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A wealth of recipes from BakeryBits showing how to make all manner of breads using yeast or sourdough and how to get the most of our equipment and ingredients.
  • Sausage stew and sourdough dumplings

    One of the few things I really like about dark winters is the roast potatoes, stews and casseroles that magically emerge from the kitchen. The kind of food that warms you up, food like bread pudding, hot casseroles with torn off hunks of buttered bread and warm stews with dumplings. Dumplings speak to me of comfort, perhaps it is a little old fashioned but I do enjoy them and so I asked Vanessa to come up with a winter warmer. Naturally, Vanessa uses left over sourdough starter to add in bags of extra flavour but don’t worry if you don’t...

  • Orange blossom brioche bread

      The brioche are still pride of place on the counter in the bakery where Vanessa did her apprenticeship. Orange blossom brioche bread Heaven is lightly toasted brioche,  marmalade and a pot of tea. The very first job I was given when I started my apprenticeship the bakery in the south of France was to break the eggs for the brioche.  We had an order and I had to break 360 eggs to make about 80 brioches for an order and for market day. The smell in the bakery was what I imagine heaven to...

  • Easy Sourdough Chocolate, Chestnut & Whisky Cake

    Well this is it, Christmas is here. The fire is lit, the presents are wrapped the mince pies are made, and we are all smiling, full of festive cheer and enjoying spending time with family and friends…Well that is the dream…The reality is that most of us are running about trying to get a hundred jobs done while we gallop towards Christmas Day, with a maniacal stare and sore elbows. If you can find the time, why make a cake ready for people to tuck into when they drop by? Keep it in a tin and pop a bottle of...

  • Look for our stock fillers below

    I always find myself wanting to bake something impressive at Christmas, something festive and that really captures the flavours. Fill your home with the most Christmassy scent with Vanessa’s Christmas cinnamon buns. Nothing that I have baked has ever been devoured with such gusto. One of my most popular requests for advice comes when a recipe hasn’t performed as expected. Often this happens when the baker has taken some shortcuts and not followed the techniques described, but commonly, the wrong flour has been used. Every flour is different; the results are therefore different...

  • Ethiopian Honey Bread

    I have plaited this loaf, but you could also bake it in a boule for a simpler shaped loaf. This bread is deliciously aromatic and flavoursome. The combination of spices, sweetened by the honey needs a strong white flour, although you could also use 00 Soffiata flour for a more refined texture but I think the texture in Stoate’s stoneground white gives the dough a slightly more robust structure, which I feel compliments the flavours beautifully. I have used osmotolerant yeast which is for enriched dough such as this. Dabo is a celebratory bread, not an everyday bread. Dabo is...

  • Medieval Sourdough

    Heritage is the buzzword in the bread baking world at the moment and it doesn’t come more authentic than from my friend, the small-scale grower, John Letts. We’ve had a delivery of this year’s harvest including blends that had been sold out since last November such as the very special Neolithic Blend Eincorn, along with the Iron Age Emmer and Spelt. While a big benefit of heritage blends over modern strains is that come-what-may, you (nearly) always get a crop since the genetic diversity within the blend means that some of them at least will survive whatever the weather does...

  • Ethiopian Honey Bread

    A common theme that you hear from British beekeepers (myself included) almost every year is that this has been a funny year and hopefully next year will be better. This year is no exception. My bees managed to build up quite a lot of honey this July and I went on holiday happy in the knowledge that there would be a surplus this year, only to find that August was more like winter and my bees were stuck indoors, surviving on their winter stores and their surplus…I even received a note from DEFRA telling me that bees are starving all...

  • Savoury Chocolate Biscuits for Cheese

    Last week was chocolate week, and Vanessa launched her book at Olympia in front of a huge crowd. We then got chatting about chocolate and she mentioned her famous savoury chocolate biscuits, from her first book Prepped. Chocolate and cheese? Really? “They go really well with cheese, especially cheddar,” Vanessa reassured me. In fact she said “It is such a delicious recipe that it has also featured in another book on chocolate by Chantal Coady of Rococo chocolate.” We are going to have to take a leap of faith here, so being as chocolate and cheese are one of my...

  • The Story of Ndali Vanilla

    Vanilla - Baking IngedientThe Ndali Estate is a 1000 acre farm set in volcanic soil in the tropics of Western Uganda. The farm specialise in the organic, Fairtrade growing and curing of fine vanilla, the best of which is sold as "Ndali" vanilla.

    Vanilla grows best in small-scale agro-forestry, it takes considerable time and care to produce the beans. Vanilla flowers the world-over are pollinated by hand to ensure a good crop since the very specific pollinating insects are not numerous enough to ensure this. So, the farmers must be on-hand within 8 hours of the flower opening to perform the delicate operation. After pollination, the beans then take 9 to 11 months to be ready for harvest at which point they are still green. Continue reading

  • Easy Flavoursome French Spelt Boule

    I do like making sourdough and I like to think after all this time I am getting quite good at it. There are times though when the freezer is empty and hungry mouths need their packed lunches for the week ahead and I have not managed to get my starter ready. We found some sachets in France which I really like that combine the speed of yeast with sourdough flavour and have rescued me more than once. Lev Épeautre (spelt) and Lev' Blé (wheat) leaven have fast become one of our most popular French products. This French formulation is based...

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