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Getting started artisan bread baking

  1. What is Emmer Flour?

    What is Emmer Flour?
    Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum), milled to make Emmer flour, was domesticated from a wild grass and Einkorn in the Ancient Near East over 9,000 years ago. Einkorn, together with naked barley, arrived in Britain around 2,000BCE, where together they were believed to have been the principal bread “corn” of Bronze Age farmers. Emmer was not a very high-yielding wheat so...
  2. How to use Bakers' Percentages

    The recipes that most of us are familiar with use specific weights of flour, leaven, salt etc in grams, teaspoons, tablespoons, cups or ounces. But what if you would like to make the recipe a little larger, or a lot larger? Doubling or trebling a recipe using mental arithmetic is usually easy enough but can lead to very annoying mistakes (at least, in my experience!). Making an odd proportion of the original recipe, say 3/4 or 2.5 times is much more prone to error. Read More
  3. Sourdough Starters - How Do you Care For Yours?

    Ask a dozen bakers how they look after their sourdough starter (or leaven), you'll probably get a baker's dozen replies. Everyone starts by avidly following guides to get started - Dan Lepard's method in his excellent The Handmade Loaf is how I started mine, several years ago now. Read More
  4. Basic Equipment

    Artisan bread-making is an extremely rewarding and traditional craft using natural leaven to raise the dough and create fantastically tasty sourdough breads! So how do you get started? Read More
  5. Living with a Wood-Fired Oven

    I've had a Four Grand-Mère wood-fired oven in my garden for a couple of years and have been learning how to get the best out of it. I've baked with it in 8" of snow and often in the dark, but can confirm that decent weather and daylight are more pleasant. As a weekend baker, I prepare for a large...
  6. Mulino Marino Flour & Getting The Most From Them

    Mulino Marino Flour & Getting The Most From Them
    We've been stocking Mulino Marino flour for quite some time and have found that they perform consistently, producing great loaves of bread and perfect cakes. With such an extensive range and with them being called by their wonderfully evocative Italian names it's sometimes confusing choosing which flour suits which loaf best ... so we asked Angus McCraig, friend, chef, tutor...
  7. How to use a banneton.

    How to use a banneton.
    We've got some new bannetons at bakery bits, and they are beautiful.  They are made from sustainable seagrass grown and hand-woven by rice growers in rural Vietnam. I can't recommend using a banneton highly enough to give you a great crust a good structure to your bread - they are to just for sourdough, but any dough that makes bread. Using...
  8. Sharpham Park's Story of Spelt

    Sharpham Park's Story of Spelt
    One of the farms leading the resurgence in British spelt growing is Sharpham Park near Glastonbury in Somerset. Owner of Sharpham Park, Roger Saul, cheerfully explains how organic spelt is “dead in the water in terms of commercial farming”. The crop yields at best two tonnes per acre, compared to the four tonnes or more you can get from wheat...
  9. So what makes a healthy loaf of bread without compromising on flavour?

    So what makes a healthy loaf of bread without compromising on flavour?
    Bread is an important part of most of our diets. The flour used and the way the dough is made can have a significant impact on the healthiness of the baked bread. So what makes a healthy (and tasty) loaf and how to make one without compromising on flavour? Re-evaluating your daily loaf is really important, and rather than making...