Spring is coming – at least, I hope so. I can’t wait to see the earth coming back to life and getting outside again. My wife would tell me to put on more layers and go outside anyway, but it isn’t quite the same. Not when there is a warm kitchen inside. ...

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