Articles & Advice

Getting started artisan bread baking

  1. A BUMPER Harvest for Rye!

    Last year’s lovely, long and hot summer (or prolonged, severe drought if described by a farmer) caused many modern cereals to fail or to grow very poorly. Some crops that seemed to be doing fairly well then failed as the weather turned wet and made harvesting difficult thereby reducing the quality of the harvest. Dramatic swings in the weather during the...
  2. Introducing the Fourneau Cast-Iron Bread Oven v.2.0

    Introducing the Fourneau Cast-Iron Bread Oven v.2.0
    Buy Now (Free UK Shipping) Is it always wrong to fall in love with baking equipment? I used to (and still do) feel this way about certain items of stationery. The perfect pen or a decent post-it pad for instance, who doesn’t? I’ve become besotted with my Fourneau cast-iron bread oven. It is quite an investment but it is really...
  3. Get the lowdown on Vanessa Kimbell's latest book - The Sourdough School

    Get the lowdown on Vanessa Kimbell's latest book - The Sourdough School
    The Sourdough School Book by Vanessa Kimbell. Published by Kyle Books. Photography by Nassima Rothacker. Q&A with Vanessa Patrick: Tell me a little about for whom the book was written? Vanessa: The book is for all levels. From beginners who have never baked sourdough to advanced home bakers. I think it is also important to state clearly that this book is aimed at the home baker. I wrote it for everyone who wants to make sourdough bread by hand, and it’s full of delicious, fantastically voluptuous, beautifully crusty, homemade bread. There’s lots of information that guides you through the art of baking sourdough. It’s a book for anyone who want to really understand sourdough, and learn how to bake great tasting, nutritious bread. Continue reading →
  4. French Flour from Foricher FAQ

    What is the “T” system for French flour? The number following the T denotes the amount of ash (and so bran) left in the flour. T45 (pastry flour) is very white flour, T55 and T65 are the “standard” white bread flours (similar to Italian 00) and T80 is slightly darker. T110 is brown (some of the bran removed) and T150...
  5. My recipe asks for "malt powder" - which do I choose?

    My recipe asks for "malt powder" - which do I choose?
    "Malt powder" is quite a vague term, as you will read below. The one to choose depends on what the malt powder is being used for in order to discern which the author intends. A natural improver Diax (diastatic malt powder) is cream coloured and used in very small quantities (10g per 1000g flour). It is used as a natural...
  6. Heritage flour is the latest thing

    Heritage flour is the latest thing
    One thing we’re often asked by customers is how to best use the Lammas Fayre heritage flours. Given the current interest in heritage grains, it’s not surprising and we’re keen to help out with ideas and recipes. Some bakers it seems, are a little nervous about using these flours. It is understandable that they are worried that ancient wheat varieties...
  7. Vanessa Kimbell answers our Sourdough Questions

    Vanessa Kimbell answers our Sourdough Questions
    Sourdough Special Many of you know Vanessa as our in house baker for Bakerybits, but she is often referred to as The Queen of Sourdough because day-to-day she teaches domestic bakers to make sourdough at the Sourdough School in Northamptonshire. She has a special interest in bread in relation to health, and is also a regular contributor to the BBC...
  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. 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...